Food For Four

Nem Nướng – Vietnamese Grilled Pork Skewers

Posted on | May 9, 2010 | Delicious Vietnam, Recipes, Vietnamese Recipes | 20 Comments

Nem Nướng

Nem nướng is one of my favourite Vietnamese dish and it is a dish we always serve at all our family gatherings. Nem nướng are tasty grilled pork skewers made out of finely ground pork and is deliciously seasoned with Vietnamese flavours. The meat has a nice and firm texture. Roasted rice powder (thín) is also added to give the meat a beautiful aroma and taste.

Nem nướng is a must for all barbeques. What I love about nem nướng is that it’s so versatile. These skewers can be eaten on its own, or serve with vermicelli noodles, or use as fillings in a Vietnamese baguette or wrap with rice paper. No matter which way you eat it, it’s absolutely delicious!

Bun Nem Nướng

Bún nem nướng – Vermicelli noodles with grilled pork skewers. Nem nướng served with cold vermicelli noodles, lots of fresh herbs, lettuce, bean sprout, cucumber, pickled carrots and fish sauce dipping sauce.

Bánh Mì Nem Nướng 1

Bánh mì nem nướng – Vietnamese baguette with grilled pork skewers. Nem nướng served with Vietnamese baguette, fresh herbs, lettuce, bean sprout, cucumber, pickled carrots, coriander and fish sauce dipping sauce (or chilli sauce).

Nem Nướng Cuốn

Nem nướng cuốn – Rice paper rolls with grilled pork skewers. Nem nướng wrapped with rice paper, fresh herbs, lettuce, cucumber and serve fish sauce dipping sauce (or hoisin dipping sauce).

Nem Nướng – Vietnamese Grilled Pork Skewers
Make about 20


1 kg mince pork (use the minced twice pork if possible)
4 cloves garlic, minced into fine paste (use mortar and pestle)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 tablespoon swater
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons roasted rice powder
1 tablespoon oil
20 wooden skewers (soaked in water for 20 minutes)


In a small bowl, add fish sauce, sugar and white pepper. Stir the mixture until sugar almost dissolved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the ground pork (ask your butcher to mince it twice if you can), add fish sauce mixture. Add garlic. Using your hands, knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, add the water and baking powder. Stir the mixture, it will foam up. Pour baking powder mixture into the pork mixture. Knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined.

Add roasted rice powder to the mixture and knead the mixture until all it is well combined.

Cover the meat mixture and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hour.

Rub a very small amount of oil into the palm of your hands so that the meat does not stick to it. Form the sausage shape and put through the skewers. You can roll into balls if you like.

Heat up a grill or barbeque and cook. Turning the skewers over when they are golden brown.

Nem Nuong

This post is a contribution to Delicious Vietnam, a blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine hosted by A food lover’s journey and Ravenous Couple.

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20 Responses to “Nem Nướng – Vietnamese Grilled Pork Skewers”

  1. Amy
    May 9th, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

    I ♥ Nem Nuong. Although I have never been able to make them to my liking at home. I shall give your lovely recipe a twirl in my kitchen :D

  2. ravenouscouple
    May 9th, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

    the versatility of this dish is boundless! great entry!

  3. Ellie (Almost Bourdain)
    May 9th, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    I absolutely love these Vietnamese porks skewers. They are delicious and so versatile! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fiona
    May 10th, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. It’s been a while since the last time we ate this one and we did have a very great dinner :)

  5. Ana Powell
    May 11th, 2010 @ 5:13 am

    Great work, lovely photos.
    Awesome recipe x

  6. J
    August 2nd, 2010 @ 1:02 am

    I absolutely love Nem Nuong. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can you please advise where I can buy the roasted rice powder please? Thank you!

  7. Yen
    August 3rd, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    Hi J, I buy the roasted rice powder from a Vietnamese asian grocery and it’s called thính in Vietnamese.

  8. Una
    November 18th, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

    Just made this, very good, personally would have more sugar though.

  9. Hazel
    December 3rd, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    Tried your recipe, enjoyed it tremendously. Loved the flavors and texture of the meat. Will definitely keep making it. Thanks.

  10. Justine
    March 17th, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    Don’t think I will find roasted rice powder here in Singapore. Would it work if I grind the rice into powder form then roasted it up?

  11. Chau
    May 28th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    You can make roasted rice powder at home. You firing the rice by the pan, until the rice becomes golden brown. Then grinding finely.

  12. Samantha
    July 1st, 2011 @ 3:43 am

    Wow sooooo delicious. I might even go as far as saying it turned out as the best meat patty I’ve ever had. I modified the recipe a little by adding a bit more sugar and garlic and substituting the baking powder, some of the water, and roasted rice powder with baking soda, lemon juice, and tapioca starch/powder. It came out really juicy but still firm and very tasty. I’m so going to make them for my viet boyfriend and his family soon. :D

  13. Cindy
    November 26th, 2011 @ 4:02 am

    Thank you so much for your recipe.. I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday and everyone loved it! My dish were the first one to be gone.. will definitely make it again!!

  14. thao
    January 17th, 2012 @ 5:09 am

    Hi, i tried this last week and it is extremely NGON……. Thank for sharing….

  15. Choose your adventure: an eating tour of the San Gabriel Valley ethnoburbs | The Plaid Bag Connection
    March 27th, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    [...] a Vietnamese restaurant located across the street from Rosemead High School. They serve amazing nem nướng (super-garlicky grilled pork meatballs) and you can’t go wrong with any of their large cơm [...]

  16. Sara
    May 25th, 2012 @ 1:03 am

    I’ve been wondering how to make these ever since I feel in love w/ this dish. THANK YOU so much for sharing the secret. I was just wondering what does the baking powder do?

  17. Leah
    August 27th, 2012 @ 2:07 am

    I adore this recipe. I make it a lot and it is perfect.

  18. Meg
    August 31st, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Hi, I was wondering what’s the purpose of the rice powder? What can be substituted if we don’t have it? Thanks.

  19. Yen
    August 31st, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    Hi Meg. I use the rice powder mostly for the beautiful aroma. If you can’t find any rice powder you can either roast some rice and ground it yourself. Or you can just omit this ingredient.

  20. Fr3ak5h0w
    October 3rd, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    Fantastic Recipe. This has always been one of my Favorites when my wife and I go out to eat Vietnamese. Tried this at home, but put used lemongrass, also….Amazing. I usually cook Chinese Ribs and Grilled Lemongrass Chicken at parties. I am adding this to my menu for events from now on. Great Job on the recipe.

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