• Vietnamese pork meatballs (Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam)Source: Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam

Most mornings in Dalat, people eat this beautiful, light, clean dish for breakfast.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (36 votes)


  • 300 g pork mince (lean meat to fat ratio 7:3)


  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) annatto oil (available from Asian grocers)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 80 g pork skin (optional), cut into 4 cm x 5 cm pieces
  • 1.2 litres pork stock
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

To serve

  • 6 spring onions, sliced
  • 6 sprigs coriander
  • 2 long red chillies, sliced
  • 4 Vietnamese baguettes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. For the meatballs, add the pork mince to the marinade and use your hands to combine well until a paste forms. Shape the mixture into small meatballs, placing them on a tray lined with plastic wrap as you go. You should get around 15-18 meatballs.

3. For the broth, place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the annatto oil, then the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the pork skin (if using) and the onions and cook for 3 minutes or until just softened.

4. Add the pork stock and bring to the boil. Gently add the meatballs, bring back to the boil, then place the lid on, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the rock sugar, salt and fish sauce, return to the boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.

5. To serve, divide the meatballs between bowls and ladle over enough broth to submerge them. Garnish with the spring onions, coriander and chilli and use the baguette to dip into the broth.


Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.