Grilled nem nuong
1 package of rice paper wrapper
Fried chive rolls
Cucumbers, thinly sliced rectangles
Pickled carrots and daikon
Mint (rau thom), Cilantro (ngo), Fresh chives (rau he), basil (rau que), perilla (tia to)
2 lbs. ground pork (you may mix ground turkey or chicken to reduce fat)
2 head of garlic (cloves, peeled; we love the intense garlic flavor but use more or less according to taste)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tbs salt
1/2 tbs pepper
4 tsp or 1 small package of Alsa baking powder
1/4 cup water
1 drop red food coloring or 1 tsp caramel syrup (optional and found in most asian groceries or make your own)
Using food processor, process garlic until fine puree. Combine pork, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar in mixing bowl and mix well. In separate bowl, combine baking powder, water, drop of red food coloring or caramel syrup (this adds a very nice color to the pork when grilled) and stir. Mixture will fluff and foam.
Fold the baking powder into mixture and allow meat to chill for about 30 min to 1 hr or longer–the baking powder adds more firmer, bouncier texture. Now you’re ready to form the patties. Keep meat mixture in the fridge for a few hours to let it set and easier to handle when forming patties, balls or what I prefer, mini sausages. I find that it’s easier to roll in rice paper this way. Keep a bowl of water handy and your hands wet for easy handling.
I use an indoor grill (such as George Foreman) as it’s quick, easy to clean, and makes great grill marks. Grill about 4-5 min per side. If you plan to grill on an outdoor grill, form patties around the skewer like a kebab.
Fried chive rolls
Fried chive rolls are optional, but often found at many restaurants and add a great crunch. Quarter large egg roll wrappers or use square wonton wrappers. Place several chives onto wrapper, roll once and then fold over ends. Roll tightly and use an egg wash to seal the wrapper. Fry until golden brown, drain and set aside.