Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatballs)

  • Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 Tbsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  1. Mix 2 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 small chopped onion to 1 lb of ground pork. 
  2. Shape the mixture into 5 cm (2 in) sized meatballs and pan-fry on high heat until charred. This is simply a sealing step. When the meatballs are golden, scoop them out into a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Into the empty sauce pan, add the Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce) and heat on a moderate flame. 
  4. Stir continuously to prevent burning. The sugar will caramelise and turn brown, add another 1 cup of water. 
  5. Stir the caramel sauce again and add the reservedmeatballs.
  6. Let simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for about half an hour to fully cook the meatballs and reduce the sauce.

These meatballs are meant to be soft and tender and they will spread easily like a terrine or pate.