Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Total Cost: $16.30 recipe / $4.07 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
3clovesgarlic, finely chopped$0.24
Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
1/4cuplime juice (about 2 limes)$1.20
1Thai red chili pepper$0.10
1carrot, thinly sliced$0.16
8oz.rice vermicelli noodles$2.99
For the Meatballs:
Chop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.
For the Sauce:
Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.
For the Bowls:
Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.
Editor's note: The prices listed above are from U.S. chain grocery stores. If you have an Asian market in your area you'll be able to source ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, limes, Thai chilis, mint, and rice noodles for much cheaper and often with much higher quality.