nem nuong xa (grilled meat on lemongrass skewers)

nem nuong xa

i came across this dish for the first time at a sweaty grill joint in ho chi minh city, viet nam.  there you could get just about any kind of meat (including various preparations of penis and stuffed goat’s udder) grilled either in huge oil-drum grills at the front of the restaurant or in smaller ceramic braziers at the table. i’m not exactly sure what they called  the dish or how exactly they made it, but i made my own version last night it came out very tasty. could be served as an appetizer or a main course.

(makes 10 or so skewers)

.5 lb ground pork
1 lb ground bison (beef would do; i happened to have ground bison)
5 lemongrass stalks, with outer layers removed and cut into 6-7 inch pieces
1 T lemongrass inner core, finely minced
1 T sesame oil
1.5 t ginger-garlic paste
1 t fish sauce
1 t kosher sea salt
1 t lime juice
1 T soy sauce
1 t brown sugar

mix up all the ingredients (save for the lemongrass stalks) in a medium sized mixing bowl. get in there with your hands and make sure everything is well combined.

take small handfuls of the meat mixture and squeeze one around each of the lemongrass stalks. it’s important to make sure that the meat is applied with even thickness (about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch should work well).

place the meat-sticks on a very hot grill, allowing the meat to acquire browned grill marks on all sides (3-4 minutes per side, depending on how hot the grill is)

serve on a bed of baby salad greens with nuoc mam cham (a wonderful dipping sauce-see recent post) and copious amounts of watered down beer.

happy eating,


One Response to “nem nuong xa (grilled meat on lemongrass skewers)”

  1. interesting recipe i would surely enjoy eating. did you order penis for us when we dined in hcm? was the calamari actually foreskin?

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