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Jun 20, 2021

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles (Instant Pot)

These Vietnamese-style pork meatballs, mixed with lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and cilantro and simmered in a sauce of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce are so full of flavor. Top everything with chopped roasted peanuts for an amazing combination of flavors. 

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles (Instant Pot)




Serve these meatballs with rice vermicelli noodles, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs, for a meal similar to Bun Cha, a popular street food in Hanoi. 

While bun cha meatballs are often grilled, I made these in the Instant Pot, browning them in the pot using the Sear function, and then cooking them through in a delicious sauce of lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste. 

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs




These meatballs are more like tiny flavored hamburgers than meatballs, in that you don't add any fillers or binding agents such as breadcrumbs or egg. Definitely use pork with a higher fat percentage. I like to grind my own from pork shoulder. 

How to Grind Pork (or other Meat) for Burgers and Meatballs:


While I have a meat grinding attachment for my stand mixer, I prefer to use my food processor. It's just so much easier and I can control how finely ground the meat is. 

First, cut the pork into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes and spread them out over a sheet pan or plate. Do not trim any of the fat. The fat adds to the flavor of the meatballs. 

Freeze the cubes for 30 minutes, and then pulse them, in batches, 30 pulses per batch, in the food processor. 

To Assemble the Meatballs:


Toss together the ground pork, some minced lemongrass, minced garlic, minced shallots, chopped cilantro, cornstarch, salt, sugar, black pepper, and some oyster sauce. 

Next, form the mixture into one inch balls, gently squish them to very slightly flatten them and brown them in the bottom of your Instant Pot using the Sear function. 

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs ingredients




The sauce is a version of Nuoc Cham, a common Vietnamese dipping sauce. I used half of it for braising the meatballs, and reserved the other half for dipping. 

It's sweet, salty, and sour all at the same time, plus, I like it with a little bit of heat. It's fabulous as a dipping sauce for dumplings. 

The ingredients in the sauce include fish sauce. If you're not familiar with it, it carries more umami than soy sauce. I keep a bottle in my fridge for whenever I want to add a certain "something something" to a dish. 

My favorite two brands are Red Boat and Mega Chef. Recently, Red Boat has shown up at my local Ralph's. I still have to go to an Asian supermarket to find Mega Chef. P.S. Their oyster sauce is also amazing. 

Fish sauce and sambal oelek





How to Serve Bun Cha:


Serve these meatballs with rice vermicelli noodles cooked according to the package directions. 

On the side, serve the Nuok Cham, fresh lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced onions, some chilies, fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil.

If you have some pickled red onions and carrots, they would be delicious too. 


Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles serving suggestion




There are two ways you can serve these meatballs. You can either divide the meatballs among 4 plates and set out the noodles, sauce, and veggies. Your guests can grab a little bit of everything and add it to their plate, and then grab some noodles, dunk them in the sauce, and then try to combine a bit of everying in their mouth. 

Another option is to fill each plate with noodles, veggies, and herbs, and set the sauce in the middle of the table. Guests can pour as much as they want over their noodles and then attempt to grab a little bit over every ingredient in every bite. It's totally worth the effort. 


Be sure to check out the rest of the Multi Cooker Monday bloggers recipes for June. We have recipes using both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot. 


Multicooker Monday

Recipes using small kitchen appliances



Instant Pot Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles





Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles (Instant Pot)

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Rice Noodles (Instant Pot)
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 45 Min
These Vietnamese-style pork meatballs, mixed with lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and cilantro and simmered in a sauce of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce are so full of flavor. Top everything with chopped roasted peanuts for an amazing combination of flavors.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • !/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste such as Sambal Oelek
To Serve
  • 2 cups shredded crispy lettuce, such as iceberg or romaine
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli, cooked according to the package directions, drained, and rinsed in cold water
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 2 cups herbs, loosely packed, such as cilantro, mint, and Thai basil
  • Chopped roasted peanuts
  • Thinly sliced chilies
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

To Make the Meatballs
  1. Combine all of the meatball ingredients, except the oil and form the  mixture into 16 1-inch balls. 
  2. Heat the oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot on the SAUTÉ function and add the meatballs. Sear the meatballs about 4 minutes on one side and then 2 minutes on the other side. Press CANCEL. 
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a one cup liquid measuring cup. 
  4. Remove 1/3 cup of the sauce ingredients and mix it with 1/3 cup of water and add it to the Instant Pot. Save the rest of the sauce for serving. 
  5. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot with a spatula. 
  6. Lock the lid of your Instant Pot and set it to MANUAL and cook on high for 5 minutes with the steam release valve set to seal. When the meatballs are done, let it release naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release and removing the lid. 
To Assemble the Plates
  1. Divide the lettuce, noodles, carrots, onions, and herbs among 4 bowls. 
  2. Top the noodles with the meatballs, 4 per plate, along with all of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. 
  3. Serve with the reserved sauce on the side to pass at the table. 
meatballs,
Main dish
Vietnamese
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This recipe was adapted from Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals

Would you like to comment?

  1. This sounds amazing. I always pull out my kitchen aid meat grinder but I guess next time I'll try the food processor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally in love with this, Karen!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How funny that we both made dishes with rice noodles!

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  3. That looks so good and delicious!

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  4. Oh my goodness these look fabulously flavorful!

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