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Vietnamese-Style Meatball Lettuce Wraps

4 Servings

35 minutes

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Vietnamese meatballs are often skewered and grilled, but for a quick weeknight meal, a skillet does a fine job. You could serve these over steamed rice or rice vermicelli, but we liked them with herbs and lettuce leaves for wrapping, along with a lime juice and fish sauce mixture for drizzling. They're also a great filling for Vietnamese báhn mì sandwiches.




Don't be timid when mixing the pork; you want to vigorously stir it to compact it. This creates a pleasantly springy texture in the meatballs.

35 minutes


  • 3

    teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

  • 1

    pound ground pork


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Alicia E.
May 1, 2024
Made as written. Just delicious. May add some garlic to the meatballs or sauce next go around. A keeper.
Mel S.
October 10, 2023
Good and delicious
I love to just throw these over slices cucumbers and use the sauce as a kind of salad dressing.
Chelsea C.
January 24, 2023
Even the tots loved them
My favorite part of this recipe is the lime/fish sauce marinated chilliest and carrots. Goes fantastic with sea food. I keep a jar of it, basically “pickled” carrots and serranos. Top it on anything needing a bright brine-y pop. I Air fry these meatballs one tray at a time at 360 for 10-15 minutes, depending on size and oven. 👌
Caitlin S.

Do you think the meatballs could be mixed a day in advance then cooked the the next day?

Maude T.

Was wondering the same… Don’t see why not, if they are wrapped correctly.

Lynn C.

Hi Caitlin and Maude -

Absolutely! Just may take a little longer to cook through since they will be much colder.

The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Caitlin and Maude -

Absolutely! Just may take a little longer to cook through since they will be much colder.

The Milk Street Team

Kyt B.

This is really good, very flavorful, added shredded cucumber to the carrots, will definitely make again.

Susan T.

Really good - exceeded expectations! Had ground beef in freezer, so used that instead of pork. The carrots really give it crispness.

Brooke D.

I made these for my family tonight. I am a software engineer & my wife is a trained chef who worked in one of the best kitchens in the world. I'm not sure whether this is a compliment but my girls suggested that I start a food truck and make these for everyone all of the time. Either way, they were delicious, easy to make & great for a weeknight dinner

Erika V.

Omg, my husband said the same re: the food truck

Laura H.

These are really flavorful. We added a serrano to the meatballs and were happy we did!

Emily B.

This recipe did not disappoint. We had the meatballs with rice, and they would be delicious as bahn mi sandwiches too.

Christina S.

One of my go to meals, incredibly flavorful and satisfying! I also baked them instead of flying, so easy.

Christina S.

One of my go to meals, incredibly flavorful and satisfying! I also baked them instead of flying, so easy.

Kelly H.

Absolutely amazing! The flavors are incredible! This recipe is going in my keeper box! So yummy as a next day salad as well!

Sarah F.

Loved this recipe! Flavors are LEGIT. Added cucumber to the carrot salad. So good - will definitely make it again.

Huyen P.

I love the flavor of these meatballs and have used them also for Bahn Mi. But I have made them twice and both time I don't think frying them at the temperature suggested cooks them fully. Both times the pork was a little undercooked. Perhaps I will try them in the oven or I wonder if an Air Fryer would work?

Darcy N.

Because of poor planning and my laziness I prepared this as a ground meat skillet rather than meatballs and it was still outstanding as a lettuce wrap filling. I even used ground turkey as that's what was available. Even my young children devoured it!

Erin R.

Would it be possible to get directions for baking the meatballs? We have tried frying as directed and just can't get it right. The outside is overcooked, the inside raw. I'm sure it's user error but baking them would really be more convenient for us too.

Lynn C.

Hi Erin -

First, are you adjusting the heat as you cook the meatballs? You want to brown the meatballs for 1-2 minutes at medium-high, but then adjust the temperature to ensure the insides cook before the outsides overcook. This may be down to medium or medium-low depending on your cooktop. If you are doing that and *still* having trouble, when you lower the temp also cover the skillet. This will create a more "oven-like" environment for the meatballs. Lastly, you can bake them in the oven. We would line a sheet tray with foil and spray with cooking spray or brush with oil. Then bake the meatballs at around 425 degrees for anywhere from 10-20 minutes. We haven't tested these meatballs in the oven so we can't give exact timing, but we would just cut one open on the early side of that time range and go from there.

The Milk Street Team