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Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun

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  • Prep 40 min
  • Total 40 min
  • Servings 3
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A cold noodle salad with sweet meatballs.
by: The Food in My Beard
Updated Mar 21, 2017
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  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup water


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 3 Thai green chilies


  • 14 oz rice vermicelli
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • Chopped handful mint
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 bunch scallions


  • 1
    Bring water to a boil.
  • 2
    Meanwhile make the meatballs. Mix the pork, tablespoon of sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, minced garlic, and salt. Form small meatballs.
  • 3
    When the water boils, pour over the noodles and let sit about 20 minutes.
  • 4
    Brown the meatballs in a hot frying pan. When they are fully browned, remove from the pan. Don't clean out the pan.
  • 5
    In the same pan, add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Stir to dissolve, then allow it to cook on high without stirring until it becomes very browned and bubbly. This is caramel.
  • 6
    Add the final cup of water and stir to combine. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook in the caramel sauce for 15 minutes.
  • 7
    For the Dressing, prepare the lemongrass. Remove the stringy woody layers until you get the tender center. Chop the lemongrass into small pieces. Chop the chiles into thin rounds. Bring the water to a simmer and add the lemongrass sugar and chiles. Let this sit for 15 minutes. Finally, add the fish sauce.
  • 8
    Strain and rinse the noodles.
  • 9
    Chop the peanuts, mint, cucumber, scallions and lettuce. Grate the carrots with a box grater.
  • 10
    Place the noodles in the bowl first, arrange the rest of the ingredients around the noodles in the bowl. Serve with the sauce on the side and lots of sriracha!

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Growing up as a somewhat picky eater, I really missed out on some amazing food that was right under my nose. I lived down the street from one of the largest Vietnamese communities in New England, but I didn't have my first taste of Vietnamese food until about a year ago! Now whenever I am visiting home, my sister and I try and stop in to one of the local restaurants for some Vietnamese delights. Most people go right to Pho, a hot soup that is the favorite Vietnamese option for many, but I always search the Bun section of the menu for cold noodles and exotic grilled meats. This Vietnamese Bun recipe looks daunting, with lots of ingredients and writing, but it is actually a fairly quick and easy dish and makes for an amazing weekend lunch. The main work is cooking the sweet and savory meatballs, known as Xiu Mai in Vietnamese, and as Vietnameatballs by me.
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