A classic roadside dish throughout Vietnam, cooked till crispy then finished in a light broth and served with crisp lettuce.
Peel and dice the garlic, shallot and lemongrass. De-seed and chop the chilli. Pick the mint leaves, chop the mint and coriander roughly. Add all of these ingredients to a pestle and mortar or food processor, add the honey, fish sauce and palm sugar and make a paste. Work this paste into the mince. The longer you work it in the better. Form the mince into small balls, roughly 3 centimeters each. Set aside until needed.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes and refresh in cold water, drain, toss with a little peanut oil to prevent them sticking and set aside.
Peel and chop the garlic, de-seed and chop the chilli, peel and thinly slice the carrot and kohlrabi.
Put a large saucepan onto a medium heat, add the peanut oil. When hot add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes while stirring. Add the water, fish sauce, palm sugar, rice wine vinegar, salt and lime juice and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 5 minutes to infuse. Cut the lettuce into half lengthways, separate and wash.
To cook the meatballs.
Heat a char-grill or put a large frying pan onto a high heat. When hot, add the meatballs and cook for 6 minutes turning them frequently. They should caramelise and go dark brown. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes.
Place a small amount of noodles into the bottom of a bowl, add a ladle full of stock and garnish, top with a few meatballs and the sliced lettuce. Use the lettuce as a wrap for the meat.
«Try using chicken mince or chopped prawns instead of pork for different flavours.»