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Vietnamese Pork Skewers ~ Bun Cha

Two metal trays with skewers of Vietnamese pork skewers, garnished with Thai basil.
My Vietnamese pork skewers are made with fresh ingredients, a bright flavor combination from the fresh and pickled vegetables, and a zesty marinade on the pork belly. Serve with rice noodles and lots of spring roll dipping sauce for a perfect dinner.
Anne-Solenne Hatte

Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 4 hrs 15 mins
4 servings
1115 kcal


  • 4 large metal or presoaked bamboo skewers


For the pork and marinade

  • 3 to 5 shallots minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 stalk (3 ounce) lemongrass minced
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil plus more for cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork belly (not too fatty)

For the noodles

  • 7 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) water
  • Salt

To serve

  • 16 butter lettuce leaves
  • 12 tia to Vietnamese perilla leaves (or substitute basil)
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup sliced cucumber
  • 2/3 cup pickled carrots
  • 2/3 cup pickled onions
  • 16 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • Spring roll dipping sauce for serving


Make the pork and marinade

  • In a medium bowl, combine shallots, garlic, and lemongrass. Stir in fish sauce, sugar, 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, and pepper.
  • Pat meat dry with paper towels, remove the layer of fat and cut meat into 1/2-inch thick (12-mm) slices. Add pork to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  • Thread marinated pork onto four skewers, leaving some space between each slice.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, heat some sunflower oil and cook pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Alternatively, cook them directly on a grill, over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare the noodles

  • While the pork is cooking, fill a large saucepan with 4 1/4 cups cold water. Add noodles, a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook according to package directions. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse in cold water.

Serve the pork skewers

  • Serve skewers with noodles, lettuce, tia to, mint, cucumbers, pickled carrots, pickled onions, cilantro, and spring roll dipping sauce.