Shortcut 'Nem Nuong': Vietnamese Meatball Spring Rolls

Nem Nuong are traditionally Vietnamese grilled pork meatballs or patties.  They can be eaten over a bowl of vermicelli noodles or rice, over a simple salad of greens and herbs, or rolled up in rice paper wrappers.  Basically you have the meatballs + some format of rice (vermicelli noodles, rice, rice paper wrappers) + lettuce + herbs + some kind of crunchies.  When making the spring rolls in rice paper wrappers, they are dipped in a savory peanut/hoisin sauce.  Nem nuong cuon (rolls) are super refreshing and tasty and a great alternative to anyone tired of shrimp filled spring rolls. 

Because making them actually does require a lot of different components, I learned a trick from my mom to get dinner on the table on a weeknight, after work, on time, and....I use store bought chicken teriyaki and pineapple meatballs from Costco! Ok, I admitted it! I didn't actually make the main part of this dish.  But that's what makes this so great! It's so delicious and you still have to prep all the other components so I don't feel all that guilty.  And Costco teriyaki meatballs are delicious.  Haha.  These are the ones they sell:  By using this shortcut, we actually got to eat dinner within 1 hour of me getting off of work.  And that included the time it takes me to shower and change into PJ's, feed our pets, and check Instagram.  You know, all those things that are necessary when you get home before you can even THINK about dinner.

Nem Nuong Cuon Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Meatballs
4 servings

  • 12 oz package of Aidells teriyaki and pineapple chicken meatballs
  • 4 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 package spring roll wrappers, bahn trang
  • 1 flat of vermicelli rice noodles, bun
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half and made into long wedges
  • romaine or red leaf lettuce
  • herbs such as Thai basil, mint, cilantro
  • roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbs. Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs. peanut (or other nut) butter

  1. Prepare a deep fryer or pot with about 1" of oil over medium-high heat.  Cut egg roll wrappers in half.  Roll each piece up like an unfilled burrito or egg roll.   Fry until golden brown on all sides and drain on paper towels.
  2. Boil vermicelli noodles according to directions and drain well.  Cook meatballs according to directions.  Cut meatballs in half.
  3. Wash and dry cucumber, lettuce, and herbs and place on a plate.  
  4. Make the dipping sauce by mixing Hoisin sauce and nut butter and adding about 1 tsp. of water to thin out.
  5. To assemble rolls: Dip 1 spring roll wrapper in a bowl of warm water. Gently shake or "squeegee" off any excess water with your fingers.  Place on a clean plate.  Place a small amount of each component as desired.  Starting about 1/4 the way up from the bottom, I like to layer the lettuce, then herbs, cucumber, then  vermicelli noodles, fried egg roll wrapper, meatballs, top with peanuts (or skip if you're allergic like me), and a small dab of the dipping sauce in my roll.  Roll up the bottom, then sides, and continue rolling until done.  Enjoy with the dipping sauce!
  • Alternatives: Skip the spring roll and make a bowl up over some vermicelli noodles or rice.  Or skip all the carbs and make a salad!


  1. Love the shortcut you made with this dish! I had never heard of Nem Nuong before, but if there's one Vietnamese food I love it's spring rolls dipped in peanut sauce.


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