Vietnamese Pork Salad

At the food hall in David Jones in the city, they have this amazing vietnamese pork salad that I normally end up having once a week.  Actually, all their salads are amazing, but this one is my favourite.  The prices aren’t too bad either, at $8.50 for a small salad they stuff the container full, to the point where I think they might not be able to close the lid.  But this week, I thought I might try and recreate the pork salad at home, and here is what I came up with.  The dressing is similar to the sauce that I tried at Apple Daily a couple of days ago, a sweet and salty sauce called Nuoc Cham. I was a bit lazy with the sauce and used already minced garlic and chilli flakes, because I had forgotten about the dressing when I went to the shops, and I just could not be bothered going back.  Forgive me! 



  • 500g pork mince
  • 1/2 red cabbage 
  • 1/2 green cabbage
  • 1 red chilli (or two if you’re feeling brave)
  • Spring onion, to taste
  • 1 large bunch of coriander
  • A handful of peanuts

Nuoc Cham Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons of chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 100ml fish sauce
  • 100g of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Juice of 2 limes


  1. Make the dressing by making a paste out of the chilli and garlic in a mortar and pestle.  This wont work as well if you have used minced garlic and chilli flakes like I did.  I persevered anyway, because it made me feel more legitimate. 
  2. Put this in a bowl with all the other dressing ingredients, stir until sugar dissolves.  
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and cook the pork until just cooked. Add about 3/4 of your dressing, turn down the heat, and allow the sauce to reduce
  4. Chop up the cabbage, chilli, spring onion, coriander, and peanuts, and put it all in a bowl.  I chopped up the chilli and shook it up in a container because there was a lot of seeds stuck to the chilli, and I didn’t want a huge mouthful of them. 
  5. Once the sauce has reduced, pop the pork into the salad and pour the rest of the dressing on top.


Pretty colourful cabbage!


My mortar and pestle was a bit of a fail


Feelin’ hot hot hot!


Chilli, spring onion, coriander


Dispersed seeds for palate safety





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