Meatballs chargrilled in caul fat

Meatballs chargrilled in caul fat

Boulettes grilées à la graisse de crépine de porc

Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

Caul fat is a translucent lace of fat membrane from the stomach lining of a pig. I use it here to wrap the meatballs, as it melts during cooking, providing extra moisture and flavour to the dish. Ask your butcher for it.


Quantity Ingredient
20g dried glass noodles, (see glossary)
100g caul fat
sliced spring onion, to garnish
Nuoc mam cham dipping sauce, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
300g minced beef
100g chicken livers, cleaned and chopped
2 quail egg yolks
75g frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped red asian shallots
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons Fried garlic
1 teaspoon white peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Wrapping ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 green oak lettuce leaves
1/2 bunch perilla, leaves picked, (see glossary)
1/2 bunch vietnamese mint, leaves picked


  1. Put the noodles in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Drain well, then cut into 5 mm lengths, using kitchen scissors.
  2. Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add all the meatball ingredients and mix together well. With oiled hands, mould the mixture into six evenly sized balls.
  3. Season the caul fat with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cut into six pieces. Lay a sheet of caul fat on a chopping board or work surface, place a meatball in the middle and wrap it up in the caul. Repeat with the remaining meatballs and caul fat.
  4. Place the meatballs in a metal or bamboo steamer and cover with the lid. Sit the steamer over a wok or saucepan of rapidly boiling water and steam for 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  5. Heat a chargrill pan to medium. Add the meatballs and chargrill for 3 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.
  6. Transfer to a platter and garnish with spring onion. Serve warm, with the dipping sauce and wrapping ingredients.
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