Nem lui (pork lemongrass skewers) is one of the most beloved Huế specialties by tourists. The dish, despite its humble name, has an irresistible, delicious flavor. Although nem lui can be found in many places, only in Hue can you experience its truly distinctive taste.

The ingredients for making this are simple. Minced pork, thinly sliced pork skin, and diced pork fat are seasoned with spices. Then, they are rolled into long shapes, skewered on small bamboo sticks, and grilled over a hot charcoal fire. While nem lui in other places is often served with sweet and sour fish sauce, nem lui in Hue is dipped in “leo” sauce. This sauce is rich, thick, and flavorful and is considered the soul of the dish.

1.Ingredients

If you are planning on making nem lui at home, then be sure to save this article. This will be the recipe and instructions for making nem lui in the traditional Hue style.

1.1 For the Nem Lui Hue

  • 500g ground pork shoulder
  • 50g pork fat
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 3 shallots, 2 garlic
  • Seasonings: fish sauce, sugar, pepper, salt
Pork lemongrass skewers - Nem Lui Hue
Pork lemongrass skewers – Nem Lui Hue

1.2 For the Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • Fish sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Miwon Broth mix
  • Sugar, pepper, salt
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rice flour
  • Oil
Pork lemongrass skewers - Nem Lui Hue
Pork lemongrass skewers – Nem Lui Hue

2. Directions

2.1 For the Nem Lui Hue

Step 1: First, we cut the pork, pork rind, and pork fat into small pieces and grind them together.

Step 2: Next, we finely chop the garlic and onion and add them to the ground pork.

Step 3: 

Then, we add the ground pork, pork rind, pork fat, garlic, onion, and chili peppers to a large bowl.

We season it with fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and salt to taste.

We mix well to combine all of the ingredients and marinate the meat for 2 hours.

Step 4: After 2 hours, the meat is well-seasoned. We take enough meat to roll it into a long, cylindrical shape. We skewer it onto a small bamboo skewer.

Step 5: Bring the meat just made to grill over medium heat with charcoal. Grill the hands to ensure that the meat is cooked and golden brown on all sides.

Pork lemongrass skewers - Nem Lui Hue
Pork lemongrass skewers – Nem Lui Hue

2.2 For the Peanut Dipping Sauce

Hue nem lui sauce is an essential part of this dish. The sauce has a rich, thick, and delicious flavor, and is considered the soul of the dish.

Step 1: Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil. Add enough garlic to brown and crisp.

Step 2: Add fish sauce, sugar, broth mix, peanut butter, and a little cornstarch to the oil. Cook the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Step 3: Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Pork lemongrass skewers - Nem Lui Hue
Pork lemongrass skewers – Nem Lui Hue

3. How to eat Nem lui Hue

Nem Lui Hue, the flavorful grilled pork lemongrass skewers, are a staple of Hue cuisine. But eating them goes beyond simply popping them in your mouth. It’s an experience that involves fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and interactive assembly. Here’s how to savor Nem Lui Hue like a local.

The ingredients to eat with nem lui are rice paper, fresh herbs, cucumber, carrots, and green mangoes. To assemble, place a large layer of fresh herbs on a rice paper wrapper. Top with a piece of nem lui. Add cucumber, carrots, and green mangoes (if desired). Roll up the rice paper wrapper and dip it in fish sauce. Nem lụi is best enjoyed when it is hot.

Pork lemongrass skewers - Nem Lui Hue
Pork lemongrass skewers – Nem Lui Hue