Lai Vung: Delicious traditional fermented pork roll (nem chua) dishes

One of the most famous traditional dishes of Lai Vung District in the Mekong Delta is Nem Chua (Fermented pork roll), which impresses a lot of people and visitors from all over the world.


Vietnamese fermented pork roll (Nem Chua) is a meat roll with a sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste which makes the mouth salivates with each bite. Vietnamese fermented pork roll possesses the local character of each region of Vietnam, due to the differing ingredients and sauces used.

It is the reason why it becomes the Traditional Vietnamese Food. Most versions of Vietnamese fermented pork roll can be distinguished by their name, which is usually named after the area it originated from, such as Thanh Hoa, Dong Ba fermented pork roll in the ancient royal capital of Hue, and Ninh Hoa fermented pork roll in Khanh Hoa Province, Yen Mac fermented pork roll in Ninh Binh Province, etc.

Photo: VOVTV
Photo: VOVTV

In the Lai Vung District of the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, the locals take pride in their fermented pork roll recipe, which has been passed down through many generations. Called “ Lai Vung fermented pork roll ” after the district, it became more widely known in 1975 when a local woman, Tu Man, made fermented pork roll for visitors. She used pork, but she also used pig liver, and then ground them into a mixture with rice, shrimp meat and seasonings.

To make this Traditional Vietnamese Food, the main ingredient is pork thigh. It is made from minced pork, sliced pigskin and a mixture of seasoning and garlic. These contents are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with aromatic, fresh leaves (usually in banana leaves) into small, boxy rolls before being stored for natural fermentation process for three to five days in a cool place before eating.

Lai Vung-style fermented pork rolls (Illustrative photo)
Lai Vung-style fermented pork rolls (Illustrative photo)

It takes many steps to make a fermented pork roll. To make a roll, people have to grind fresh pork, slice skin, and then blend a mixture of grinded pork, sliced skin, pepper and chili and some other seasonings. This mixture must follow a strict ratio: 80% of pork : 20% of skin and wrapped in fresh banana leaves. This step of rolling this mixture asks for skillful hands because it must be wrapped not too thick or too thin, not too tight or too loose. After that people will ferment wrapped pork and skin in 3 or 4 days. Lai Vung fermented pork rolls have natural sour flavor. The fleshy flavor of pork, crispy of skin, a bit spicy of pepper and chili combine to make the special and tasty flavor of Lai Vung fermented pork roll.

While many people prefer the more traditional method of preparation for fermented pork roll, others enjoy a grilled and unfermented variety of fermented pork roll. Both traditional and grilled fermented pork roll are usually served with uncooked sliced garlic and fish sauce. Whereas fish sauce adds saltiness and spiciness, some prefer to use chili sauce instead.

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Fermented pork roll is best Traditional Vietnamese Food to the expatriate community and international tourists who have taken an interest in Vietnamese cuisine in recent years. When you visit these places, you can buy it as gifts to your friends and family. Moreover, you can buy to eat after come back hometown. Good Luck to your trip and make use you took note this dish on your notebook.

How to make Vietnamese fermented pork roll


• 1 pound lean pork, rince, slide and grind well

• 1/2 pound pork skin, rince in warm water and squeeze out excessive water and let dry, slice as thinly as possible

• 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and minced White peppercorns, wash and soak in water for about 10 mins, let dry

• 2 fresh hot peppers

• 1 bag of seasoning Nem mix (Found in Asian Grocery stores and contains salts and nitrites for curing)

• 3 spoons of sugar

• Banana leafs, thaw and wash carefully


Photo: Eva
Photo: Eva

1. In mixing bowl, combine ground pork, sliced pork skin, sugar minced garlic, peppercorns, sliced hot peppers and the seasoning Nem mix. Squeeze.

2. Divide the mixture into small equal parts

3. Wrap each part with fresh banana leaves into small boxy rolls

4. After 24 hours, fermented pork rolls are ready to be served. Put them in refrigerator to use in the next three days.

Requirements: The finished “Nem chua” should have a light pink color and a sour, sweet, salty and spicy smell and taste. “Nem chua” are usually served with fresh sliced garlic and chilli sauce.