October 10, 2021

Vietnamese American Lamb Meatballs


Prep Time

-- min

Cook Time

15 min

Total Time

-- min



Vietnamese American Lamb Meatballs in a bowl with fesh veggies, noodles, and chopsticks



  • 1 pound ground American Lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil 

Nuoc Cham Dressing

  • 1 red chile, medium spice, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey 


  • 8 ounces rice noodles, cooked
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage
  • Basil (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Carrots, grated (optional)
  • Peanuts (optional)


For the Meatballs: In a medium bowl, add lamb, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, jalapeño, salt, ginger, five-spice and pepper. With a wet hand, mix to combine. Form into 16 balls; set aside. 

In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add meatballs, being careful not to overcrowd; lightly brown on all sides. Once brown, reduce heat to low; continue cooking until cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place on paper towel lined-plate; blot.  

For the Nuoc Cham Dressing: In a bowl, add chile, lime juice, water, fish sauce, and sugar; mix well. 

To serve: Assemble bowls dividing noodles, bell pepper, cucumber, cabbage, meatballs, fresh herbs and lime wedges. Spoon Nuoc Cham Dressing over top of noodles and veggies; serve immediately.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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