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Shrimp and Pork Meatball Wraps with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts
Prep time 1 hr
Yield Serves 6 as an appetizer (makes 18 to 20 meatballs)
For extra-crispy meatballs, roll them in panko before pan-frying; you'll need a little more oil.


  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha red chili sauce
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, tails removed, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • About 20 medium butter lettuce leaves (from 2 heads)
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded daikon radish, preferably shredded with a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot, preferably shredded with a mandoline

Nutrition Information

  • calories 174
  • caloriesfromfat 49 %
  • protein 13 g
  • fat 9.7 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • carbohydrate 9.4 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • sodium 497 mg
  • cholesterol 71 mg

How to Make It

  1. Make sauce: In a bowl, stir together all ingredients until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

  2. Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine egg white, onions, cilantro, ginger, pepper, salt, and cabbage. Stir in panko. Add shrimp and pork, breaking up with your fingers, and mix well with your hands. Chill until mixture is firm enough to shape, about 15 minutes. With wet hands, roll meat mixture into 1 1/2-in. balls.

  3. Heat oil in a heavy 12-in. frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs until well browned all over, turning as needed, 8 to 10 minutes total. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towels, then to a platter.

  4. Serve with lettuce leaves, dipping sauce, and daikon and carrot.

  5. Mastering meatballs. They sound rustic, but they're delicate things that suffer from over-handling. Here are tips for making them come out right.

  6. Mixing: Always start by mixing the bread crumbs (which keep the meatballs from getting tough), any liquids, and seasonings—then add the meat. Stop when the mixture looks evenly blended; don't overwork it.

  7. Forming: Dampen your hands with cold water to keep the meat mixture from sticking while you roll it into balls. If it's still sticky, let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge.

  8. Browning: A good crust helps meatballs retain their shape—important if they're going to simmer in a thick sauce. If you plan to eat them on their own or add them to broth, though, a light pan-frying will do the trick.

  9. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.