Nem Lui – a taste from Vietnam’s ancient capital

Hue is well-known as Vietnam’s historic capital, thanks to its rich history, must-see tourist attractions, and people’s basic way of life. Because it was Vietnam’s old capital, many foods were prepared specifically for royalty. Come to Hue to sample dishes that you won’t find anyplace else in Vietnam.

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In the Central region of Vietnam, Nem Lui (Grilled ground pork on stick) is a popular dish. Hue’s grilled ground pork on stick stand out among the numerous regional meat recipes for their innovative use of fresh vegetables and great sauces. Because it is a Hue specialty, you can easily find and try it there.


Nem Lui Hue is a delicious dish to try in any Hue traditional restaurant. Apart from the fact that it was only served the royalty, little is known about the origins of this dish. Hundreds of years later, it’s made its way to the street food scene and is one of the most popular local dishes, competing with Bun Bo Hue, Banh Beo, Banh Loc, Bun Thit Nuong,…


The meat here is leaner and more flavorful than what you’d find in other cities since most of the cooks utilize free-range pork obtained from small farms. People marinade the pork for about 30 minutes after grinding the pork to a paste in a mixture of fish sauce, black pepper and onion before cooking it over charcoal.


After marinating, the meat is twisted into a sausage shape around a skewer of lightly crushed lemongrass, which imparts the meat with its excellent scent and flavor. The meet skewers are lightly browned on the charcoal grill after being coated with vegetable oil. Cooking nem lui on a charcoal grill imparts a fantastic smokiness and intensifies the flavor, thanks to rendered fat dropping from the meat onto the charcoal and returning flavor to the meat.

Nuoc Leo (peanut dipping sauce), which is produced according to a special Hue recipe, is the dish’s main attraction. Pork liver or pork flesh, peanut butter, fermented soya bean, pound roasted peanut, and sesame seeds are used to prepare this sauce.


The fresh fruit and veggies (such as lettuce, cucumber, green mango, star fruit, pickled carrot and green papaya) on the side come from local gardens as well. When the spread is ready, grab a piece of rice paper and top it with fresh herbs and nem lui, roll it up, and dip it in the peanut dipping sauce. Let’s enjoy an amazing flavor.


  • Hanh Restaurant, 11 Pho Duc Chinh street , Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City
  • Hong Mai restaurant, 78  Dinh Tien Hoang street, Thuan Thanh Ward, Hue City
  • Tai Phu restaurant, 2 Dien Bien Phu street, Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue City
  • Ba Ty, 81 Dao Duy Tu Street, Phu Binh Ward, Hue City
  • Me Theo restaurant, 64 Ba Trieu, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City
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