Recipe: Ground Pork in Tomato Sauce (Heo Sốt Cà Chua)

This is one of my childhood’s favorite dishes. I was so happy to find the recipe. It’s the Vietnamese version of spaghetti … to be enjoyed on a bed of rice and shredded lettuce. 🙂


1 small head of soft leaf lettuce, fine shredded
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths (or more if you like scallions like me)
1/2 cup shredded mint leaves
1 cup whole coriander leaves
2 table spoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground pork (or ground turkey)
1 table spoon sugar
3 tablespoons nước mắm (Vietnamese fish sauce)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large onion, slivered
3 large ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded & diced
1 cup chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper
Nước Chắm


Combine shredded lettuce, scallions, mint, and coriander in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the “Nước Chắm” (recipe below). Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add ground pork (or ground turkey) and fry, breaking up the lumps, for 8 minutes. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the meat to a bowl and set it aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. Add garlic and onion and fry until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Return pork to the skillet, along with the broth, tomato paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Simmer, stir occasionally, for 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, sprinkle with black pepper.

Serve over a bed of rice and shredded lettuce with Nước Chắm.

Nước Chắm Recipe

2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 small fresh red chili pepper, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup of nước mắm (Vietnamese fish sauce)
1/4 cup of hot water

Combine garlic, chili pepper, and sugar in a mortar. Pound with a pestle to a fine paste. Add lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, and 1/4 cup of water. Stir to blend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s