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Nem Nuong vs Thit Nuong – What’s the Difference?

Are you wondering what the difference is between two Vietnamese meat dishes like nem nuon and thit nuong ? In this post, we compare the ingredients, the preparation, and nutritional comparison between these two authentic Vietnamese meat dishes.

Nem nuong and thit nuong are two of the most popular Vietnamese dishes that are renowned for their slightly sweet, but hearty taste. In this post, I’m going to be sharing with you the main differences of each of them as well as how they are prepared and used below.

The Main Difference Between Nem Nuong and Thit Nuong

The difference between nem nuong and thit nuong is that nem nuong refers to grilled sausage whereas thit nuong is barbequed or baked meat like pork. Nem nuong literally means sausage grilled and thit nuong means meat grilled.

Both dishes are similar in that they are some of the most popular street foods, often served with pickled carrots and chopped peanuts.

Comparing These Two Popular Meat Dishes from Vietnam

Both dishes are slightly sweet due to the marinade, but absolutely delicious in their own right. They also share the same foundational dishes of vermicelli noodles or a bowl of jasmine rice. While both meats are often used as toppings, they ultimate provide a different flavor and texture profile depending on thow they are served.

Flavor Profile of Nem Nuong

nem nuong vs thit nuong

Nem nuong is a savory, smoky and sweet meat dish that is often grilled (or baked) and served along side a bowl of rice and fresh herbs and vegetables. It has a springy texture, yet heary dish due to the use of pork fat. The pork sausage has a slight coating of carmelized honey glaze that is absolutely delicious.

Flavor Profile of Thit Nuong

nem nuong vs thit nuong

Thit Nuong is a Vietnamese grilled pork that is also known as Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork or Vietnamese BBQ pork. The meat is marinated and then generally grilled to get the sweet, caramelized meat.

Everything You Wanted to Know About These Two Popular Vietnamese Meat Dishes

All About Nem Nuong

Nem nuong is made of minced pork, pork fat trimmingsbaking soda (which provides the spongy texture), sugar, fish sauce, corn starch, and curing powder.

Nem nuong is a often served hot and fresh from the grill with either rice or vermicelli noodles. You can also serve it alongside a bed of fresh lettuce, herbs, and other vegetables.

All About Thit Nuong

Thit nuong is made of pork shoulder butt, sliced thinly and marinaded generally in a mixture made of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, pepper, and sugar. 

Thit nuong is generally served in a large bowl with thin rice noodles like vermicelli noodles with fresh vegetables and herbs. It’s often served as a healthy noodle bowl that is served alongside sliced Vietnamese egg rolls and a sweet garlic chili dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Thit Nuong and Nem Nuong

Can you purchase either of these meats premade?

You can purchase nem nuong in the frozen aisle of your local Asian supermarket that are preseasoned and you would just need to heat it up. 

What’s healthier – thit nuong or nem nuong?

Thit nuong is healthier because it generally is lower in fat content. Nem nuong gets its flavor from the use of pork fat inside the sausage.

Vietnamese Dishes You Might Enjoy

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