Love Letter: Nem Nuong at Quan Nem Ninh Hoa


Quan Nem Ninh Hua has gotten mucho mucho mucho props in the press, mostly for the dac biet nem nuong dish for which it is rightly known, but I still feel like it should get more business. There are plenty of peeps there when I go, but any empty table in this place is one too many.

I mean, look at that spread! And it’s cheap! And they now let you split the order in half if you don’t have two people (you lone wolf you). And they have chicken and fish available as the meats AND in the meal for two you can have choose two.

This time we did something unprecedented and instead of splitting between the excellent, turmeric-colored chicken skewers and the nem nuong (ground pork skewers), we got all chicken. Mistake! Even though the chicken is delicious enough to merit being half the meat, the nem nuong is really what it’s all about, Alfie. This is the point where the person in the know stops reading and writes in the comments that it’s not turmeric, it’s something else. Write away, I always like to learn!

Also, since we didn’t get any nem nuong we didn’t get any of the tiny, precious, foil-wrapped exploding flavor nuggets known as nem chua. It’s a fermented pork sausage with one piece of raw garlic and dried chili in each.

You start by rotating the rice wrapper in this dealy. When I first started going to Quan Nem you just soaked it in a bowl of water but now this high tech device exists.


I am never very skillful at making the rolls (see the squiggly butt end of this one). I love that peanutty, sweet, glutinous, dried shrimp-y sauce.


I also line the wrap with these smushed chilies, which is thrilling at the time but can lead to some major sting ring. I never let that stop me.

Quan Nem Ninh Hoa
6450 Stockton Blvd.
open every day 9-9

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