Gỏi Ngó Xen Tai Heo Chua Ngọt – Vietnamese Lotus Salad with Pickled Pig Ears Recipe

Serving size: 1 party tray (I doubled up ingredients to make two trays for my friends and me.)

Prep time: This is labor intensive for one person to make alone so the more help, the faster the prep time. Prep time will varies but I would say at least two hours with multiple help. I made this pictorial recipe into a two-days cook and prep instruction for me to refer back.

Intro: My friend Hung and his wife Thanh Nguyễn in Orlando let me try this version of their salad. My husband and I like eating this Vietnamese lotus salad with pickled pig ears so much that I had to learn how to make it. I have prepped and made Vietnamese lotus shrimp and squid salad before but it is my first time making the pickled pig ears and tongue version.

Important Notes: This is a time consuming Vietnamese salad to make so I would prep at least a party tray size to share with my friends. For this recipe, I broken down the steps into two days. The recipe for this Vietnamese salad also involves three other recipes that I have documented and needs to be prepped before putting this salad together. If the steps are confusing, feel free to contact or comment your questions below. I typed the steps in the order I did to help me remember.
1. Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon Recipe

2. Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce Recipe

3. Vietnamese Pickled Pig Ears with Calomondin and Lemongrass Recipe


For the nước mắm chua ngọt (Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce): Refer to my recipe for instructions.

  • 1.5 cup filtered water
  • 3/4 cup distilled vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1+ Chili peppers to preference

For the Pickled Carrots and Daikon: Refer to my pictorial recipe

  • 1 daikon (I used two Green Shouler Korean daikon.)
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • water

For the Pickled Pig Ears with Calomondin and Lemongrass: Refer to my recipe

  • 1.5 lb pig ears
  • 7 Tbsp Viet Huong fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 1/3 cup filtered water

For the salad:

  • 2 jars 24-oz pickled lotus roots
  • 4 pig tongues (2 lb)
  • 5 crunchy cucumbers (about 5-inches each)
  • 4 cups leaves of rau râm herb (Vietnamese Coriander)
  • 1/2 cup roasted crushed peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fried shallots
  • 1 lb shallots
  • 1/2 quart Pickled Carrots and Daikons
  • 1/2 quart Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce
  • 1 quart Vietnamese Pickled Pig Ears with Calamondin and Lemongrass

Note: I doubled up ingredients to make two party trays.

Day One Direction:

Notes: Grocery shopping at the Asian markets and cooking the meats took one day. I bought the pig ears and pig tongues at Enson market in Orlando, Florida.

Step 1: Prep the pigs ears: Remove from packaging trays and rinse the pig years. Place the pig ears in a large bowl with half cup white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of salt and filled up with water to cover the ears. Soak it in this solution for 30 minutes. Refer to Pickled Pig Ears with Calomondin and Lemongrass

Step 2. Prep Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce: In a 4-quart pot, bring 1.5 cups of water, 1/2 cup Viet Huong fish sauce, and 1/2 cup white sugar to a boil on medium high heat. While waiting for the mixture to boil, minced half a garlic bulb and chop some Thai chili peppers into fine pieces. Once the sauce mixture boils, turn off the heat. Pour in the minced garlic and chili pepper. Add in one tablespoon of vinegar OR lime juice or a mix of calamondin juice to enhanced the flavor. Set aside to let it cool down and store the sauce in the fridge or on the counter in an airtight container.

Step 3: Prep one quart of pickled carrots and daikon. My kids use the shredder attachment for the Artisan Kitchen Aid standing mixer to shred the carrots and daikons. Then store it in the fridge for Day Two. My kids got to play with our newest kitchen toy, the Kitchen Aid shredder attachment works wonder shredding the carrots and daikon. Shred enough carrots and daikons to fill up 3/4th of the quart container. Then add in a half cup vinegar and a half cup sugar. Fill the remaining with a water bottle or filtered water. Store in fridge until the next day.

insert second collage

Step 4: Cooking and prepping the pig earsPickled Pig Ears with Calomondin and Lemongrass:

Rinse the pig ears form the salt and vinegar solution. In a 10 quart pot, put in lemongrass stalks, half a pound of peeled shallots, and pig ears and filled with water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook the pig ears for thirty minutes on constant medium heat. Once done, remove pig ears into a big bowl of ice water. This will prevent the discoloration of the pig ears and gives it a firm crunchy texture. Slice the pig ears into thin strips. You will need a very sharp knife to help you slice it. My husband took over this task. NOTE: Do not discard the pot of the liquid the pig ears was cooking in.

Step 5: Cooking and prepping the pig tongues

Put the pig tongue into the pot and cook it for 30 minutes at this time. It’s my first time cooking with pig tongue. I like the texture of pig tongue in Vietnamese salads. The texture is similar like chicken hearts but more meaty to me. Once the pig tongues are done, submerge it in ice water until it cools down. The liquid can be discarded since we are done with the cooking part for this recipe. Carefully cut out the outer layering of the pig tongues. That’s what the homecooks tell me to do in the A Taste of Vietnamese Homecooking group on Facebook said.

Step 6. Empty the pickled lotus into a colander. Discard the brine. Thinly slice the lotus stems at a diagonal angle to form strips about 2 to 3 inches long. The thinner you slice it, the better. I had my husband helped me perform this step. I hate slicing lotus roots. It feels like an eternity. 😂 Store the sliced lotus stems in a container in the fridge for Day Two.

Step 7: Roast, shelled, and crush the peanuts. Remember to let the hot roasted peanuts to cool down first before rubbing and removing the skin off. Store in airtight container until ready to serve. My little man likes helping me crush the peanuts. You can cheat your way out just buying the already unsalted peanuts I guess. I don’t like the oily smell in some old peanut jar.

Day 2 Direction: Final prepping and putting the lotus salad together

Step 8: Pick the leaves off the rau râm stems and wash it. Chop the leaves into thirds.

Step 9: Partially peel the cucumbers, core it, and slice it diagonally like shown in picture. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoon sugar, and two cups filtered water. Add the sliced cucumber in and set aside for about thirty minutes.

Step 10: Take the container of shredded lotus out and use your two hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Step 11: Putting the Vietnamese Lotus and Pickled Pig Ears Salad together

In a large party tray, add in the chopped Vietnamese coriander, lotus, cucumber, and pickled pig ears and sliced pig tongue. Take the quart container of pickled shredded daikon and carrots from the fridge out and drain out the brine. Squeeze the liquid out of the carrots and daikon just like you did with the lotus. (I wear latex gloves when doing this.) Add this to the party tray. Wearing gloves, mix the ingredients together. When ready to serve, drizzle about one cup of the sweet and sour fish sauce evenly onto the salad tray. Top the salad with fried shallots and crushed roasted peanuts. Mix the salad again. Set the jar of Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce mixture next to the tray for guests to add in. Enjoy! My Thai/Lao/Vietnamese friends devoured this salad quick.

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