Mouthwatering Vietnamese pork meatball sandwich recipe

As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I am excited to share with you my recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches. These meatball banh mi sandwiches perfectly capture the unique fusion of flavors commonly found in Vietnamese dishes.

From the succulent grilled pork meatballs to the pickled vegetables and fragrant herbs, every bite is an explosion of taste and texture in your mouth. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a comforting dinner, this recipe will not disappoint.

So why not add some fun and flair to your weeknight meals with this delicious meal? It’s perfect for any occasion, easy to make, and sure to delight your taste buds!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches
Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches

Listen up, foodies! This Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwich recipe is no ordinary sandwich. It’s a culinary masterpiece that will take your taste buds on a journey to Vietnam. Why will you love this recipe, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s packed with aromatic flavors and spices that are unique to Vietnamese cuisine. Secondly, it’s the perfect fusion of sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors that will tantalize your taste buds with every bite.

The star of this sandwich is none other than the grilled pork meatballs. These meatballs are made from ground pork, onions, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice wine. They are expertly shaped into balls and grilled to perfection until they are juicy and bursting with flavor.

But wait – it doesn’t stop there. The meatballs are then nestled between a warm and crispy baguette along with pickled carrots and daikon radishes, fresh cilantro leaves, and sliced jalapeños for an added kick of heat. All these ingredients come together in a delicious harmony that will have you craving more even after you’ve devoured the entire sandwich.

Trust me when I say this – you won’t regret trying out this recipe. Whether you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine or not, these Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds like never before. So what are you waiting for? Head over to the kitchen and start cooking up a storm!

Ingredient List

 A burst of flavors in every bite of this Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwich.
A burst of flavors in every bite of this Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwich.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches and Nuong recipe:

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Pickled Vegetable Ingredients:

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded into thin matchsticks or cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, rice vinegar or apple vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sandwich Ingredients:

  • Banh mi or baguette bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Hot chili pepper or jalapeno, sliced
  • Tomato sauce

Optional ingredients:

For a spicy kick add some Sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes to the mayonnaise.
You can also add some thinly sliced cucumber, cucumber pickles or Daikon radishes for extra crunch.

Now that you know what ingredients are needed, let’s move on to the recipe itself.

The Recipe How-To

 Who needs fast food when you can make a delicious and healthier sandwich at home?
Who needs fast food when you can make a delicious and healthier sandwich at home?

Now that we have gone through the introduction, list of ingredients, and why you’ll love this Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches recipe, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work! Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious explosive taste.

Making the meatballs

The star of the recipe is the pork meatballs with an explosion of flavors. To make 10-12 meatballs, take a large bowl and combine 1 pound of ground pork with 1/4 cup of chopped onions, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and sprinkle fresh ground pepper (to taste). Mingle everything using your hands. Then add in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce until mixture becomes sticky. Finally, form the mixture into balls using your hands which should be slightly more significant than a golf ball.

Grilling the meatballs

Preheat your grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, use an oven at 425°F for approximately 15-20 minutes. Brush olive oil onto each side of the pork meatballs and put them on the grill. Cook for around 3 minutes per side or until each side has slightly charred marks while ensuring that the inside is cooked through. When all sides are cooked, remove them from heat.

Assembling The Banh Mi Sandwich

Right after grilling the pork meatballs, it’s time to prepare sandwiches that explode with flavor! Cut open your baguette bread lengthways using a sharp knife but do not cut it all the way through; keep one inch at each end intact. Then apply mayonnaise or sriracha sauce over each slice by drizzling a generous amount lying flat face-up.

Add chopped cilantro leaves leaving out some for topping later on. Slice cucumbers for the sandwich by cutting them into thin, bite-sized pieces that will fit in the roll. Slice pickled carrots and daikon radish incredibly thinly (use a mandolin if possible). These items added to our sandwich provide the ultimate satisfying crunch.

Finally, place four pork meatballs inside each baguette slice. Top it off with any remaining cilantro leaves, sweet and spicy kimchi, and sriracha sauce. Your Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches or Banh Mi is ready to devour. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 The combination of juicy pork meatballs and crunchy veggies make this sandwich a perfect meal.
The combination of juicy pork meatballs and crunchy veggies make this sandwich a perfect meal.

Alright, now let’s talk about some substitutions and variations for this Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches recipe.

First of all, if you’re not a fan of pork or beef, you can try making these meatballs with ground chicken or turkey instead. It’ll still taste great and give you a leaner protein option.

If you’re looking to make this recipe vegan, you can replace the ground pork with mashed tofu or tempeh. Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce and skip the egg to make it a vegan option.

For those who love adding some heat to their dishes, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of hot chili oil, chili powder or diced jalapeño in the meat mixture. However, be warned that it may overpower the other flavors in the sandwich.

Furthermore, you can also switch up your toppings and fillings depending on your preferences. Try adding some pickled vegetables like cucumbers, daikon radish or green papaya for extra crunchiness and tang. You could also replace cilantro leaves with fresh mint leaves for a different herbal flavor.

Finally, if you don’t have access to a baguette, try making these meatballs as part of a noodle salad bowl or served on steamed white rice as “bún chả Hà Nội” and “bún nem” respectively.

The possibilities are endless! Give these variations a try and let us know what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

 You can never go wrong with a classic Vietnamese Bánh Mì sandwich.
You can never go wrong with a classic Vietnamese Bánh Mì sandwich.

Now that your Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches are ready, let’s talk about serving and pairing options. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this!

I suggest you serve these sandwiches in a classic banh mi style by using a freshly baked baguette. The subtle crispiness of the bread on the outside and the softness of the inside texture pair perfectly with the slightly charred, juicy meatballs.

For toppings, consider adding pickled vegetables like carrots and cucumbers for a refreshing crunch. You can also include some cilantro leaves for an extra pop of flavor.

Pairing this sandwich with a cold drink is essential to bring out the full flavors of these meatballs. A Vietnamese iced coffee or a refreshing glass of Thai iced tea will perfectly complement the spiciness of the chili flakes in the meat mix.

Alternatively, if you want to turn this meal into a full spread, I suggest serving it with a side of Bun Nem, which is rice vermicelli noodle salad with herbs and grilled pork. Another great option is Cha Hanoi or Bun Cha Ha Noi for some grilled pork served with noodles and dipping sauce.

An unforgettable meal awaits you!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Ready to taste the traditional flavors of Vietnamese cuisine in one sandwich?
Ready to taste the traditional flavors of Vietnamese cuisine in one sandwich?

Now, let’s talk about how you can make this Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwich ahead of time or store the leftover. Trust me, I’ve been there. You’re planning for a party, and you’re wondering how to make everything work with your busy schedule. Or maybe you cook too much and need to save it for later. Rest assured, I got you covered.

If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, start by keeping the pork meatballs in the refrigerator uncooked up to 24 hours before grilling them. You can also freeze the raw pork meatballs up to three months ahead of time. Just thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before grilling.

In case you have leftover grilled pork meatballs or assembled sandwiches, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator up to three days. When reheating, I recommend warming the meatballs on a baking sheet in a 350°F preheated oven for about 10 minutes until heated through.

Pro tip: If you’re planning for a picnic or taking these sandwiches anywhere outside your home, make sure to pack the ingredients separately and assemble the sandwiches right before serving. This way, the bread will not get soggy, and the vegetables will stay crisp.

With these tips and tricks, you can always enjoy your Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches whenever you want without worrying about losing its flavor or texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With simple ingredients and easy preparation, you can have a mouth-watering sandwich in no time.
With simple ingredients and easy preparation, you can have a mouth-watering sandwich in no time.

When it comes to making Vietnamese grilled pork meatball sandwiches, there are some things you can do to ensure that your creation is full of flavor and texture. Here are some tips to help you reach perfection each time you make these delicious sandwiches:

1. Don’t over-mix the meatballs – When making the meatballs for your banh mi, be careful not to over-mix the ingredients. Over-mixing can result in tough meatballs. Gently mix the ground pork with the onion, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, egg, and seasonings to combine thoroughly without overworking the mixture.

2. Use high-quality ingredients – Whenever possible, use high-quality ingredients from a trusted source. Opt for fresh herbs like cilantro leaves and fresh ground pepper, high-grade fish sauce or soy sauce, dry white wine or rice wine instead of cheaper substitutes.

3. Marinate the meatballs – A good marinade is essential to obtaining the perfect flavor and aroma from your grilled pork meatballs when making banh mis. Consider marinating your meatballs overnight in fish sauce and sugar or honey-based marinades before grilling.

4. Cook the meatballs properly – To avoid dry or undercooked pork meatballs on your banh mi sandwich, grill them over medium-high heat to ensure they are cooked through without being burnt or dried out.

5. Toast your baguette – For an added crunch factor in your sandwich, consider toasting it before adding the filling! Warmed or toasted baguette also helps hold up better against all of those juicy meatballs and pickled vegetables.

6. Pickling vegetables- pickling or fermentation is a common practice in Vietnamese cuisine that adds additional flavor and freshness to dishes such as banh mi sandwiches; Do not skip on this vital component.

By following these tips above, you will achieve perfect banh mi with succulent pork meatballs, pickled vegetables, and fragrant cilantro leaves enveloped in a crisp baguette.


Now that you’ve finished cooking up some delicious Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches, it’s natural to be curious about other aspects of this recipe. There may be some questions you have regarding the ingredients or steps in the cooking process. To help ensure a smooth experience while preparing this recipe, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions along with helpful tips and answers. From substitutions to serving recommendations, we’ve got you covered in this FAQ section.

What type of meat is in Banh Mi?

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that can have various fillings like chicken liver, pâté, roast pork, cold cuts, meatballs, barbecued pork or beef, and vegetarian pâté. The liver pâté is mild yet flavorful, complementing the tangy pickle and fresh veggies in the sandwich. While some banh mi styles have pâté as the sole filling, others can have a combination of these ingredients.

Are Vietnamese meatballs pork or beef?

One of my favorite recipes is Vietnamese meatballs, which are made with a combination of pork, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and scallions. These simple yet flavorful ingredients blend perfectly together to give the meatballs a delicious taste that makes your mouth water.

Can you put meatballs in a sandwich?

Looking for a fast, uncomplicated and comforting meal? Look no further. We’ve got the ultimate meatball sub recipe that will satisfy your cravings. Made with our own savoury seasoned meatballs, a tangy tomato sauce and gooey provolone cheese, this dish is sure to be a hit.

Is meatballs pork?

Italian meatballs are typically made by blending ground beef and/or pork with poultry or sausage, seasoned with salt, black pepper, and chopped garlic. The mixture is then rolled into balls about the size of a golf ball and coated with a mixture of olive oil, Romano cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these Vietnamese grilled pork meatball sandwiches are simply irresistible. The unique combination of textures and flavors is something that you will never forget. My recipe is not only easy to follow, but it also makes a perfect lunch or dinner option for all occasions.

So why not spice up your taste buds and give this delectable sandwich recipe with a twist a try? From the aromatic herbs to the tender pork meatballs, this banh mi recipe will surely take your taste buds on an exciting journey that will leave you craving for more.

Whether you are new to Vietnamese cuisine or a seasoned pro, this dish is both versatile and delicious. I hope my detailed instructions and tips have been helpful in guiding you through the cooking process. Don’t hesitate to make substitutions and alterations based on your preferences and dietary needs.

Incorporate those fresh vegetables into your diet with this satisfying sandwich recipe. Every bite brings happiness, freshness, and comfort. So grab that crusty baguette and get ready to savor the best Vietnamese grilled pork meatball sandwich of your life!

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwiches Recipe

Charles Phan, the chef and owner of San Francisco's The Slanted Door, models his pork burgers topped with pickled carrots and cilantro on the classic French-Vietnamese sandwich called banh mi. Food & Wine. MAKE AHEAD: The raw meatballs can be refrigerated overnight. NOTES: Kimchi, spicy pickled and fermented cabbage, is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 658.9 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Thai chiles or 1 large jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 4 large canned water chestnuts, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus 12 large sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon cabbage kimchi, Korean-style (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 large egg (beaten with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 6 French rolls or 6 baguette
  • hot sauce, for serving

Quick Pickled Carrots

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 large carrots, julienned on a mandoline or 3 large carrots, shredded


  • Quick Pickled Carrots - In a large bowl, stir the sugar and salt into the vinegar until completely dissolved. Add the julienned carrots and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the carrots marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
  • Soak six 10-inch bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes; drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, chiles and shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomato sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce.
  • In a large bowl, gently mix the ground pork with the onion, water chestnuts, cornstarch, chopped cilantro, kimchi, soy sauce, pepper, sesame oil, beaten egg mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Using moistened hands, roll the mixture into 30 meatballs. Thread the meatballs onto the skewers and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Light a grill. Lightly brush the meatballs with vegetable oil and grill over a hot fire until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Halve the rolls lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Halve the meatballs, stuff them into the rolls and spoon the tomato sauce over them. Top with the Quick Pickled Carrots and cilantro sprigs and serve with hot sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 372gCalories: 658.9kcalCarbohydrates: 53.4gProtein: 36.2gFat: 32.1gSaturated Fat: 10.2gCholesterol: 141.9mgSodium: 1869.8mgFiber: 4gSugar: 23.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, European, Lunch, Meat, Pork, Vietnamese
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