Delicious Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer Recipe

Are you looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s perfect for any occasion? Look no further than these Vietnamese meatball appetizers! Bursting with savory flavor and satisfying texture, these meatballs are sure to be the hit of your next party or gathering.

As a chef who specializes in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like the combination of fish sauce, garlic, black pepper, and sugar to create a mouthwatering marinade for meatballs. And when you serve them up with a tangy dipping sauce made with lime juice and fish sauce, you’ve got a winning recipe that will have your guests reaching for seconds (and thirds!).

One of the great things about Vietnamese meatball appetizers is their versatility. They can be served on their own as an appetizer, paired with pho noodle soup for a filling meal, or even used as a filling for banh mi or as a topping for rice bowls. Plus, with substitutions such as ground chicken or pork available, you can adjust the recipe to suit your dietary needs or preferences.

So if you’re ready to add some flavor to your next social event or snack time, give this recipe a try. With easy-to-follow instructions and simple ingredient list, it’s an approachable yet impressive recipe that will have everyone asking for your secret!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer
Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer

Are you tired of the same old appetizers at your gatherings? Look no further than this Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer Recipe. Not only is it a delicious and unique option, but it is also easy to make and customizable to your taste preferences.

Using ground beef and pork mixed with classic Vietnamese ingredients like fish sauce, garlic, and green onions, these meatballs are bursting with flavor. The recipe calls for black pepper and sugar to add a subtle sweetness to balance out the savory notes.

But what sets these meatballs apart is their versatility. Serve them on their own with a dipping sauce or add them to pho noodle soup for a filling meal. You can even turn them into meatball lollipops by skewering them and serving them with a dipping sauce for a playful twist on the classic dish.

Not a fan of red meat? No problem! This recipe can easily be adapted for chicken or turkey meatballs instead. And if you want an even healthier alternative, try using ground chicken instead of beef.

So next time you’re hosting a party or just looking for a unique appetizer, give these Vietnamese meatballs a try. Your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 These Vietnamese meatball appetizers are the perfect bite-sized treat to impress your guests!
These Vietnamese meatball appetizers are the perfect bite-sized treat to impress your guests!

Let’s get started with the ingredient list. These are the items we need to create our savory Vietnamese meatball appetizer recipe:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Gather these ingredients before starting to make the recipe. The meatballs are flavorful and juicy because of the added fish sauce and herbs! The dipping sauce is a great touch because it adds acidity and sweetness to pair perfectly with the meatballs. Now that we have everything on hand, let’s start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 The aroma of the lemongrass and garlic will transport you to the bustling streets of Saigon.
The aroma of the lemongrass and garlic will transport you to the bustling streets of Saigon.

Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 pound of ground beef and ½ pound of ground pork.

Step 2: Add in 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Step 3: Mix everything together until the ingredients are fully combined.

Step 4: Shape the meat mixture into small balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. You should be able to get about 20-25 meatballs.

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 6: On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, line up the meatballs and bake them for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Step 7: While the meatballs are baking, combine ¼ cup of water, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, lime juice from 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Step 8: Bring the mixture to a boil then remove it from the heat.

Step 9: Once the meatballs are cooked through, remove them from the oven and lightly brush them with the dipping sauce you just made.

Step 10: Sprinkle some freshly chopped green onions on top, and serve immediately.

Tip: these Vietnamese meatballs can also be served as “meatball lollipops” if you serve them on skewers or toothpicks with a small dish of dipping sauce.


Substitutions and Variations

 These juicy meatballs pair perfectly with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.
These juicy meatballs pair perfectly with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to switch things up a bit, there are numerous substitutions and variations you can try with this Vietnamese meatball appetizer recipe. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Ground pork: Instead of using ground beef, try using ground pork for a more authentic Vietnamese taste.

2. Chicken meatballs: If you’re not a fan of red meat, swap out the ground beef for ground chicken instead. It will still work wonderfully with all the other ingredients in the recipe.

3. Turkey meatballs: For a healthier option, try using ground turkey to make your meatballs.

4. Glazed meatballs: Take your meatballs to the next level by basting them with a sweet-and-sour glaze made from hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey.

5. Slow cooker: If you don’t have time to cook your meatballs on the stove, throw them into a slow cooker with tomato sauce and let them simmer for hours until they are tender and flavorful.

6. Cocktail meatballs: Make small bite-sized meatballs that are perfect for entertaining by rolling them into small balls and baking them in the oven.

7. Dipping sauce variations: There are so many dipping sauces you can use to serve with your Vietnamese meatballs! Try making a lemongrass dipping sauce or a sweet chili sauce for added depth of flavor.

No matter which substitution or variation you choose, always remember to adjust the seasoning accordingly to suit your preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment – who knows what new favorite dish you might discover!

Serving and Pairing

 One bite and you'll be hooked on the flavors of Vietnam.
One bite and you’ll be hooked on the flavors of Vietnam.

Now that your Vietnamese meatball appetizers are ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy! These tasty treats are perfect for serving as a finger food during cocktail hour or as an appetizer before a meal. You could also add them to your pho noodle soup or top them on your bánh mì sandwich to add a flavorful note.

Pair these meatballs with varieties of dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce or soy sauce mixed with chopped green onions for an extra burst of flavor. I suggest trying the dipping sauce recipe provided in this article, which complements the flavor of the meatballs perfectly.

If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage pairing, I recommend trying iced tea or lemonade for a zesty and cooling experience. However, if you want to have a stronger flavor pairing with your meal, go for beer – specifically light beers or IPAs.

When it comes to serving these meatballs, I suggest arranging them on a platter and displaying them as lollipops by sticking them with wooden toothpicks or skewers. This method not only makes them look more attractive in presentation but also makes them easy to pick up and eat without getting messy.

In conclusion, make sure to serve these delectable Vietnamese meatball appetizers with stylish presentation that will thrill not only your taste buds but also your eyes!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These meatballs are a great addition to any party platter or finger food spread.
These meatballs are a great addition to any party platter or finger food spread.

One of the best things about these Vietnamese meatballs is that they can be made ahead of time, which makes them a great option for entertaining or meal prep. After all, who doesn’t want an easy, yet tasty go-to appetizer that won’t require them to spend their entire day in the kitchen?

If you plan on making the meatballs in advance, you can prepare the meat mixture and shape the balls hours or even a day before you intend to serve them. Just make sure to store them properly in an airtight container in your refrigerator until it’s time to cook.

These meatballs also store exceptionally well. Once cooked, they can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Just remember, if you’re freezing them, let them cool before placing them in the freezer.

When reheating these flavorful bundles of joy, opt for the oven method rather than the microwave if possible. The microwave’s power can cause overcooking and dryness that will impact the taste and texture of your Vietnamese meatballs.

To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 375°F (190°C) and place your meatballs on a baking sheet. From there, simply pop them in for approximately 10-15 minutes or until heated through. However, always keep an eye on them as some ovens may heat up faster than others.

Whether you’re hosting a party or just looking for a reliable make-ahead option, these Vietnamese meatballs have got you covered!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The flavorful blend of spices and herbs will leave your taste buds dancing.
The flavorful blend of spices and herbs will leave your taste buds dancing.

As someone who has made these Vietnamese meatballs time and time again, let me share some tips to ensure perfect results every time.

First of all, when combining the meatball mix, be sure to mix it thoroughly. Use your hands to knead the mixture together until all ingredients such as ground beef, pork or chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, spices and fish sauce are evenly distributed.

Next, let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the flavors to meld together and will make the meatballs more tender.

When forming the meatballs, try not to pack them too tightly or they’ll likely become dense and tough after cooking. Instead, roll them gently between your palms into balls that are approximately 1-2 inches in diameter.

To ensure that the meatballs are cooked evenly, use a non-stick skillet and preheat it over medium-high heat before adding the meatballs. Place the meatballs with enough space between each other so you can flip them over easily.

Don’t overcrowd the pan or they’ll steam instead of brown evenly on all sides. Once browned on all sides and cooked through, remove from heat and place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess grease.

Finally, pair these delicious Vietnamese meatballs with a simple dipping sauce like sweet chili sauce or hoisin sauce for even more flavor!

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to achieve perfectly juicy and flavorful Vietnamese meatballs that everyone will crave!


As with any recipe, there may be some lingering questions or uncertainties regarding the preparation process or specific ingredients. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to address any concerns you may have before diving into this Vietnamese meatball appetizer recipe. Read on for further guidance and to achieve mouth-watering results.

Why are Vietnamese meatballs chewy?

When shopping for Bò Viên at Asian stores, it is important to note that some brands may have a chewy texture, which is a result of the addition of hàn the (borax). In traditional Asian cuisine, hàn the is often used as a cooking ingredient to provide a firm and rubbery texture to food or act as a preservative.

What is Xiu Mai made of?

When making Xiu Mai, a popular Vietnamese dish, pork and shrimp are combined with finely chopped jicama. This unique ingredient contributes to the meatballs’ texture, adding a delicate crunch while also helping to retain moisture. These meatballs are then cooked in a savory tomato-based sauce to enhance their flavor.

What is pho meatball made of?

A tasty addition to Vietnamese beef pho soup is bò viên, which are round balls made of a blend of minced beef and spices. These balls closely resemble fish balls and enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

What is Hakka meatball?

These fresh Hakka beef balls are crafted from high-quality Australian beef and boast a scrumptious, savory taste, free from preservatives. They are versatile and blend seamlessly into an array of dishes, from stir-fries to soups to BBQs.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer recipe is a must-try for all food lovers out there. Whether you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine or just looking for a delicious and easy-to-make appetizer, this recipe is perfect for you. With its blend of spices and flavors like garlic, fish sauce, and black pepper, these meatballs are sure to please your taste buds.

Not only are these meatballs tasty, but they’re also versatile. You can serve them as an appetizer at your next party or as a main dish with some rice or noodles. The dipping sauce that accompanies the meatballs is unique and delicious on its own! The recipe also offers numerous substitutions and variations that you can try based on your likings.

The tips for perfect results in the recipe will help you nail the dish every time, and making it ahead of time is easy peasy. These savory meatball treats can be stored in the fridge or freezer and reheated quickly when needed.

So, gather your family and friends around for some delightful bites of Vietnamese style beef meatballs, Xiu Mai! You won’t regret it!

Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer

Vietnamese Meatball Appetizer Recipe

This is a recipe that I came up with because I like Vietnamese food. This recipe can be used as an appetizer, for an entree, or in soup. It is easy but delicious!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 193.8 kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


  • In a large mixing bowl put the ground beef, egg, bread, fish sauce, garlic, black pepper, sugar and sesame oil.
  • Mix well with your hands and form into golf-size balls.
  • Fill a frying pan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the meat balls and boil until cooked through.
  • Serve as an appetizer with oriental hot chili sauce on the side.
  • To Use in Soup: Put the cooked meat balls in some hot beef broth that has been seasoned with 1 Table. soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper.
  • Add cooked noodles.
  • Serve the soup garnished with sliced green onions.
  • These meat balls can also be baked in the oven or fried in a little oil, and then served as an entree with rice.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 95gCalories: 193.8kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 15.8gFat: 12.7gSaturated Fat: 4.8gCholesterol: 86.7mgSodium: 553.3mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Easy, High In..., High Protein, Meat, Vietnamese
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