Welcome to my kitchen, where I’ll be sharing with you a recipe for the ultimate comfort food: Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi. If you love bold flavors and textures, then this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for. The tender and juicy pork meatballs that melt in your mouth, along with the tangy pickled veggies, fresh cilantro leaves, and creamy mayo all come together in a French baguette that will make your taste buds dance.
Growing up in Vietnam, banh mi was a staple dish in my household. It was our go-to meal to satisfy our cravings for both savory and sweet flavors. Each bite of this sandwich takes me back to my childhood memories of street vendors selling banh mi out of their carts, and the fragrant aroma that filled the air. I still remember waiting eagerly for my mom to come back home from work with a bag full of steaming hot banh mi sandwiches.
But why stop at just a classic banh mi when you can take it up a notch with spicy pork meatballs? These meatballs are infused with traditional Vietnamese ingredients such as lemongrass, fish sauce, green onions, and garlic that add an extra kick to the sandwich.
I promise, if you give this recipe a try, you won’t regret it. The combination of flavors will have you hooked from the first bite. So let’s jump into the kitchen and get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Picture yourself indulging in a warm, freshly-made banh mi sandwich exploding with succulent pork meatballs, crispy pickled veggies, and aromatic herbs. The fragrance of the dish instantly stimulates your appetite and leaves your mouth watering before you even take a bite. Each bite is layered with flavors that are both fresh and savory, making it a perfect balance of textures and tastes that will make you feel alive.
This Vietnamese pork meatball banh mi recipe is not just any ordinary sandwich; it is an experience worth savoring. Not only is it satisfying for your taste buds, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients and straightforward preparation steps, anyone can create this scrumptious meal in no time at all.
Once you’ve made these pork meatball banh mi sandwiches, they’ll become an instant crowd-pleaser. It’s the type of dish that elevates a casual lunch or dinner to something special. Plus, it’s customizable to fit everyone’s preferences by adjusting the level of spiciness or sweetness to your liking. This recipe is versatile enough to satisfy the cravings of both meat-eaters and vegetarians— simply do away with the pork meatballs and replace them with some well-seasoned seared tofu.
There is no denying that Vietnamese cuisine has gained a strong following over the years because of its bold flavors and distinctive tastes. The combination of fresh cilantro leaves, pickled vegetables, and golden brown pork meatballs were created with these characteristics in mind. With each bite, there’s an explosion of flavors on your palate that will leave you craving for more long after your first taste test.
So go ahead, indulge yourself! Get into the kitchen and whip up these Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi sandwiches right away. Even if you’re someone who has never tried Vietnamese food before, this recipe is sure to turn you into an avid fan in no time!
Here is a list of all the ingredients you will need to make Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Recipe so that you can get everything ready ahead of time:
- French Baguette: The bread roll that forms the base of your banh mi. Choose a fresh baguette with a crispy crust.
- Ground Pork: 1 pound of ground pork. Ground turkey or chicken meatballs work great as substitutions.
- Cornstarch: 1/4 cup cornstarch.
- Salt: 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Granulated sugar: 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. You will need it for both the meatballs and the mi sauce.
- Fish Sauce: An essential ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes, including the famous banh mi. You will need 2 tablespoons of fish sauce for the meatballs and 1 tablespoon for the mi sauce.
- Lemongrass: Fresh lemongrass stalks add citrusy, lemon-like aroma to your meatballs. Use 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, finely minced.
- Green Onions: Chopped green onions give an earthy flavor to your meatballs. Finely chop 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup green onions and 3 tablespoons of fresh green onions for garnish.
- Garlic Cloves: Minced garlic cloves impart a pungent flavor to your dish. You will need 3 cloves minced for meatballs and 4 cloves minced for the mi sauce recipe.
- Mayonnaise: Use mayonnaise as a spread on your bread roll. You will need 1/4 cup of it.
- Rice Vinegar: Gives an acidic taste to your mi sauce. Use 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
- Carrots: Grated carrots add sweetness and crunchiness to your banh mi. You will need 2 cups of carrots.
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves: Cilantro leaves give the freshness and aromatic herbiness we love in Vietnamese cuisine. You will need roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
- Spices: Use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/8 tablespoon of salt.
- Pickled Vegetables: Pickles that are commonly used in banh mi include pickled daikon, carrot slices, and sliced cucumber.
- Tomato Sauce: Optional ingredient to add sweet balance to your mi sauce recipe.
Gathering all the ingredients beforehand make cooking much easier. Let’s move on to the How-To section for the recipe instructions!
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have gathered all the needed ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these simple steps to make delicious Vietnamese pork meatball banh mi.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 pound of ground pork, 3 cloves garlic minced, 2 tablespoons green onions finely chopped,
1½ teaspoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients until well combined. Shape the mixture into 12-16 large meatballs.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side until browned on all sides
and cooked through.
To assemble the banh mi sandwich, slice a French baguette in half lengthwise, then spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on both sides.
Layer with pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro leaves, and sliced jalapeño peppers if desired.
Place the cooked pork meatballs on top of the vegetables.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar until smooth.
Drizzle the mixture over the meatballs liberally.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: The meatballs can also be eaten on their own or used in other dishes like siu mai Vietnamese or spicy meatball tomato sauce.
Congratulations! You’ve just made an amazing Vietnamese pork meatball banh mi sandwich. Don’t forget to savor every bite and appreciate the delicate balance of flavors in each one.
Substitutions and Variations
Are you looking to put a twist on the classic Vietnamese pork meatball banh mi recipe? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. With a few simple substitutions and variations, you can create a whole new flavor experience.
Firstly, let’s start with the meat. If you’re looking for a leaner option, try using ground turkey or chicken instead of ground pork. You could also switch up the spices and herbs to match with poultry rather than the standard Vietnamese blend.
If you’re vegetarian, swap out the pork with finely chopped mushrooms or even tofu crumbles. You can still experience that umami savory flavor with fish sauce that will make your dish amazing.
For those who are not big on spicy food, I recommend reducing the amount of garlic or green onions in the meatball mix. Alternatively, use tomato sauce instead of fish sauce which gives a slightly different tangy flavoured meatball sandwich.
But if you’re someone who loves that extra kick, why not try adding sriracha or chili garlic sauce to the mayo spread? Spicy meatball banh mi sandwiches are definitely worth trying at least once!
Lastly, let’s talk about the bread roll. While a traditional French baguette is recommended, some people prefer whole wheat or even gluten-free options. Try using croissants as alternative for a luxurious treat!
With these substitutions and variations suggestions in mind, feel free to experiment with different ingredients and textures – because how else you’ll stumble upon exciting new things if you don’t play with food?
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing this Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi, you can never go wrong with some traditional sides to complement the main dish. The French baguette serves as the perfect base for the meatballs, providing a satisfying crunch that blends well with the different flavors.
For a refreshing taste, I suggest adding some pickled vegetables on top of the meatballs. You can easily find pre-made pickled carrots and daikon at Asian grocery stores or make it from scratch at home. The combination of sweet and sour from the pickles is a match made in heaven with the savory pork meatballs.
To add another layer of freshness to your sandwich, don’t forget to throw in a handful of fresh cilantro leaves on top. They’re packed with flavor and aroma that pair beautifully with the rest of the ingredients.
Additionally, drizzle some mayonnaise mixed with rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar on your baguette for that creamy and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with pork.
If you want to spice things up, you can always add some sriracha or chili flakes for an extra kick. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try serving this meatball banh mi with a side of hot tomato sauce for dipping.
As for pairing, this sandwich goes well with light-bodied drinks like iced tea, lemonade or soda. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, why not try a crisp and fruity white wine like a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc? They provide the perfect balance to cut through the richness of the pork meatballs.
In conclusion, serving and pairing this Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi is all about creating a balance between flavors and textures. So let your taste buds dance with joy by experimenting with different combinations until you find your perfect match!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Believe it or not, making the pork meatball mixture ahead of time and storing it in the fridge for a few hours can actually help meld the flavors together for an even more delectable meatball. In fact, these meatballs are perfect for meal prepping, as they keep well when stored properly.
To store cooked pork meatballs, let them cool completely and then transfer them into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to four days or freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to reheat, simply microwave the meatballs until they’re hot and enjoy!
If you’re looking to make your banh mi sandwiches ahead of time, store on a French baguette along with pickled vegetables and other toppings in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the prepared banh mi sandwiches in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat. This is a great option for packing lunch or prepping meals for the week ahead.
When reheating, remove plastic wrap or aluminum foil and heat the sandwich on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can warm up the bread and meatballs separately in the oven or toaster oven before assembling your sandwich.
Remember, the key to keeping your banh mi tasting fresh is storing everything separately! Keep your pickled vegetables in one container, bread rolls separate from assembled sandwiches, and meatballs separate from sauce. This way, you can easily reheat each component without losing flavor and texture.
Tips for Perfect Results
Banh Mi is one of the most beloved Vietnamese street foods. This sandwich is known for being crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a perfect balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavors. The Pork Meatball Banh Mi recipe is both flavorful and easy to make. But, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure that it turns out perfectly every time.
Firstly, when it comes to making the pork meatballs, adding cornstarch will ensure that they stay moist and tender inside. Additionally, cornstarch acts as a binding agent that holds the meat together while cooking.
Secondly, use fresh and high-quality ingredients. It’s important to use fresh herbs like cilantro leaves in your sandwich because the flavor can completely change if the herbs are past their prime. Also, choose lean ground pork for your meatballs because it’ll keep them juicy without being greasy.
Thirdly, marinate the meatballs in lemongrass and fish sauce marinade before cooking to infuse them with robust and vibrant flavors. The lemongrass gives a refreshing fragrance while fish sauce adds an umami flavor essential to Vietnamese cuisine.
Lastly, use either a Dutch oven or non-stick skillet to sear your pork meatballs until golden brown before finishing in the oven. This makes sure they don’t fall apart while cooking and more importantly, it creates a crispy outer crust that enhances texture and flavor.
I hope these tips will help you make perfect Pork Meatball Banh Mi every time!
Moving on to the FAQ section, it’s common for cooks and aspiring chefs to have queries about the recipe they are about to make. Preparing Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Recipe for the first time can be intimidating, especially if one has little knowledge about Vietnamese cuisine. Ease your worries as I will answer some of the questions that might pop up in your mind while reading the recipe guidelines. Let’s dive in!
What is in a traditional Vietnamese banh mi?
Vietnamese cuisine boasts of a unique sandwich called Banh Mi. This sandwich may sound peculiar as it consists of a crispy bread roll that’s generously filled with pate, mayo, a type of Asian ham, pickled veggies, green onions, fresh cilantro, a burst of spicy chillies, and seasoned with a savory drizzle.
What is banh mi sauce made of?
To create a flavorful sauce with a Vietnamese twist, I suggest combining mayo, hoisin sauce, sriracha, and a pinch of salt and pepper. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can replace the hoisin sauce with Maggi seasoning for an extra pop of flavor! You can easily find Maggi seasoning at an international foods market or online at Amazon. This seasoning is a go-to ingredient in many sauces, soups, and stir-fries, making it a great addition to your culinary arsenal.
What is the brown paste in banh mi?
When it comes to creating a delicious banh mi sandwich, one key ingredient is a spreadable liver paste called pate. The pate adds a rich and robust flavor to the sandwich, similar to the low and deep notes of a bass in a musical composition.
What type of meat is in banh mi?
The classic banh mi, originating from Asia, is a bread roll filled with various meat options, with pork, chicken, and pate being the most common choices. Recently, beef and other meats have been incorporated into different versions of this sandwich. Let’s explore some of the most popular local variations of this delectable delight.
And there you have it, the recipe for a delicious Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi. This is definitely one of my go-to meals when I’m craving something hearty and full of flavor. The combination of the tender pork meatballs, fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, and savory sauce in a warm and crusty French baguette is truly a match made in heaven.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful and informative. I strongly encourage you to try this recipe for yourself and see just how amazing it can be. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions based on your personal preferences, but make sure to keep the signature flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine with ingredients like fish sauce and lemongrass.
Cooking is not only a way to nourish ourselves but also a way to connect with our cultural heritage or learn about other cultures. By trying out recipes from different parts of the world we can expand our culinary horizons and invite new tastes to our homes. So what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen, put on some music, and start cooking up some amazing Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi!
As Anthony Bourdain said: “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” So let’s embrace diversity in our kitchens and at our tables.
Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Recipe
For the carrot slaw
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
For the mayo
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
For the meatballs
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, roots trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, minced (include seeds for a spicier meatball)
- 1 teaspoon minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 large French baguette, cut into 4 (6-inch)
- In a small bowl, toss the grated carrots with the granulated sugar and unseasoned rice vinegar. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour at room temperature. Stir often.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sriracha hot sauce. Chill until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork, garlic, green onions, jalapeño, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Shape the mixture into 16 golf-ball size meatballs and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat until hot. Add the meatballs and cook for about about 12 minutes. Turn them often so they brown equally on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.
- Cut the baguette pieces in half and pull out excess bread from the bottom half of the baguette to create a shell for the meatballs. Fill each shell with four meatballs and top with 1/2 cup of the carrot slaw. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Spread sriracha mayonnaise on the top halves of the bread and place on top of the meatballs. Serve.
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