Authentic Xiu Mai Bun Recipe: A Flavorful Delight

Gather round, dear readers, and let me transport you to the vibrant and tantalizing world of Vietnamese cuisine. As a chef specializing in Asian flavors, I am thrilled to share with you one of my favorite dishes that exemplifies the diversity and complexity of this amazing culinary tradition – Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun.

This dish has it all – a delightful mix of textures, bold and savory flavor profiles, and a touch of sweetness that makes you crave more. The star of this recipe is Xiu Mai, the Vietnamese meatball made with ground pork that’s expertly seasoned with garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce. These succulent meatballs come together effortlessly with a blend of spices that make your taste buds tingle.

To complete this dish, we’ll add rice vermicelli noodles that have been cooked to perfection and serve them alongside fresh iceberg lettuce leaves, ribbons of carrots and cucumber, finely chopped peanuts, and fragrant cilantro. Top it all off with a drizzle of lime juice and our sweet-and-spicy homemade tomato sauce made with red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Trust me when I say that every bite is guaranteed to transport you to the bustling streets and vibrant markets of Vietnam. So get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as I guide you through this authentic Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun
Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun

Dear reader,

Are you tired of the same old boring meatball recipes? Do you want to spice up your dinner routine with a burst of Vietnamese flavors? Look no further than this Xiu Mai Bun recipe.

This dish is sure to become a favorite among your family and friends. The meatballs, made from ground pork, are seasoned with scallions, garlic, soy sauce, and fish sauce for a savory and umami taste. And let’s not forget about the delicious tomato and sweet tangy sauce that will make your taste buds dance with joy!

Not only does this recipe bring unique Vietnamese flavors to your table, but it also includes a colorful mix of fresh veggies – iceberg lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro – giving you a healthy and balanced meal.

And let’s not forget about the rice vermicelli noodles that accompany the meatballs for an extra layer of texture and flavor. This dish truly has it all.

So why settle for boring spaghetti and meatballs when you can have Xiu Mai Bun? Give it a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Yours truly,

[Your Name]

Ingredient List

 A splash of vibrant colors in every bite!
A splash of vibrant colors in every bite!

Before we start crafting this exquisite Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun, let’s gather all the essential and tasty ingredients. You will need:

For Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For Sauce:

  • 1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • A handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

For Serving:

  • Rice Vermicelli (1/4 cup per person)
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Carrots and cucumber, cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • Crushed peanuts for topping
  • Lime wedges for serving

These ingredients will create a sweet, tangy sauce that perfectly matches the meatball’s savory flavor. All of the items listed should be readily available at your local supermarket or Asian food outlet.

The Recipe How-To

 Take a trip to Southeast Asia with this classic Vietnamese dish.
Take a trip to Southeast Asia with this classic Vietnamese dish.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s get right into making these delicious Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun sandwiches. Shall we?

Step 1: Make the Meatballs

To make the flavorful meatballs for this recipe, we’ll need to start by combining ground pork, finely chopped garlic, scallion, carrots, fish sauce, and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Once all of the ingredients are mixed together thoroughly, use your hands to form them into small balls, approximately one inch in diameter. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare Xiu Mai Sauce

In a separate bowl, prepare the sauce for the xiu mai by whisking together tomato sauce, sugar, and water. Set it aside for later use.

Step 3: Cook the Meatballs

Heat up a pan on medium-high heat with a generous amount of oil. Put in your meatballs and cook while turning occasionally until they turn golden brown. This should take about 4-5 minutes per side depending on your preference.

Add your prepared Xiu Mai sauce to the same pan and bring it to a gentle simmer over low heat so as not to burn the tomatoes’ sweetness. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Step 4: Banh Mi Daikon and Carrot slaw

Combine julienned daikon radish this will add some crunchiness to our Banh Mi or Vietnamese sandwich, julienned carrots for added sweetness to contrast with the spicy beefy taste and thinly sliced green onions.

Season with salt and pepper then toss everything with a little bit of rice vinegar and honey then set aside.

Step 5: Assembly Required!

To assemble your Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun sandwiches, toast or steam the banh mi buns or any bread you love to use as a base (a great option is to use bow tie noodles). Once they are ready, spread some mayonnaise on both sides of the bread or noodles. Add a generous amount of sliced cucumber, iceberg lettuce, and cilantro.

Dip your crispy-xiu mai meatballs in the sauce before layering them on the bun. Top your bun with your prepared daikon, carrot slaw, and chopped peanuts. Drizzle a little bit of lime juice over everything, and voila! You’ve got yourself a delicious and flavorful Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun sandwich made from scratch!


If you feel like adding some heat or spice to your Xiu Mai sauce, you can add red pepper flakes or sprinkle chili powder over everything. Another great variation is to add some sliced red peppers, which will also add a pop of color to your dish.

Now that you’ve got the recipe, get in the kitchen and give it a try! These sandwiches are perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner option that’s packed with flavor!

Substitutions and Variations

 A steaming bowl of noodle soup perfect for any occasion.
A steaming bowl of noodle soup perfect for any occasion.

My dear reader, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to add your own twist to this already delightful Xiu Mai Bun recipe, I have some substitutions and variations that may suit your palate.

For those who are vegetarian or looking for a plant-based option, you can swap out the ground pork with finely chopped shiitake mushrooms or plant-based ground meat substitutes. You can also add extra veggies like diced zucchini and finely chopped broccoli stems to the meatball mixture to create more texture and flavor.

If you prefer a spicier kick to your Xiu Mai, I suggest adding a teaspoon of chili paste or Sriracha sauce to the garlic-ginger mixture when making the meatballs. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes accordingly.

For those who are not a fan of cilantro, you can easily use fresh basil or mint leaves instead. If peanuts are not your cup of tea, roasted cashews or almonds make excellent toppings as well.

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have all the ingredients on hand, no worries! You can still enjoy this dish by substituting some of the less common items with everyday pantry staples. For example, instead of fish sauce use soy sauce and instead of rice vermicelli use spaghetti noodles. It may not be entirely authentic, but it will still be delicious!

No matter which variation you choose to try, always remember that cooking is an art, and there is no right or wrong way to create something wonderful. Use these suggestions as a guide and let your creativity lead the way.

Serving and Pairing

 Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun: A unique blend of sweet, savory and spicy flavors.
Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun: A unique blend of sweet, savory and spicy flavors.

In my opinion, the best way to serve Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun is in a bowl, beautifully arranged and pleasing to the eye. Begin by placing a generous amount of rice vermicelli on the bottom of the bowl. Then add fresh lettuce leaves, sliced cucumbers, and grated carrots. Top with your homemade Xiu Mai meatballs and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, scallion, and peanuts.

A squeeze of lime juice over everything gives this dish a bright acidity that helps cut through the richness of the meatballs. If you like spiciness, add a small pinch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

One pairing option that never fails with Xiu Mai Bun is an ice-cold Vietnamese iced coffee or a refreshing green tea. The bittersweet flavors of the coffee contrast well with the spiciness of the meatballs, while the tea helps cleanse your palate between bites.

If you’re looking to jazz up this recipe beyond its traditional variations, consider serving it inside banh mi bread instead of in a bowl. Banh mi xiu mai is a Vietnamese meatball sandwich that offers a whole new take on this delicious treat. The crunchiness of the bread complements the texture of the meatballs perfectly.

Overall, serving Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun offers endless possibilities – you can cater to your preferences and pair it with whichever sides or drinks lighten up your mood!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A warm and comforting meal that will satisfy your cravings.
A warm and comforting meal that will satisfy your cravings.

Dearest readers, I know how hectic life can get, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare a meal every day. Fear not, as this recipe for Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun is perfect for make-ahead meals! The meatballs can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.

To make ahead, simply prepare the meatballs using the recipe instructions and let them cool completely. Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to reheat, gently warm the meatballs in a saucepan with a bit of water or sauce to prevent sticking. You may also reheat them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high heat until heated through.

In terms of storing leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat using one of the methods above.

Always remember, dearest readers, that reheated food may not have the same texture or flavor as freshly cooked meals. However, I assure you that these Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun meatballs are just as enjoyable when reheated.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A perfect balance of fresh herbs, vegetables and succulent meat.
A perfect balance of fresh herbs, vegetables and succulent meat.

When making Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun, there are a few tips that can help you achieve perfect results every time. These tips include both small details about the ingredients and the cooking process itself.

Firstly, it’s important to use high-quality ground pork for your meatballs. Look for meat that has a good balance of fat and lean meat, as this will create a tender and juicy texture in your meatballs. When shaping the xiu mai, avoid packing them too tightly as this can make them dense and tough.

Next, when you’re cooking your xiu mai, be sure to start by heating up the oil in the pan first before adding any meatballs. This will help prevent sticking and ensure a nice crispy exterior. Also, be patient while cooking and avoid moving the meatballs around too much as they cook. Let them sit undisturbed in the pan until they develop a nice golden-brown crust on one side before flipping.

Another important ingredient for this recipe is fish sauce. This famous Vietnamese condiment adds a salty umami flavor and is an essential component of the sweet and tangy tomato sauce that coats the meatballs. Use a high-quality fish sauce for best results, and adjust the amount to taste depending on how salty you prefer your sauce.

Finally, don’t overlook the importance of presentation when serving your Xiu Mai Bun. Arrange a bed of rice vermicelli on your plate or bowl, add shredded lettuce or other greens, top with your xiu mai meatballs, sliced vegetables like carrots or cucumber, fresh cilantro and scallions. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and red pepper flakes for extra spice if desired.

Follow these tips carefully and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun that looks impressive on any table and tastes just like it came from an authentic Vietnamese restaurant.


As we reach the FAQ section, I understand that some of you might have questions and concerns about this recipe. Don’t worry! I’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and addressed them with detailed answers to clear any doubts you may have before getting started on creating the Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun recipe.

What is Xiu Mai made of?

When making Xiu Mai, a delightful Vietnamese meatball dish, I combine pork, shrimp, and diced jicama. This unique addition of jicama not only adds a delicate texture to the meatballs but also helps to keep them juicy as they cook in a savory tomato sauce.

What is Banh Mi Xiu Mai in English?

In this recipe, I will be sharing with you how to make Bánh Mì Xíu Mại, a delicious Vietnamese meatball sandwich. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this flavorful and easy-to-make sandwich!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a flavorful and satisfying Vietnamese dish, Xiu Mai Bun is the way to go. This recipe is easy to prepare and customize based on your preferences. You can switch out ingredients, like ground pork, for beef or chicken or add more vegetables to create a dish that suits your taste buds. The sweet and tangy tomato sauce paired with the succulent meatballs and refreshing vegetables make for a perfect balance in every bite.

So next time you’re in the mood for something hearty and delicious, try making this Xiu Mai Bun recipe. You’ll impress your family and friends with your culinary skills, and they’ll be asking for seconds. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a weekend lunch, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Remember, the key to achieving perfect results is to follow the tips and instructions carefully, but feel free to add your own touch.

Lastly, I hope this article has inspired you to try new flavors and cooking techniques. Vietnamese cuisine is known for its vibrant colors and bold flavors, making it an excellent addition to any food lover’s repertoire. So gather your ingredients and start cooking! As always, happy eating!

Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun

Vietnamese Xiu Mai Bun Recipe

Bun is rice vermicelli. The Vietnamese essential tastes are sour, hot, salty and sweet combined in one dish.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 845.4 kcal



  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water, divided


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vietnamese fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 14 ounces rice vermicelli, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • cilantro (handful)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 bunch scallion (green onions)
  • sriracha garlic sauce


  • For The Dressing: Whisk together vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic and red pepper flakes in small bowl; set aside.
  • To make the meatballs, mix the pork, one tablespoon of sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, minced garlic and salt. Form into small meatballs.
  • Heat a frying pan and brown the meatballs. When they are fully browned, remove from the pan. Don't clean out the pan. In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Stir to dissolve, then allow it to cook on high without stirring until it becomes very browned and bubbly. This is caramel. Add the final 1 cup of water and stir to combine. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook in the caramel sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat.
  • Meanwhile, chop the peanuts, cilantro, cucumber, scallions and lettuce. Grate the carrots with a box grater.
  • Place the noodles in large flat bowls first, arrange the meatballs along with the rest of the ingredients around the noodles in the bowl. Serve with Sriracha.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 600gCalories: 845.4kcalCarbohydrates: 114.8gProtein: 29.8gFat: 29.5gSaturated Fat: 9.8gCholesterol: 81.8mgSodium: 2463.4mgFiber: 6.2gSugar: 22.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Easy, Low Cholesterol, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Pork, Vietnamese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found