Pork Meatball Banh Mi

Pork Meatball Banh Mi | Pinky's PantryIn Vietnam, the term banh mi usually refers to bread, in particular the baguette which was introduced into Vietnamese cuisine by the French during the colonial period. The mini-baguette is most popular and can be found everywhere in Vietnam. It is typically used for Banh Mi sandwiches which are filled with a variety of fillings, from pork to vegetables to eggs, and which are eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I came across this amazing recipe in Bon Appétit magazine. OMG, is it good! It embodies that wonderful Asian flavor combination of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty. It has a few components to it so may seem a bit complicated, but the nice part is that much of it can be made ahead of time. Trust me, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to prepare. The original recipe called for frying the meatballs but I bake mine, partly because baking them is healthier, but mostly because there’s less of a mess to clean up afterwards and that’s always a good thing in my book!Pork Meatball Banh Mi | Pinky's Pantry

PORK MEATBALL BANH MI

Hot Chili Mayo:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce
  1. Stir all ingredients together in small bowl.
  2. Season with salt if desired.

NOTE:  Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Line rimmed baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Gently mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Moisten hands with water and roll meat mixture into 1½-inch meatballs.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet.

NOTE:  Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover meatballs and chill in refrigerator.

Daikon Salad:

  • 2 cups coarsely grated carrots
  • 2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon (Japanese white radish)
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar (seasoned works too if that’s what you have)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Toss all ingredients together in medium bowl.
  2. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Sandwiches:

  • Asian sesame oil for brushing meatballs
  • 4 mini-baguette loaves
  • thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  1. If refrigerated, bring meatballs to room temperature before baking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Lightly brush meatballs with sesame oil. It is not necessary to turn them over.
  4. Bake meatballs for 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Cut each baguette horizontally in half.
  6. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread half.
  7. Drain pickled vegetables and lay a little on bottom halves of bread.
  8. Top each with 1/4 of meatballs.
  9. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, on top of meatballs.
  10. Cover with bread tops, pressing down to hold filling in place.

NOTE:  You can make Banh Mi Sliders for a great appetizer or a light meal, too. Just make the meatballs a little bit bigger and then flatten them into patties. Use dinner rolls or little buns in place of the baguette rolls. They’re always a crowd pleaser!
Banh Mi Sliders | Pinky's Pantry

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