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A Spicy Meat-a-ball!

July 4, 2010

Every month I look forward to my cooking magazines arriving in the mail (Thank you Coke Rewards Points!:)). Recently Bon Appetit showcased the meatball (one of Eric’s favorite foods) in many glorious variations and Eric was inspired to make Banh Mi. Banh Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches that reflect the Asian and French roots of Vietnamese culinary history. The sandwich is always made on a baguette …along with pickled vegetables, cilantro, chili peppers, paté (?!) and Sriracha mayonnaise. It is traditionally made with pork, but other meats (including chicken) can also be used. (One time we did a crab cake banh mi that was delicious!) This recipe uses pork meatballs and leaves off the pate… Neither of us are particularly fond of radishes, so we used cucumber, another traditional banh mi vegetable instead. Made exactly as written, these were SPICY!!! (even for Eric) with a nice mix of salty, sweet and sour- reminiscent of Thai cuisine actually. Next time we’ll use less Sriracha  and reduce the amount of jalapeno and perhaps use ground turkey for the meatballs.  Instead of pan frying the meatballs first, we roasted them in the oven, allowing much of the fat to drain off. After the meatballs were fully cooked and nicely browned in the oven, we tossed them in the pan with the sesame oil. The meatballs can easily be doubled, freezing the remainder to be pulled out later for a fast dinner. To freeze meatballs, mix meat and seasonings, shape, and place on a lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once hardened, place in a Ziploc bag and keep frozen until ready to bake. To cook, place frozen meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil (pref nonstick) and roast 375-400°F until cooked through, turning once or twice to get a nice crust on the meatball. Thank you Eric for a delicious dinner! 🙂

Pork Meatball Banh Mi

Bon Appetit Jan 2010


Hot Chili Mayo:

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)

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 hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon (Japanese white radish)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs


Hot Chili Mayo:

Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)


Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Cover and chill.


Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of meatballs. Sauté until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Transfer meatballs to another rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.  Instead of discarding the baguette filling, save them for breadcrumbs. 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Becker Lanni permalink
    July 4, 2010 4:34 pm

    The photo is … delicious!! And there are no Points associated with enjoying the photo!! These sound great … wish I had been there to taste them!

  2. ana permalink
    July 4, 2010 9:41 pm


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