Pork Meatball Banh Mi


This is a Bon Appétit
recipe that I first saw in their January 2010 issue, but was truly inspired to try when posted in the blog Oishii Food. This is an amazing little sandwich. It’s spicy, savory, and slightly sweet, with the tenderness of the meatballs contrasting with the crunchiness of the bread and quick pickled vegetables. I recommend making the mayo and meat mixture ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. This worked great for a quick Monday night meal, as I had completed those 2 steps on Sunday afternoon.

I served it with sweet potato fries, which were downright addictive when dipped into some of the extra Hot Chili Mayo. This would also make a delicious slider for an Asian inspired appetizer. Instead of a 1″ meatball, use a cookie scoop, and press the top down slightly to form a patty, and then serve on toasted rolls.

Ingredients:

Hot Chili Mayo:

  • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Green Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • ¼ cup Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Green Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Sandwiches:

  • 2 cups Carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 cups Daikon Radish or Jicama, peeled and coarsely grated peeled
  • ¼ cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp 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

Directions:

Hot Chili Mayo:

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

Meatballs:

  1. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. This can be done ahead of time, and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
  2. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.

Sandwiches:

  1. Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.
  2. 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 to keep warm. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  3. Cut each baguette, or baguette piece, horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell.
  4. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs.
  5. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.
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