The bánh mì sandwich is so artfully constructed, it has fresh and vibrant flavors in every single bite. Sweet, salty and slightly spicy, I've been making meatballs that mimic these flavors for years and wanted to share them with you today!
Now, don't be scared by the seemingly long list of ingredients you will need - the recipe is actually incredibly simple to make and many of the ingredients are used several ways in the recipe.
I'm also sharing with you my recommendations on how to turn these meatballs into an easy, weeknight dinner with Bánh Mì Meatball Bowls. Simply pick which ingredients you'd like to use in your version and dinner will be ready in no time.
These meatballs are also great in a sandwich or served as an appetizer. I prefer to make them a bit on the smaller side so they are more versatile, but feel free to make larger ones if you'd like.
What would your ideal Bánh Mi Meatball Bowl look like? Let me know in the comments!
Bánh Mì Meatball Bowls
Time: 45 minutes
For the Meatballs
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 inch ginger, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup cilantro
For the Quick Pickled Radishes & Carrots
5 radishes, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled into thin ribbons
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
For the Bowls (Optional Ingredients - Choose What You Like!)
5-7 ounces rice vermicelli noodles, cooked*
1 head of bok choy, lightly sauteed
1 cup zucchini noodles, lightly sauteed or steamed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Finely chopped cilantro
1. To make the Pickled Radishes & Carrots, bring the rice wine vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a low boil in a small saucepan over low heat and stir to make sure sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the radishes and carrots in a clean jar and pour the liquid over them being sure to cover completely. Place the lid on the jar and let cool before placing in the fridge. While the pickled vegetables can be eaten in 30 minutes, these are best made at least 24 hours in advance.
2. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the lemongrass, coconut aminos, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, coconut sugar, cilantro, garlic and ginger. Pulse until well combined and smooth.
3. Add the onion and carrots and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to a large bowl and then add the pork. Mix the pork and carrot mixture together until thoroughly combined. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
4. After 15 minutes, form the mixture into 1.5 tablespoon sized meatballs (or larger if desired). Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
5. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, flipping once. After 30 minutes, place the meatballs under a broiler set on high in order to get the outside browned.
6. To create the bowls, pick the ingredients you'd like to use and place in a bowl along with the meatballs and pickled vegetables. Drizzle with sesame oil or more coconut aminos if you'd like!
* Unlike other noodles, rice vermicelli noodles just need to be covered with boiled water for a few minutes and drained before serving. No need to boil them directly in a pot!