As a meat lover and a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, I have to say that one of my absolute favorite dishes is the meatball banh mi. This sandwich combines savory and juicy meatballs with fresh and crunchy vegetables, pickles, and herbs, all nestled inside a crusty Vietnamese baguette.
The meatballs themselves are the star of the show, made with ground pork or beef mixed with fragrant herbs and spices such as lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. The mixture is then rolled into bite-sized balls and pan-fried or baked until golden brown and crispy on the outside, yet tender and moist on the inside.
The banh mi sandwich is completed with a variety of toppings that add layers of flavor and texture. Thinly sliced cucumbers and carrots provide a refreshing crunch, while cilantro and mint leaves lend a fresh herbal note. Tangy pickled daikon and carrots add a tart and sweet contrast, and a smear of spicy mayo or chili sauce ties everything together.
Overall, the meatball banh mi is a perfect balance of meaty, spicy, tangy, and fresh flavors, all wrapped up in a crispy and chewy baguette. It’s a delicious and satisfying meal that I highly recommend trying if you haven’t already!
What is meatball banh mi?
Meatball banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that features savory meatballs served on a crusty Vietnamese baguette and topped with fresh herbs, vegetables, and pickles. It’s a delicious and filling sandwich that showcases the flavors and textures of Vietnamese cuisine.
Banh mi itself is a type of Vietnamese sandwich that originated in the late 19th century, during the French colonial period in Vietnam. The sandwich is typically made with a crispy Vietnamese baguette that’s split lengthwise and filled with a variety of ingredients. The fillings can include meats such as pork, chicken, or beef, as well as pate, vegetables, and herbs.
The history of banh mi is tied to the influence of French cuisine on Vietnam. The French introduced bread and other baked goods to Vietnam, and banh mi is a fusion of French and Vietnamese culinary traditions. In the early days, banh mi was primarily a street food sold by vendors who would carry baskets of freshly baked baguettes and a variety of fillings.
Over time, banh mi evolved to include a wider range of ingredients and flavors. The sandwich became a popular food item throughout Vietnam and has since gained popularity around the world. Today, banh mi can be found in many Vietnamese restaurants and street vendors in various countries, including the United States, Canada, and France.
Meatball banh mi is a variation of the classic sandwich that features flavorful meatballs as the main protein. The meatballs are typically made with ground pork or beef mixed with a variety of herbs and spices such as lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. They are then pan-fried or baked until crispy and served on a bed of vegetables, herbs, and pickles. The result is a delicious and satisfying sandwich that highlights the flavors of Vietnam.
Related post: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating the Perfect Beef Rendang Banh Mi
Meatball banh mi recipe
You can use ground pork, beef, or a mixture of both for the meatballs. You can also add or adjust the amount of herbs and spices according to your preference.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking sheet
- Saute pan or skillet
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
|– 4 Vietnamese baguettes|
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1 tablespoon lime juice
– 1/2 cup siced cucumbers
– 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
– 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
|– 1 pound ground pork or beef|
– 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as cilantro, mint, and basil)
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1 egg, beaten
|– 1 cup julienned carrots|
– 1 cup julienned daikon
– 1/2 cup rice vinegar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
Nutrition facts of meatball banh mi
The nutrition facts of a meatball banh mi can vary depending on the specific ingredients and preparation method used. Here is an estimate based on a typical recipe, and serving size: 1 sandwich
These values are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion size used. The meatball banh mi can be a tasty and filling sandwich, but it can also be high in sodium and calories due to the bread and condiments used. It’s important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
How to make meatball banh mi, step-by-step?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make meatball banh mi:
Preparing bread for meatball banh mi:
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Cut the Vietnamese baguette into 8-10 inch lengths and slice them in half lengthwise.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 5–7 minutes, or until slightly crispy and golden brown. Set aside.
Arranging meatballs on bread:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 pound of ground pork or beef, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as cilantro, mint, and basil), 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 beaten egg.
- Mix well with your hands until evenly combined.
- Form the mixture into 16 meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the meatballs and cook for 8–10 minutes or until browned and cooked through, turning occasionally.
Adding Pickled Vegetables and Condiments:
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of julienne carrots, 1 cup of julienne daikon, 1/2 cup of rice vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Toss the vegetables to coat evenly in the pickling mixture and let sit for at least 20 minutes, or until ready to serve.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread the spicy mayo on both halves of the baguette.
- Arrange the sliced cucumbers, fresh cilantro leaves, and fresh mint leaves on the bottom half of each baguette.
- Top with 4 meatballs per sandwich and a generous amount of pickled carrots and daikon.
- Close the sandwiches with the top half of the baguette and serve immediately.
How to final assembly and presentation tips?
Final Assembly and Presentation Tips for Meatball banh mi:
- Once you have prepared all the ingredients for the meatball banh mi, it’s time to assemble the sandwiches.
- To make the sandwiches look more appealing, spread the spicy mayo on the bread using a butter knife or spatula, covering the entire surface of the bread.
- Next, arrange the sliced cucumbers, fresh cilantro leaves, and fresh mint leaves on the bottom half of the bread. This will add color and texture to the sandwich.
- Add 4 meatballs per sandwich, spacing them evenly on the bread. This will help ensure that each bite has a good balance of meat and vegetables.
- Finally, add a generous amount of pickled carrots and daikon on top of the meatballs. This will provide a tangy and crunchy contrast to the soft meatballs and fresh herbs.
- Close the sandwich with the top half of the bread, and press down lightly to make sure all the ingredients are held together.
- You can serve the meatball banh mi as a whole sandwich or cut it into smaller pieces for a sharing platter or party tray.
- You can also wrap the sandwich in parchment paper or aluminum foil for a portable and easy-to-carry meal.
- Finally, for presentation, you can garnish the plate or platter with a few extra sprigs of fresh herbs or sliced chili peppers to add more color and texture.
How do I store meatball banh mi?
Meatball banh mi is best served fresh and eaten immediately after assembly for your Vietnamese breakfast. However, if you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for a short period of time.
To store meatball banh mi, follow these steps:
- Remove any remaining pickled vegetables and place them in a separate container.
- Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it airtight.
- Place the wrapped sandwich and the pickled vegetables in separate airtight containers or plastic bags.
- Store the containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: that the bread may become soggy if stored for too long, and the flavor of the sandwich may change due to the moisture from the vegetables and the condiments. It’s best to consume the sandwich as soon as possible to ensure maximum freshness and flavor.
What kind of ingredients can replace the ingredients of meatball banh mi?
If you’re looking to make a vegetarian or vegan version of meatball banh mi or simply want to substitute some ingredients, there are several options you can consider. Here are some ingredient swaps that you can try:
- Meatballs: Instead of using meat, you can make vegetarian or vegan meatballs using plant-based protein such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, or chickpeas. Many meat substitutes on the market mimic the texture and flavor of the meat.
- Pickled Vegetables: You can replace the carrots and daikon with other pickled vegetables such as cucumbers, red onions, or jalapenos. You can also experiment with different kinds of vinegar such as apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or red wine vinegar.
- Spicy Mayo: Instead of using traditional mayonnaise, you can use vegan mayo or a dairy-free yogurt-based sauce for a vegan option. To add spice, you can use hot sauce or chili flakes.
- Bread: If you’re gluten-free or want a low-carb option, you can use lettuce wraps or collard greens instead of bread. You can also use gluten-free bread or whole-grain bread for a healthier option.
- Herbs and Vegetables: You can substitute cilantro and mint with other fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, or chives. For the vegetables, you can use different types of lettuce, sprouts, or micro greens for added nutrition and flavor.
By swapping these ingredients, you can create a personalized version of meatball banh mi that suits your dietary needs and preferences.
What are meatball banh mi variations?
Meatball banh mi is a versatile sandwich that can be customized in many ways to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some variations that you can try:
Vegetarian meatball banh mi
Instead of using meat, you can use vegetarian or vegan meatballs made from plant-based protein such as tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas.
You can also add more vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, or sweet potatoes to the mixture for added texture and flavor.
Turkey meatball banh mi
If you prefer a lighter meat option, you can use ground turkey instead of beef or pork for the meatballs. Turkey meatballs are leaner and lower in fat but still have a great flavor and texture.
Spicy meatball banh mi
For a bolder flavor, you can add more chili sauce or hot sauce to the spicy mayo or mix in chopped jalapenos or chili peppers into the meatball mixture.
BBQ meatball banh mi
You can add BBQ sauce to the meatball mixture or brush it on top of the meatballs while they’re cooking to give them a sweet and tangy flavor.
Serving meatball banh mi
You can serve the meatball banh mi as a full sandwich or cut it into smaller pieces for a party tray or appetizer. You can also wrap the sandwich in parchment paper or aluminum foil for a portable and easy-to-carry meal.
Pairing meatball banh mi with beverages
Meatball banh mi pairs well with a variety of beverages such as iced tea, lemonade, or Vietnamese coffee. You can also try pairing it with a light beer or a crisp white wine such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.
By experimenting with different ingredients and flavor combinations, you can create your own unique version of meatball banh mi that’s tailored to your taste buds.
Char siu xiu mai banh mi sandwich
Char Siu is a roasted pork dish from Cantonese cuisine, marinated in a delectable blend of honey, soy sauce, and five-spice powder. Xiu Mai, on the other hand, is a Chinese-style meatball made from ground pork, water chestnuts, and Asian seasonings. When combined, these two fillings result in a unique and irresistible flavor that will have your taste buds craving more.
Discover Yelo’s blog’s new recipe for the Char Siu Banh Mi Sandwich, a delicious fusion of taste and culture that will undoubtedly satisfy your cravings.
Where can you eat meatball banh mi in the US?
Meatball banh mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich that can be found in many Vietnamese restaurants and food trucks throughout the United States. Here are some places where you can try meatball banh mi:
- Banh Mi Saigon Bakery in New York City, New York
- Lee’s Bakery in Houston, Texas
- Banh Mi Boys in Toronto, Canada (not in the US but still worth mentioning)
- Saigon Sandwich in San Francisco, California
- Ba Le Sandwich Shop in Chicago, Illinois
- Bánh Mì Très Bon in San Diego, California
- Bánh Mì Ngon in Seattle, Washington
- Nhu Lan Bakery in Chicago, Illinois
- Vinh Xuong Bakery in Denver, Colorado
- Banh Mi My Tho in Westminster, California
These are just a few of the many places where you can find delicious and authentic meatball banh mi. You can also check out local Vietnamese restaurants or food trucks in your area to see if they offer this popular sandwich.
What is the ideal meatball banh mi serving temperature?
The ideal serving temperature for meatball banh mi is slightly warm or at room temperature. The meatballs, bread, and pickled vegetables should not be too hot or too cold. If you’re making the sandwiches ahead of time, you can heat the meatballs and bread separately before assembling them, or let the cooked meatballs cool down to room temperature before adding them to the sandwich.
Can I use any bread for meatball banh mi?
While traditional banh mi is made with a Vietnamese baguette, you can use other types of bread for meatball banh mi, such as a crusty roll or a soft hoagie. The bread should have a crispy crust and a soft, fluffy interior to hold the meatballs and condiments. You can also use gluten-free bread or lettuce leaves for a low-carb or gluten-free option.
Can I make meatball banh mi in advance?
You can make meatball banh mi in advance by preparing the meatballs and pickled vegetables ahead of time and storing them separately in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve the sandwiches, heat the meatballs and bread, assemble the sandwiches with the condiments, and serve immediately.
Note: that the bread may become soggy if stored for too long, so it’s best to assemble the sandwiches just before serving.
How can I make meatball banh mi spicier?
To make meatball banh mi spicier, you can add more chili sauce or hot sauce to the spicy mayo, or mix in chopped jalapenos or chili peppers into the meatball mixture.
You can also sprinkle chili flakes or cayenne pepper on top of the pickled vegetables for an extra kick of heat. Be sure to adjust the spiciness level to your taste, and consider serving the sandwich with a refreshing beverage to cool down your palate.
Primarily, meatball banh mi is a delicious and popular Vietnamese sandwich that combines savory meatballs, tangy pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs in a crispy Vietnamese baguette.
The sandwich has become a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and is now enjoyed by many people around the world. Meatball banh mi can be customized in many ways to suit different dietary needs and preferences.
You can use vegetarian or vegan meatballs, turkey meatballs, or add BBQ sauce or more chili for a spicy kick. The sandwich can also be paired with a variety of beverages such as iced tea or beer. When making the sandwich, it’s important to consider the ideal serving temperature, the type of bread, and the spiciness level.
Overall, meatball banh mi is a flavorful and satisfying sandwich that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re trying it for the first time or experimenting with different ingredient combinations, this sandwich is sure to impress and satisfy your taste buds.
Keep reading: Best 10+ Vietnamese Snacks Not to be Missed