Baked Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

Vietnamese food didn’t truly enter my life until my mid/late 20’s. Not counting Thai, I was late getting on the Southeast Asian bandwagon. I’m not a huge fan of spicy food and I was intimidated that the level of spice was heightened in Vietnamese cuisine. But oh, Pho… and oh Bahn Mi!!! On a recent lunch date with a wonderful friend at Mooncake Foods, we shared their Vietnamese Pork Meatball Hero. It inspired me to recreate it at home.

Baked Vietnamese Pork Meatball Sandwich with Pickled Daikon and Carrot Salad

Introducing Vietnamese flavors to the kids wasn’t difficult because of their existing love of Thai food. For this recipe, you’ll see that the kids did all of the measuring and mixing… Feel free to make half of the recipe or make smaller meatballs. This recipe is enough for our family to eat a meal and then have leftovers… and I love leftovers!

Trader Joe’s Basil Cubes… a great shortcut when you don’t have fresh basil!
Fish. Sauce.

It looked so pretty, until the cornstarch was plopped into the bowl. 
Child labor laws don’t apply here
Glossy and beautiful pork

15 of the 16 beautiful uncooked meatballs (thank you, ice cream scooper!)

15 of the 16 beautiful cooked meatballs (thank you, ice cream scooper!)

I really do have a thing for ground meat (uncooked)


Same shot (cooked)
Scoop out the baguette and toast it
Spread the Sweet Chili Mayo on the toasted baguette
Bring it all together… Vietnamese Pork Meatball sandwich

Baked Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

Makes 16 1/4 cup meatballs

Adapted from epicurious


2 pound ground pork

6 cubes Trader Joe’s frozen basil, defrosted 
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 1/3 cup fresh, finely chopped basil)
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
8 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

bunch of cilantro (when making sandwich)

Sweet Chili Mayo
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce
Mix together!

Pickled Daikon and Carrot Salad from White On Rice Couple


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

Make the Meatballs
1. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients.
2. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, scoop out 16 meatballs onto a rimmed baking sheet. 
3. Bake for 23-25 minutes.

Make the Hero Sandwich
4. Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Toast.
5. Spread sweet chili mayo over each bread shell. 
6. Place two meatballs on bottom bread and top with drained Daikon and Carrot Salad and cilantro leaves. Close sandwich.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!


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