Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sandwich

Somehow, in the past couple of years, I developed a love for Vietnamese sandwiches – the Banh Mi at Mi Li Cafe on the North Side are a staple for me whenever I can get up that way. When I saw this recipe, I knew I’d have to try it. Don’t get the wrong idea – this isn’t anything like a traditional banh mi, with it’s pate and two kinds of pork. That sort of banh mi is better left to the professionals. This does have a bit of the vibe, though – because it uses many of the same ingredients and condiments.

Personally, I felt it was a bit too spicy for my mild tastes – but your mileage may vary. Paul absolutely loved it at is, although he did say it set his ass on fire.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sandwich

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sandwich
recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine

Hot Chili Mayo:

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

Meatballs:

* 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

Sandwiches:

* 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
* Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
* 16 large fresh cilantro sprigs

Hot Chili Mayo:
Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Meatballs:
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. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Sandwiches:
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.

3 thoughts on “Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sandwich

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