I loved spending time out here these past few weeks, whether working away on our laptops (powered by a giant orange extension cord) or relaxing with some snacks and a cider. Another thing that we’re looking forward to (though really, this recipe can be made year-round) are these Pork Meatball Banh Mi Sliders.
In Vietnam, banh mi means bread, but here we use the term to describe Vietnamese subs – the French introduced the baguette to Vietnam during their rule, and the Vietnamese used them to sandwich their own meats and veggies.
Unlike the subs that we’re familiar with, banh mi is packed full of flavor with a bit of an Asian flair, thanks to satay sauces, pickled carrots, Thai basil, and cilantro, to name a few. These meatballs have their distinctive flavor from garlic, green onion, fish sauce and Sriracha – yum.
I used a quick-pickled carrots recipe that uses salt, sugar and rice vinegar, resulting in pickles that are a little less harsh than what we’re familiar with. To assemble the banh mi, you have the savory meatballs with the sweet-and-sour carrots, then add fresh, cooling cucumber, cilantro and basil for garnish. For a bit of an extra kick, you can add slices of fresh jalapeño.
The meatballs would go great in actual baguettes, but we had a surplus of dinner rolls, so we made sliders instead, which, oddly enough, made them a little harder to eat. Next time I think I will try shaping them into patties.
Delicious Pork Meatball Banh Mi SlidersPrint Recipe
- VIETNAMESE PORK MEATBALLS:
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- ¼ cup (60-milliliter) finely chopped fresh basil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15-milliliter) fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15-milliliter) hot chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15-milliliter) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10-milliliter) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (5-milliliter) black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5-milliliter) coarse kosher salt
- PICKLED CARROTS:
- 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into strips ⅛th-inch square and 3 inches long, about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoon (30-milliliter) sugar
- ½ tablespoon (7-milliliter) kosher salt
- ½ cup (125-milliliter) water
- ¼ cup (60-milliliter) rice wine vinegar
- BANH MI SLIDERS:
- 12 whole wheat buns, halved
- Hot sauce
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- Thai basil and/or cilantro
- Sliced jalapeno pepper, optional
VIETNAMESE PORK MEATBALLS:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Gently mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. With moistened hands, roll scant tablespoonfuls of the mixture, forming them into 1″ (2.5 centimeters) balls. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the meatballs until golden and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Combine carrots, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using fingertips, massage salt and sugar into carrots until dissolved. Add water and rice vinegar. Pack vegetables into a quart-sized mason jar. Pickles can be used immediately, or for best results, seal the jar and refrigerate at least overnight and for up to 1 week.
BANH MI SLIDERS:
- To assemble sliders, place two or three meatballs on the bottom half of the bun. Slather the other half of the bun with mayo and/or hot sauce. Add sliced cucumber, a clump of pickled carrots and a few sprigs of Thai basil and/or cilantro. Put together the two bun halves and enjoy.