Spicy Meatball Banh Mi Sandwiches

This delicious sandwich is the amalgamation of two different recipes: the Sesame Soy Meatballs from MyRecipes.com, and the pickled vegetable and mayonnaise mixture from an Epicurious.com bahn mi recipe.

The Vietnamese banh mi is simply a spicy meat sandwich, typically consisting of pâté, grilled meat, pickled vegetables, spicy chiles and cilantro. The traditional banh mi roll is very similar to a French baguette though its formula consists of rice flour as well as the glutenous wheat flour, giving the roll an airy texture and a lighter crust. Unable to find a traditional Vietnamese baguette, I often settle for President’s Choice ciabatta buns when making these at home.


Meatball Banh Mi

Spicy Chile Mayonnaise
1 cup mayo (not Miracle Whip)
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and leave at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour to allow flavours to meld.

Pickled Vegetables
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup palm sugar (can use white sugar)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup carrot, julienned
1 cup daikon*, julienned
3 or 4 green onions, sliced lengthwise into 3″ strips

Combine all ingredients and leave at room temperature for at least an hour, tossing frequently, to allow vegetables to pickle. Daikon (click for image) is an Asian root vegetable similar to a radish in flavour. You can substitute radishes, cabbage, or any other crunchy vegetable if you can’t find daikon.

Sesame Soy Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
6-8 cloves of garlic, grated then minced

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 1 oz balls and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (1 oz balls are approximately 1.5″ in diameter.) Freeze meatballs until ready to use—one pound should make 20-25 meatballs. When ready to use, arrange meatballs on a cookie cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet to allow the fat to drip off. Bake from frozen in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or about 10 minutes if not frozen.

Garnish
Cilantro leaves
Sliced jalapenos, seeded and deveined

TO BUILD BANH MI:
Lightly toast your bun and then liberally spread with mayonnaise. Lay three or four meatballs on the bread then top with pickled vegetables, cilantro and sliced jalapenos.


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