asian · dinner · pork

Banh Mi Bowls with Spicy Meatballs

I realized just now that while I’m writing this post, I’ve used three different styles of writing today. Not just within this first sentence that your reading, of course. I’m talking about work and my favorite hobby.

I started out my day writing for television. I try to make my morning show sound conversational, mixed with making things sound new or happening right now, mixed in with a little of “what’s next?” type of writing. The main thing to take away from broadcast-style writing is very short sentences. The more conversational, the better.

Not everyone knows what a Senate Pro Tempore is or understands what “expired” means in law enforcement lingo. It’s difficult line to tow between my knowledge in so many subjects plus trying to boil something down to the most simple terms possible.

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Next up, web writing. I’ve taken it upon myself to write a few stories for our website before I leave since our morning web guy is off. Web writing is very “just the facts, ma’am.” You don’t have to be conversational. It’s okay for sentences to be in passive form.

Now, I’m using my blog-style writing. It’s a mix between my life and love of food, and I can pretty much write however I want to write. There aren’t these abstract restrictions to my sentences. And if you haven’t noticed, I have a profound love of commas. That means I don’t want a sentence to end; rather, I’m working two thoughts into one.

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With my blog-style writing, I can segue into food any way I wish. Which is what I’m doing now. Segueing into food. If “segueing” even is a word. Hey, little red squiggly lines didn’t pop up under it, so there’s that.

While searching recipes to make this weekend, I kept favoriting and pulling out Asian-inspired dishes. I guess the cooler temperatures got to my head and made me want something spicy and warm. You’ll notice that theme over the course of the next few blog posts.

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To start off the weekend I threw together this bowl. I love making my meal favorites into a highly transportable dish like a bowl. The best bowls always have a good protein, a few veggies, a sauce, and a grain as a base. All of those things are already in a Banh Mi sandwich, so it was an easy transformation.

My favorite Banh Mi is made with char sui pork, but I’m not about that life. Makin char sui is really intimidating. I decided to go with a pork meatball instead, and found this insanely delicious lemongrass sauce at the Asian grocery store to mix in with it. Perfection!

Banh mi’s are also made with a pickled carrot and daikon radish relish, but I searched high and low for some daikon and came up empty handed. I guess I could’ve added some cucumber to use as another vegetable, but this was good as is. A drizzle of Sriracha mayo and this Banh Mi bowl hit the spot.

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Banh Mi Bowl with Spicy Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A Vietnamese style bowl with pickled carrots, spicy lemongrass meatballs, cilantro and basmati rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 TBS. lemongrass sauce (or lemongrass paste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS. sambal oelek (or Sriracha)
  • 1 TBS. fish saue
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the pickled carrots:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 TBS. olive oil

For the bowls:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Cooked basmati rice
  • Sriracha mayonnaise (1 cup mayo, 1/4 cup Sriracha, 2 TBS. rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar)
  • Chopped peanuts

Directions

  1. Make the pickled carrots: In a large bowl stir together vinegar, sugar, oil, and salt. Add carrots and toss until well coated. Refrigerate while you make the meatballs.
  2. Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine pork with lemongrass sauce, garlic, sambal, fish sauce, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix with your hands until everything is mixed together well. Meat will be slightly wet, but that’s okay. Roll into balls.
  3. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add meatballs and cook, rolling around to brown on all sides, until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Make the bowl: Start with a layer of cooked rice. Add a few meatballs, cilantro, and pickled carrots. Top with peanuts and Sriracha mayo.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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Make the pickled carrots: In a large bowl stir together vinegar, sugar, oil, and salt. Add carrots and toss until well coated. Refrigerate while you make the meatballs.

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Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine pork with lemongrass sauce, garlic, sambal, fish sauce, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix with your hands until everything is mixed together well. Meat will be slightly wet, but that’s okay. Roll into balls.

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Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add meatballs and cook, rolling around to brown on all sides, until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

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signature

 

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6 thoughts on “Banh Mi Bowls with Spicy Meatballs

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