Eat, meat, Uncategorized
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Bánh Mì Series: Meatballs / Xíu Mại

I am excited to introduce a new recipe series to our readers: Banh Mi or Vietnamese Sandwhiches. My co-author, Hung Nguyen, has been making Vietnamese sandwiches in Texas at his family owned bakery for years. In this new series, we will reinterpret the bakery’s recipes for our readers. The first recipe will be for a banh mi xíu mại or meatball sandwich. The juicy meatballs paired with a crunchy baguette is a mashup of flavors and texture. This recipe is very easy and I hope you enjoy eating it as much as we do.

This recipe is rated easy and takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare.


1 lb. of ground pork or your choice of ground meat

1 yellow onion

10 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon corn starch

⅓ cup of coconut soda

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

¼ teaspoon of baking powder

½ cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of unsalted softened butter

Olive oil


Ground black pepper

Sea salt


*Garlic is not pictured


In a food processor, mince 6 cloves of garlic.


Add 1 lb of ground pork, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch, ¼ teaspoon of baking powder, ⅓ cup of coconut soda and 3 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter.


Pulse until the meat mixture becomes paste-like. Empty the meat mixture into a bowl.


Finely diced ¼ of a large onion or approximately 1 cup of diced onion. Add to the meat mixture and mix well.



Cut ¼ large onion into large pieces, approximately the size of a clove of garlic.


Minced 4 cloves of garlic. Line a pan with oil on high heat. Brown the garlic and onions.


Add ½ cup of ketchup and stir to incorporate with the garlic and onions.



Add 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth. Let the broth comes to a boil and then lower the heat to medium.


Shape the meat paste into 1 inch balls and place the meatballs into the broth. Let the meatballs simmer in the broth for approximately 15 minutes. The meatballs will absorb the sauce as they cook.



A technique to form the proper meatball is shown below. A trick is to oil your left hand and then form the meatballs like the video. Vietnamese meatball paste is stickier than the normal American meatballs.

Turn off the heat and serve with bread. You can either put the meatballs on the bread like a sandwhich and pour some sauce over it or serve it with bread on the side.


FullSizeRender (1)

Try our other related bánh mì recipes:

Vietnamese Mayonnaise

Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish

For more recipes, visit our EAT page or Recipe Index.

Authors: Hung Nguyen and Chau Hoang




  1. Pingback: Recipes Index | La Vie Partagée

  2. Pingback: Bánh Mì Series: Pickled Daikon and Carrots | La Vie Partagée

  3. Pingback: Bánh Mì Series: Vietnamese Garlic Mayonnaise | La Vie Partagée

  4. Pingback: Bánh Mì Series: Pork Pâté | La Vie Partagée

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