This is my simple version of a Vietnamese favorite street food. My Bahn Mi (Meatball) sandwich is made with ground chicken and served on a soft roll. Make lots they will want seconds!
You will need:
- 1 lb ground chicken – dark and white is best
- 1 tbsp finely chopped white part of lemongrass
- 3-4 cloves garlic – chopped finely
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
- 1 small fresh chili – chopped finely (use 3/4 in the meatballs and 1/4 in carrot topping)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- enough good extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of pan while cooking the meatballs (you could use peanut or another oil but. I love olive oil so I use it for everything!)
- a bit of ginger ale to deglaze the pan
- 2-3 small carrots -sliced into fine matchsticks
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1.4 of the chopped chilies
- 1 tsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 mini English cucumber – sliced into matchsticks
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh buns
- more cilantro
- lime wedges
- sweet Thai chili sauce
Start with a good quality ground chicken. I like a blend of dark and white meat for a more tender meatball.
Step 1: in a large bowl combine chicken, lemongrass, chopped garlic, cilantro, chili, brown sugar, salt, fish sauce, sesame oil and breadcrumbs.
mix to combine
Step 2: form into balls and you can store in fridge for a few hours or heat oil and prepare right away.
I used a Planeta Olive oil from Sicily to cook on medium heat until browned and cooked through.
At the last minute I pour over a good glug of ginger ale to add a bit of sweetness and also to deglaze the pan.
Step 3: While the meatballs cook I prepare the vegetable/quick pickle
Chop carrots into think matchsticks
Chop chili, cilantro and cucumber. Add rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve a few meatballs on a soft roll top with a squeeze of lime, the vegetables, more cilantro and some Sweet Thai Chili sauce if you like or even a bit of sliced mango!!