The Banh Mi Meatball Sandwich is packed with flavorful hearty meatballs, crispy and juicy pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, and a bit of spicy and creamy sauce. Toast the baguette for even more texture and flavors.
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Prepare Ahead of Time for an Easy Vietnamese Sandwich
This recipe may seem complex because of the elements that go into making the sandwich. However, with the right preparation and planning, this banh mi can easily be made at home. Each bite will have you wanting another with the savory, sweet, salty, and a little spicy flavor that are so scrumptious when paired together.
What is a Banh Mi Meatball Sandwich?
A Banh Mi Sandwich is a toasted bun stuffed meatballs that are bursting with flavors smothered in an Asian sauce. Top this with a creamy sriracha sauce and quick-pickled carrots and daikon for a sweet crunch. We like to add a bit of sliced cucumber too for even more freshness and crunch.
If you have yet to try this, I urge you to get this on your bucket list.
This sandwich is easier to make than you might think, so do not let the recipe intimidate you.
The result is magical. There are just so many textures and flavors happening all at once.
Spicy Sauce Used in a Vietnamese Meatball Sub
This Asian condiment sauce is quickly becoming popular in America. In the Asian restaurants in our town, you can find a bottle of this sauce on each table.
Restaurants use a Sriracha mayo sauce to top their sub sandwiches. It takes just four simple ingredients and a few minutes of your time.
Ingredients for the Sriracha Mayo Sauce include Sriracha Sauce, Mayonnaise, Fresh Lime Juice, and Salt.
If you prefer less spice, just swap out the spicy mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise.
Quick-Pickled Carrot and Daikon Match Sticks
Another delicious addition to this Sandwich is the pickled carrots and daikon radish. This goes together quickly and adds just the right amount of crunch and sweetness to the spiciness.
Some recipes call for just 1 hour of marinating the vegetables in the pickling ingredients; however, I find that the flavor comes through much better if I let this rest in the refrigerator at least a day ahead. In fact, once you make this you will find many uses for these pickled vegetables.
Bahn Mi Meatball Ingredients
To be honest, I have made these meatballs from scratch and used an Italian Pre-made Frozen meatball. Once they are cooked and the sauce is made, for me anyway, it is hard to tell the difference.
Therefore, if you have the time and want to make these from scratch, it involved just a few simple ingredients. Often, I will have these on hand, so the meatballs come together quickly. Pork, cilantro, green onion or scallion, garlic, fish sauce, sriracha, sugar, salt, pepper, and corn starch. Just mix and shape into golf-sized balls.
However, if you are short on time and still want to enjoy this delectable sandwich, pop the frozen meatballs in a skillet and continue with the recipe.
The meatballs themselves taste great; however, I love to add a sweet soy glaze to the pan when I am cooking the meatballs. Half a cup of the soy glaze and half a cup of water. Then when assembling the sandwiches, drizzle some of this savory sauce on top of the meatballs.
Trust me, you need to try this. It takes this sandwich to the next level for flavor.
Bring the napkins as you will get a bit messy as you enjoy this treat.
Another option for a sauce for these scrumptious meatballs; sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, and fish sauce. I use equal parts of each. Depending on how much sauce you want, I would add 2 tablespoons of each to the skillet. If it gets too thick, thin with a bit of water.
Assembling the Banh Mi Sandwich “Vietnamese Meatball Sub”
Use a crusty-type baguette. We like our buns toasted it just adds to the crunchy textures. It just takes a few minutes in a skillet. Once toasted add thinly sliced cucumbers the pickled carrot and daikon to the bun halves. Then pile on the meatballs; usually 4-6 for each sandwich. Really just as many as you can fit across the length of the bun. Make sure to spoon on the sauce from the pan.
Add a drizzle of the sriracha mayo and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and Jalapeno slices if desired.
It is a bit messy, so have a few extra napkins.
My husband prefers a softer bun; choose the bread that you love so you can enjoy this recipe the way you like it.
Bahn Mi Sandwich, Scrumptious Appetizer, or Meal
Perfect appetizer for a party, yet just as nice for a weeknight meal. The meatballs made with fish sauce, garlic and fresh basil are divine. Insert a toothpick and you are set. Even better, serve them from the skillet or spoon over cooked rice of pasta. Yum!
How about a homemade Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich? Yup, turn these meatballs into a tasty sandwich.
The recipe might look long, but they really are quite simple to make. Make parts of this ahead of time for making sandwiches on the fly in the future.
Banh Mi Meatball Sandwich
- 1 Pound Carrots Julienned
- 1 Pound Daikon Radish Julienned
- 1 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Pound Ground Pork Can use frozen meatballs for the meatball portion and skip the rest of the ingredients in this section
- 1 Scallion or Green Onion Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ Cup Sweet Soy Glaze
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 Tablespoons Butter divided between the 4 baguettes
- 4 Baguettes
- 1 Jalapeno seeded and thinly sliced optional
- ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro
- 20 Slices Cucumber about 5 for each sandwich
- Prepare Pickled Vegetables: In large saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Combine carrots and radish in non-reactive bowl; pour hot liquid over vegetables. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate overnight. Or place in a glass canning jar with and place a lid on and refrigerate.
- Combine the meatball ingredients in a bowl, form into golf ball sized balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes. (or just use frozen Italian style meatballs). Place in a skillet with a tablespoon of oil and cook over medium high heat. Browning on all sides. This takes approximately 10 minutes
- Add the meatball sauce and continue cooking until the sauce has bubbled 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Prepare Sriracha Mayo: Mix all ingredients until blended; refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble sandwiches, butter baguette and lightly toast.
- Place the thinly sliced cucumber on one half. Place the pickled carrot and daikon on the other half of the baguette.
- Add the meatballs and drizzle on the sauce.
- Drizzle on the sriracha mayo and sprinkle on the cilantro and Jalapeno slices if desired.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.
You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has worked in restaurants for many years. Her many crochet patterns and quilt patterns are enjoyed by many. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.