A delicious, heat-adjustable sandwich that’s full of flavour and great for a weekend meal.
The Woks of Life is a fabulous food blog, run by a family of four bloggers. The photography and styling is just my cup of tea – I dare you to take a look and not get instantly hungry! More importantly though, the recipes are great. If you’re a fan of Chinese and Asian food, this blog should certainly be in your follow lists.
Today I’m sharing one of the dishes that’s included in our “frequently munched” menu plan: Spicy Meatball Banh Mi. If you’re not familiar, a Banh Mi is basically a Vietnamese sandwich – loaded with fresh and vibrant veggies and plenty of interesting flavours.
Contrasting textures and complimentary flavours make this sandwich an absolute winner. The juicy, incredibly delicious pork meatballs are a particular joy – and if epic sandwiches don’t really do it for you, I heartly encourage making the meatballs and throwing them into a dish of stir-fried noodles. So, so good.
Of course, I don’t recreate it exactly as instructed… The first difference is that I omit the daikon radish. It’s not for any ‘unobtainable item’ reason – large radishes are easily available in Bavaria. It’s just simply that I don’t want to add another ingredient to my shopping basket. I wish I could give you a better motive, but for the few strips I’d need it doesn’t feel quite worth buying one. They’re huge!
The next differences is that I’m not using mayonnaise for the spicy sauce. I’m the only person in the house that would eat it anyway, so I often tend to purchase things we both enjoy. In this case, the mayonnaise gets swapped out for garlic sauce. Yes, the kind that I also put on pizza – a habit I picked up on late night drunken pizza runs as a teenager! I’m quite certain the mayo version would be great, but we’re a bit garlic addicted over here…
Out goes the jalapeno, in comes some freshly sliced bell pepper. Orange, yellow or red – I like them all. If I’d planned it better for the blog, I’d have gotten a contrasting colour to the carrot. Bad blogger that I am, I opted to use up the lonely pepper that’d set up camp in my fridge. In any case, the photographs on The Woks of Life are bloody gorgeous – head over there to get some extra Pork Meatball Sandwich making encouragement!
Of all the adjustments I make to the original recipe when I’m making this – this is the biggest. It’s about the meatballs.
I halve the recipe as I’m only feeding two of us, yet still make in the region of 16 meatballs. Rather than using around 450g of meat, my pork mince gets frozen into 250g (ish) bags and that’s what I use. This means the meatballs are smaller than the Woks of Life recipe suggests – but I have a good reason: I don’t chill and fry them.
The recipe wants to fry the meat on a medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Now, I don’t really care for frying meat like this… so instead, I bake the meatballs. Pop them onto a baking paper lined tray (they tend to stick to tinfoil) and drop them into the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes.
Oh, and as for the bread… I use a part baked baguette. Happily, it goes into the oven with the meatballs for the first ten minutes of the cooking time. That last five minutes where the meatballs are roasting away means you’ve time to slice and dress the warm, crisp and fluffy bread before those delicious pork meatballs get stuffed inside.
This is a bloody good sandwich.
It’s juicy but crisp, meaty and comforting but still fresh and bright. You can make it as spicy or not as you like, so the recipe easily caters for personal heat preference. I know my sandwich doesn’t look as wonderful as the original but please don’t be put off by my presentation! Or cooking skills! You’ve really got to give this one a try.
Pork Meatball Sandwich Summary
- Get the Recipe: Spicy Meatball Banh Mi from The Woks of Life
- My amendments:
- Omit the daikon radish.
- Swap mayonnaise for garlic sauce.
- Exchange jalapeno for bell pepper.
- Use part baked baguette that’s finished in the oven at home.
- Bake the meatballs instead of frying them.
- Line the tray with baking paper.
- 180°C for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Recipe: Pitta Bread
- Recipe Review: White Bloomer Loaf from Paul Hollywood
- Recipe Review: Incredible Naan Bread from JamieOliver.com