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Turkey Meatball Banh Mi

Meatball Banh Mi and Pulled pork taco at Banh Mi Boys

A new Banh Mi joint opened up on Queen street a few weeks ago and the Mister and I rushed over to try it. Banh Mi Boys are located at Queen West and their cheap, delicious Korean-Mexican-Vietnamese fusion banh mi, etc. are worth every penny! We tried their pulled pork taco (which comes in a flaky roti-type pasty instead of a tortilla), and their meatball banh mi and now we are hooked for life. Unfortunately, after tempting us with their fine wares they are now closed for renos until February!

Thus, we have had to take matters into our own hands and make our own Banh Mi.  Since it was our first attempt at this we decided to just keep it simple. A while back I’d found a recipe on Epicurious and “pinned” it to my food board over at Pinterest for safekeeping. I gave it a quick glance, determined that we had most of the ingredients on hand and we decided to give it a try.

Verdict: DELICIOUS. Words cannot describe how good (and simple) this recipe is! It was so good that I think we might make this again this week, and I’ve already thought of a way to make an “appetizer” version for the Oscar party we attend every year. This one is a keeper for sure.

Here’s the recipe I essentially followed, but modified slightly to my own personal tastes:

Turkey Meatball Banh Mi
(Makes 4 sandwiches but with leftover meatballs)

Hot Chili Mayo:
2/3 cup light mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce (This wasn’t spicy enough for me so I added another tablespoon)

Meatballs: (For us this made 19 meatballs)
1 pound extra-lean ground turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (plug your nose when adding it to the recipe, it’s stinky but necessary)
1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Sandwiches & pickled veggies for garnish:
2 cups coarsely grated carrots (we used our own home pickled carrots instead)
1/2 seedless english cucumber, cut into slices
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 individual baguettes or buy 2 larger ones and cut them into 4
Thinly sliced jalapeño peppers
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs

Hot Chili Mayo:
Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill.

Pickled Vegetables (for garnish):
Combine carrots, cucumbers, rice vinegar, sugar and kosher salt in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour (or at least until you are ready to garnish your sandwiches), tossing occasionally. (In the above picture there are no carrots because we already had some pickled.)

Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl, then shape into approximately 19 small meatballs.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sauté meatballs until brown and cooked through, turning often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Transfer meatballs to baking sheet. Place in oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Cut each baguette horizontally in half (but not all the way through…leave a “hinge”). Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves. Fill with meatballs (Our baguettes weren’t very big so we fit about 3 meatballs per sandwich). Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Close the “hinge” on your sandwich and ENJOY!

As a side note, the meatballs taste amazing cold, the next day as well. Since I didn’t have any more baguette leftover, I used the leftovers and made a big Vietnamese Banh Mi salad for lunch the next day (lettuce, pickled vegetables, torn up basil and cilantro, turkey meatballs). Delicious and fairly healthy as well!  I can’t wait to make these again.


About corinacorona

Video maker, social media enthusiast, content maker, etc. Tattooed travel lover, runner, horror junkie, amateur foodie. Born in the wrong era. https://corinacorona.wordpress.com/


2 thoughts on “Turkey Meatball Banh Mi

  1. The meatballs look fanastic 🙂 and the sandwich you made with them too!

    Posted by mikstidbits | January 14, 2012, 3:44 pm

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