Let’s explore the intricacies of the Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh Mì Xíu Mại)! My recipe will show you how to whip up tender meatballs in detail and put them all together to make the perfect Banh Mi Xiu Mai.
The wonders of Vietnamese cuisine are only a recipe away. So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into this flavor-packed Vietnamese dish. It’s time to unlock the secrets of this treasured sandwich recipe from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Banh Mi Xiu Mai – A Beloved Breakfast Dish
I still remember my first taste of Banh Mi Xiu Mai; the rich, savory meatballs with the slightly sweet and tangy tomato sauce, all tucked into a warm, crunchy baguette. The combination was absolutely heavenly.
It’s a versatile dish, too – you can enjoy it nestled in a baguette for a hearty on-the-go breakfast or served alongside steamed white rice for a comforting home-cooked meal.
From the bustling street food stalls of Vietnam to the family dinner tables, Banh Mi Xiu Mai is a beloved staple. It’s a reflection of Vietnamese culture – generous, vibrant, and soulful. Each bite takes me back to that lively street corner, bringing a rush of nostalgia.
- Non-stick Pan: Ideal for sautéing and simmering without worrying about ingredients sticking or burning.
- Mixing Bowl: A good-sized bowl will make mixing your ground meat and chopped ingredients a breeze.
- Pot: A staple in any kitchen, you’ll need this for boiling the quail eggs and steaming your meatballs.
- Plate or Steaming Tray: To hold the meatballs while they are being gently steamed to perfection.
- Large Pot with Lid: Essential for the steaming process, ensuring your meatballs are cooked evenly and thoroughly.
- Spatula: This handy tool will help you stir and mix ingredients during cooking, ensuring nothing sticks and burns.
- Nylon Gloves: Hygienic and convenient, these will make mixing your ground meat and shaping the meatballs a cleaner task.
- Soup Ladle & Chopsticks: Helpful tools for serving and eating your delicious Banh Mi Xiu Mai
- Ground meat: The heart of your meatballs, this can be either pork or beef or a mouthwatering blend of the two. It’s entirely up to your personal taste.
- Jicama, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushroom, and onion: These are finely chopped to add a delightful crunch and earthy taste to the meatball filling.
- Shallots and garlic: Sauteed in olive oil until they’re golden and aromatic. They infuse the meatballs with a rich depth of flavor.
- Quail eggs: Boiled to perfection and encased in the meatball, these mini eggs offer a delightful surprise with each bite.
- Tomatoes: these will be turned into a bright, tangy sauce to perfectly offset the rich meatballs.
- Scallions and cilantro: freshly chopped, these herbs add an aromatic finishing touch to your sandwiches.
- Bread: opt for your favorite bread. Whether you prefer a crispy baguette or a fluffy roll, it’s all up to you.
- Olive oil: Drizzled in the pan to sauté the shallots and garlic, it releases their tantalizing aroma and flavors.
Spices for the meatballs:
- Ground pepper: Sprinkled into the mixture for a little heat.
- Red pepper powder: Lends a subtle kick to the meatballs.
- Brown sugar: A touch of sweetness to balance the savory ingredients.
- Fish sauce: An essential Vietnamese ingredient, it brings the umami factor into the mix.
Spices for the sauce:
- Salt: A fundamental ingredient, this crystalline mineral utilizes the best in all the other components.
- Soup powder: A hidden hero that adds a deep, savory note.
- Sugar: Mellowing out the tartness of the tomatoes. It brings a perfect balance to the sauce.
- Oyster sauce: An extra layer of depth and complexity is added to the sauce with this.
- Fish sauce: Intensifies the savory flavors.
- Ketchup: This enhances the fresh tomato taste and adds a pleasant richness to the sauce.
- Chili sauce: A little chili sauce provides the dish with a delicious spicy kick.
- Cornstarch: The key to getting a gorgeously thick sauce, it holds everything together.
- Water: Used to adjust the consistency of the sauce as needed.
Soak the shiitake and wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15 – 20 minutes until they soften, then chop finely.
Finely chop the other ingredients: tomatoes, onions, carrots, jicama, shallots, garlic, green onions, and cilantro.
Boil the quail eggs, peel them, and set aside.
Saute the shallots, chopped garlic, and onions until they become fragrant. Be careful not to overcook them, as it can result in a burnt smell that takes away from their delicious aroma.
Mix the ground meat with jicama, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, half of the scallions and cilantro, half of the onions, garlic, and shallots.
Next, season with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of soup powder, 1 teaspoon of ground pepper, 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder, and ½ tablespoon of fish sauce.
Mix well with your hands to combine all the ingredients. Don’t forget to put on your food prep gloves.
Take a portion of the meat mixture that’s slightly larger than a quail egg and shape it into a round ball. Press the meat into your palm to flatten it, place a quail egg on top, and carefully form the meat around the egg.
Repeat these steps with the remaining meat and quail eggs, placing each finished meatball on a steaming tray.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place the tray of meatballs into it. You can utilize a pair of chopsticks to support an additional plate of meatballs on top for steaming. Steam everything for about 25 minutes over medium heat.
While the meatballs are near the end of their cooking time, start on the tomato sauce. Heat the remaining garlic, shallots, and onions in a pan. Add the tomatoes, and stir well.
Pour in 10 fluid ounces of water and season the sauce with ½ tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon each of sugar and salt, 1 tablespoon each of oyster sauce, chili sauce, and ketchup.
Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your personal taste.
Cover the pan. Simmer the tomatoes over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until they’re soft.
Once they’re cooked, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 5 tablespoons of water in a separate bowl. Gradually pour this slurry into the pan to thicken the sauce.
Finally, add the remaining scallions and cilantro, the meatballs, and the liquid from the steaming tray to the pan.
Stir gently to ensure the meatballs are evenly distributed. Let everything cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the meatballs to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Then, remove the pan from the heat.
For the first approach, serve the steamed meatballs on a plate or in a bowl. Enhance their flavor with a sprinkle of chopped green onions, cilantro, freshly ground pepper, and a dollop of chili sauce.
In this form, they make an excellent companion to steamed rice or bread. Consider the option of adding pickled vegetables (Do Chua), fresh salad, and cucumber slices for a complete Vietnamese meal.
For a quick, satisfying on-the-go breakfast, consider transforming the meatballs into a filling for a Banh Mi sandwich. Just nestle the meatballs and a generous helping of tomato sauce inside a fresh baguette.
You can layer pickled vegetables, fresh salad leaves, and cucumber slices at the bottom of the sandwich and top it off with green onions, cilantro, ground pepper, and chili sauce for an extra flavor punch.
This results in a convenient handheld breakfast that’s hearty, balanced, and full of authentic Vietnamese flavors.
Tips And Tricks
- Adjust the number of spices and seasonings based on your preference to enhance both the meatball flavor and the tomato sauce.
- Gently stir when adding the meatballs to the pan to prevent them from breaking apart.
- Use a steamer if available. If not, follow the provided alternative method for similar results.
- Always choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. The quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the final taste of your Banh Mi Xiu Mai.
- Prepare all your ingredients in advance. Doing this helps you focus on the cooking process without interruption.
- Allow the meatballs to rest after steaming. Resting lets the juices redistribute, making the meatballs more flavorful.
- Personalize your Banh Mi by adding a variety of pickles, fresh herbs, and spicy sauces for an added flavor punch.
Allow the meatballs to cool completely. Once they are at room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container along with some of the sauce to keep them moist. Stored this way, they will last for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
If you’d like to store them longer, you can freeze the meatballs. Once frozen, they should be good for about 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat them gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
It’s best to consume the bread on the same day as it tends to harden and lose its freshness. If you have leftover bread, you can store it in a bread box or a cloth bag at room temperature. It should last for about 2 days.
To refresh day-old bread, sprinkle it with some water and warm it up in the oven for a few minutes.
- Vietnamese Pho Ga (Chicken Pho): A comforting bowl of Pho Ga consists of a savory chicken broth seasoned with star anise, ginger, and other spices. It’s served with rice noodles, shredded chicken, and garnished with fresh herbs.
- Vietnamese Banh Mi Ga (Chicken Banh Mi): This is a Vietnamese sandwich made with baguette, filled with tender and juicy chicken, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and a flavorful sauce. It’s a great on-the-go breakfast option that is super satisfying.
- Vietnamese Xoi Dau Phong (Peanut Sticky Rice): A popular street food in Vietnam, Xoi Dau Phong is glutinous rice cooked until sticky and then mixed with crushed roasted peanuts and sugar.
- Vietnamese Egg Omelet: This dish is a savory breakfast choice, typically including ingredients like onions, mushrooms, and glass noodles cooked into the eggs. It’s a balanced and nutritious start to your day.
- Vietnamese Yogurt Coffee (Sua Chua Cafe): This unique beverage combines the strong flavor of Vietnamese coffee with the creamy, tangy taste of yogurt, served either hot or cold.
Enjoy Banh Mi Xiu Mai To The Last Bite
This Vietnamese wonder is more than just a sandwich; it is a marvel that combines the simplest ingredients and turns them into an irresistible meal. Moreover, although it’s usually served as breakfast, you can have it any time of the day!
Don’t forget to hit the like button and share this flavorful journey with others who might be intrigued by the tale of Banh Mi Xiu Mai. If you’ve tasted this sandwich, I’m eager to know your thoughts. Feel free to leave your experiences and feedback in the comments!
5 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories516
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 2.5g 10%
- Cholesterol 86mg 29%
- Sodium 1410mg 59%
- Potassium 723mg 21%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 10.4g 40%
- Sugars 8.2g
- Protein 45.2g 90%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Table of Contents
- Banh Mi Xiu Mai – A Beloved Breakfast Dish
- How To Serve Banh Mi Xiu Mai
- Tips And Tricks
- Proper Ways To Store The Dish
- Like This Recipe? Check Out Other Vietnamese Breakfast!
- Enjoy Banh Mi Xiu Mai To The Last Bite
- Banh Mi Xiu Mai – Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich Recipe
- Nutrition Facts