A mere 30 minutes north of our cozy home there is a little shop in a little strip mall in a fairly little town. In this shop they make and sell one of the best sandwiches in and around Seattle. You can be the proud owner of said sandwich for around $3.00.

It’s Banh Mi. A crusty, chewy baguette with mayonnaise deep in the bread’s crevices and sweet and salty pork with crispy meat edges that make you think meat candy might be a brilliant idea. Full sprigs of cilantro hug lightly pickled and julienned carrots and daikon. And if you happen to be driving while eating this particular sandwich and not closely paying attention to what you are eating you’ll likely bite into a firey hot wedge of Jalapeno – not slice, wedge. You’ll then proceed to become the entertainment for the car next to you as you frantically search for the water wincing and shrieking from the heat. Your husband will be embarrassed.


You might not have this shop (Seattle Deli) near your house. For that I am sorry, but it is for that very reason I share this recipe with you. And dare I say I like this version better?! I think I dare. Maybe it’s because I can pay closer attention to the jalapeno consumption or it could just be that these are the best little meatballs I’ve ever had. It could also be that the homemade baguette I used for the rolls was the perfect texture to make this sandwich utterly delicious while not requiring a bib to eat it.


Of course making your own rolls is not necessary in making these sandwiches a great success. When choosing the bread select one with a thin, crispy exterior, an interior with the lightness of a cloud and the craters of the moon to soak up the Sriracha mayo and the juices that seep out from the meatballs.

Banh Mi with pork meatballs

adapted from

makes 4 sandwiches

Sriracha Mayo

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Sriracha
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Can be made a couple days in advance if covered well and place in the fridge.

Pork Meatballs

1 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro stems, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Other sandwich components

cilantro sprigs
jalapeno, thinly sliced
julienned carrots and radish with a sprinkle of rice wine vinegar

In a large bowl mix all these ingredients together. If touching raw meat doesn’t scare you use your hands – they are the best way to ensure all the ingredients are evenly mixed. A spoon is fine too.
Prepare a plastic wrap or parchment lined baking sheet. Form the pork mixture into tablespoon sized balls. You should make 12 meatballs, 3 for each sandwich.
Cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and chill. You can make the meatballs one day in advance. If cooking the same day chill the meatballs for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to cook the meatballs pre-heat your oven to 350*F.
In a large skillet drizzle in 2 tablespoons oil (canola, sesame, or olive). When the pan is very hot carefully add half of the meatballs. Cook for about a minute on each side. You want to see a nice, dark crust on the meatballs.

When completely seared place the meatballs on a parchment lined sheet tray and put in the oven. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 160*. If the juices run light pink your meatballs are done. This should take about 10 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking prepare your baguettes. Cut each in half and apply a generous amount of the Sriracha Mayo on each side. Add cilantro, thinly sliced jalapenos, julienned carrots, and radish.
Add three meatballs to each sandwich. Serve immediately.

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43 Responses to “banh mi with pork meatballs”

  1. Stephanie S

    So first of all, I am now excited to make Banh-Mi at home. And second of all, I must find a reason to visit my friends in Edmonds so we can have Banh-Mi at Seattle Deli. Because there is never a better time for Banh-Mi than when I want it to stop raining…which was sometime last month. At least it’s finally staying lighter for longer!

  2. heather

    I’ve only had Banh Mi with sliced pork, sometimes a combo of sliced pork and liver sausage, but never pork meatballs. It’s been on some of the menus, I just never got around to trying. Look forward to righting the meatball wrong at home, with your delicious recipe, for my fiancée and I!



  3. lo

    We tend to make our banh mi with sliced Asian pork — but I love the meatball idea, as would Peef! He’s a sucker for all things meatballs.

  4. The Café Sucré Farine

    Looks fabulous!! I am so excited to find a recipe for these sandwiches – have bookmarked this and will be trying them over the weekend! Thanks so much, we love Vietnamese food!

  5. Connie

    I love when I read a post and discover that 2/3 of the ingredients required are already in my fridge. Dinner!

  6. mixette

    Yay! I have been waiting with so much anticipation for your next savory recipe and you totally made my day with this one. There is going to be a bahn mi fest in this house today!

  7. Julie

    This has been on my must-make list for eons!! Clearly this is a sign that I must get on it. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. The Cilantropist

    I would love to make these, but I would definitely have to all the way and make my own baguettes as well, yours look beautiful. Loving the photos in this post, especially the one of the bread.

  9. Sarah

    Just made these for dinner tonight! ummm, YUM!! We left out the fish sauce (didn’t have any and didn’t want to run to the store) and the flavor was just right. Added some avocado for a creamy cooling effect to counter the jalapeno heat. Delish!!

  10. kristel wyman

    ashley, you are a genius. i made these three days ago and have been eating them with such joy each day. i’m so sad they’re all gone.

  11. Sabrina

    I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

  12. teapot

    I thought I could handle spicy. Next time I’m using less sriracha. My mouth is on fiiiree.

  13. Jen

    Just made these for dinner and they were amazing!!! I got way more than 12 meatballs (a delightful surprise–hello, delicious leftovers) but made them all at once. I was lazy and skipped the pan frying. I’m sure they would have been even more delicious that way, but the combo of the meatballs and that sriracha mayo and cilantro was spectacular. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

  14. Siew Leng

    Made this over the weekend. It was delicious! I also got more than 12 meatballs, yay!
    Definitely will make again. Thanks for sharing.


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