Banh Mi Baby One More Time

This recipe is a revelation. Seriously, I would usually never consider a meatball sub for dinner and here I was enjoying every minute of devouring this amazing sandwich tonight. This is a French-Vietnamese style sandwich, usually served on the streets, made gourmet and fabulous. The flavors are out of this world and you can do a lot of the work in advance. I will absolutely make this again and would serve to any company. It can be made to your taste (as you can see I like when you can play with recipes) and it would even be delicious if you served it as a salad for those of you out there trying to avoid baguettes. If you are that person, I am not sure that we can be friends.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi
Bon Appetit January 2010
Makes 4 Sandwiches

Pickled Vegetables
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon (I could not find this in my market and subbed in zucchini)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Directions: Toss ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, tossing occasionally

Hot Chili Mayo
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (like sriracha, but any hot sauce you like will do)
Directions: Combine all three ingredients in a small and season with salt. *Do Ahead: Can be made one day in advance, cover and chill

1 lb ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (can find in the Asian food section of your market)
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Directions: Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Using moistened hands and a scant tablespoons for each, roll meat mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet. *Do ahead: Can be made 1 day in advance. Cover and chill
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs. Saute until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often and lowering the heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. (I took one out after they all felt firm and broke it open to make sure it was done) Transfer meatballs to another baking sheet and place in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

4 10-inch long individual baguettes, or 4 10-inch long sliced pieces of a long baguette
thinly sliced jalapeno chilis (I removed the seeds, because it would be crazy hot with them!)
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs
Directions: Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally, but not through the other side completely. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2 inch thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo all over the sandwich. Arrange jalapeno slices, then cilantro in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of the meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on Baguette tops.


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