Meatball Banh Mi

March/April 2012

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This banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is filled with a zingy slaw and chicken-and-pork meatballs spiked with fresh herbs. Look for chile-garlic sauce and fish sauce near other Asian ingredients in most supermarkets.

Meatball Banh Mi

Makes: 6 sandwiches

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  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 3 /4 cups shredded daikon radish (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Meatballs & Sandwich

  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground chicken breast
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion whites
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce or other Asian hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 20-inch baguettes, preferably whole-wheat, cut into thirds
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce or other Asian hot sauce
  • 36 thin slices English cucumber (about 1/2 large)
  • 2/3 cup gently packed fresh cilantro


  1. To prepare slaw: Whisk lime juice and sugar in a medium bowl. Add carrot, daikon, scallion greens and basil and toss to coat. Set aside.
  2. To prepare meatballs: Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Gently mix pork, chicken, water chestnuts, scallion whites, garlic, fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce and pepper in a large bowl (do not overmix). Using a generous 2 tablespoons each, make 18 meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. To assemble sandwiches: Cut each portion of baguette in half horizontally, then pull out about half of the soft bread in the center of each piece (reserve for another use, if desired). Combine mayonnaise and chile-garlic sauce to taste in a small bowl. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture on each piece of baguette. Divide the reserved slaw among the sandwiches and top with cucumber and cilantro. Add 3 meatballs to each sandwich. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Freeze cooked meatballs airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before serving cold or reheating.
  • Tip: Daikon is a long, white radish; it can be found in Asian groceries and most natural-foods stores. If you can’t find it, the more common round red radish can be used as a substitute.


Per serving: 430 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 57 mg cholesterol; 67 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 5 g fiber; 821 mg sodium; 474 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (117% daily value), Vitamin C (39% dv), Iron (23% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 4

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Type of Dish
Main dish, Other
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

March/April 2012
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