Spicy Meatball Banh Mi

Among the recent dishes I’ve prepared, this spicy meatball banh mi sandwich with pickled carrot and daikon, Sriracha mayo, cilantro, and jalapeno stands out as the most pleasantly surprising. To those unfamiliar, banh mi are a Vietnamese sandwich often constructed with a soft Vietnamese baguette, raw vegetables, and a protein, most commonly grilled pork or a pork cutlet.

Delicious pork meatballs seasoned with garlic, herbs, Sriracha, and fish sauce are the star of this banh mi recipe. AMAZING.

What makes this sandwich—and banh mi in general—so delicious is the contrast between the fresh, crisp textures and flavors of the vegetables and the richness of the pork (not to mention the generous application of spicy mayo). This is perfect finger food for a day spent lounging on a blanket in the park. Put them together, find three more people to share your wonderful sandwich with, and prepare to be amazed.

The recipe can now be presented.


For the Carrot Daikon Salad:

  • 2 medium julienned carrots
  • 1 cup julienned daikon radish
  • 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

For the Meatballs:

  • 450g of ground pork
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or basil
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • salt and pepper; to taste

To Assemble the Sandwiches:

  • 1 lightly toasted baguette (cut into 4 equal pieces)
  • 1 seeded and thinly sliced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of Sriracha
  • fresh cilantro


  1. To begin, peel and shave the carrots and daikon. Toss the carrots and daikon that have been julienned with the sugar, salt, vinegar, and sesame oil in a large basin. Keep stirring every few minutes and let sit for 1 hour.
  2. While that is happening, mix all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and roll them into balls (you should get about 20). Put the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and pop them into the freezer for 20 minutes. After the meatballs have been refrigerated for at least an hour, heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs all the way through in a skillet, browning them on all sides.
  3. Separately, mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha together. Split the bread and smear the Sriracha mayonnaise on both halves.
  4. Stuff with pickled carrots and daikon, cooked meatballs, jalapenos, and cilantro. Serve!
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