banh mi / pork recipes / vietnamese subs

Vietnamese Pork Meatball Sub – a.k.a Banh Mi

vietnamese sub
Picture by Lesli Christianson-Kellow

Ever since a friend brought me a Vietnamese sub, because he knew I loved all things spicy, I have been hooked on these juicy, spice-infused, pickled carrot, cuke and cilantro creations on a baguette.

I blogged about Vietnamese subs on Calgary Cityguide back when they were just beginning to gain popularity. Lucky for me my readers gave me so many recommendations I`ve been able to enjoy fantastic subs all over Calgary! But, I am pretty loyal to one particular Banh Mi maker in N.E. Calgary and keep happily finding my way back there.

I always like when I can recreate a favourite food from a restaurant so that I can enjoy eating it at home more often. Which made finding this recipe a few years ago in bon appetit such a joy! I`ve adapted the recipe and made it simpler only because the original recipe is a bit overwhelming. I usually double the recipe and freeze some of the pork meatballs for another meal. Try it, I`m pretty sure you won`t be disappointed.


1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, pressed with garlic press
3 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
salt & pepper

Sandwich fillings

2 cups of carrots, matchsticked
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

thinly sliced English cucumbers
thinly sliced jalapenos
handful of washed cilantro
4 8-10inch sub/baguette buns that are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside

Hot Chili Mayo

2/3 cup mayo
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce

Sandwich filling: Combine carrots, rice vinegar and sugar together and let pickle for about 1 hour. Then drain.

Meatballs: Combine all of the meatball ingredients and roll into 1-inch meatballs. Heat sesame oil in pan, add meatballs until all are saute’d brown and cooked through. Transfer to a rimmed pan and place all the meatballs on the grill of BBQ, brush sparingly with a mixture of sesame oil and sirachi sauce. Let grill for a few minutes, while the sauce carmelizes. (Skip this step if time is a factor, but it will definitely heighten the flavour!)

Slice baguettes open, spread hot chili mayo on each side. Fill each baguette with 1/4 of the meatballs (4-6), pickled carrots, jalapenos, cucumber and cilantro. Yum!


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