Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recipe: Xiu Mai - Vietnamese Meat Balls

Let me introduce you to the Vietnamese version of the Italian Meatball Sandwich: Banh Mi Xiu Mai.  Served with a French baguette, the Vietnamese meatball version makes up what it lacks in Italian seasoning with the staple Vietnamese nuoc mam (fish sauce).  Stamped with mom's approval, I share with you MY recipe for Xiu Mai.

1 lb ground pork
1 medium shallot, diced
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp canola oil

1 - 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
2 cups shrimp stock
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 shallot, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of olive oil

French baguette
Pickled carrots
Pickled daikon
Cucumber cut into matchsticks

Directions for Meatballs
1. Combine the panko bread crumbs with the milk and let soak as you prepare the rest of the ingredients

2. Combine the ground pork, shallots, cornstarch, fish sauce, sugar, honey, garlic powder, and pepper.  Allow the mix to sit for 15 minutes for the ingredients to marry.

3.  Add the egg, olive oil, and soaked panko bread crumbs to the ground pork mix and combine.

4. Form the meatballs. (Tip: use an ice cream scoop for uniformity)

5. In a 9 inch skillet, heat 3 tbsp of canola oil and brown the meatballs.  Set meatballs aside.

1. In the same skillet used to brown the meatballs, heat the olive oil.

2. Add the diced shallots and allow to cook for a minute.

3. Add the garlic.  Allow the shallots to sweat and soften

4. Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes and cook.

5. Add the tomato paste and cook.

6.  Add the fish sauce and sugar.  Stir to mix with the sauce.

7. Add the shrimp stock slowly.  Add more for a more watery sauce or less for a thicker sauce.  I found that adding 2 cups of stock formulated my ideal sauce consistency.

8. Add the meatballs to the sauce and increase the heat to a boil.  Reduce to simmer.

9. Cover the sauce and meatballs with a lid and allow to cook for half an hour.

1. Slice the meatballs in half and place inside the French baguette.

2. Pour some of the tomato sauce over the meatballs

3. Garnish with the pickled vegetables and cilantro.

Bon app├ętit!

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