Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh Mì Xíu Mại)

  • Preparation: 20 mins
  • Cooking: 20 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 4

Description Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh mì xíu mại)

Vietnamese Sandwich (Bánh Mì) is the general Vietnamese term for bread. But with the introduction of the baguette by the French during its colonial period, the term bánh mì has become the synonymous with this type of bread. Vietnamese Sandwich however, is usually a single serving baguette (hence shorter), which is more airy in the inside and has a thinner crust compared to the French or other Western baguettes.

This makes it much easier to fill all the delicious ingredients into the Bánh mì, yet keeping a diameter that still fits into your mouth. In Western countries, bánh mì is often associated with Vietnamese Sandwiches, which can feature a whole lot of different savory goodness together with some sweet, sour, spicy and herbal fixings. Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh mì xíu mại) refers to the soft pork meatballs that are placed in a garlicky tomato sauce.


  • 200 g jicama peeled and julienned
  • 500 g minced pork (1.1 lb)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced shallot or white-part spring onion
  • salt, pepper, chicken stock, sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tapioca/corn starch
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 medium tomatoes (400g) diced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp ketchup

Method Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh mì xíu mại)

1, Cook the julienned jicama with 2 cups water for 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze out the excess water and chop finely.
2, In a large mixing bowl, mix together the minced pork, jicama, egg and tapioca/corn starch. Season with salt, pepper, chicken stock, sugar (about 1/2 tsp each). Set aside for 15 minutes. Scoop 1 tbsp of the meat mixture and form into a meatball. Repeat until finish. You will get about 15 meatballs. Steam the meatballs for about 10 minutes. (This step is optional)
3, In a saucepan or a wok, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil and fry the minced garlic and shallot until fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes, sugar, chicken stock, fish sauce and ketchup. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. You can add 1/2 cup water if you want more sauce.
4, Remove the meatballs from the steamer and transfer to combine with the tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 more minutes and transfer to a plate to serve.
5, Garnish with cilantro, thinly sliced onion, crispy fried shallot and serve with a baguette. To make meatball sandwich, slice the baguette halfway to open, spread chili sauce, put a meatball inside and use a spoon to break it into chunks. Add more cilantro, spring onion, sliced pepperoni/jalapeno to your preference.

Chef's Note

So let’s get started with Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh mì xíu mại), so that you can also enjoy this yummy breakfast one of these days!

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