Bahn Mi Bowls with Lemongrass Meatballs
In the last nearly 2 years since I moved away from my hubby and Houston (the world’s cutest and most surgery prone dog), I have been trying to make as many of the foods that I enjoy but know they (he) might not care for. These bowls don’t scream “All-American”, which arguably is hubby’s favorite type of food, so I added them to the “To make before John comes” list. They stayed on that list for far too long, mostly because they called for ground pork, which a) I almost never buy and b) is not that great for you. Well then came along Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and somehow a scantily clad supermodel can convince me that eating pork is good. And hence, I had pork in my freezer.
Nonetheless, I was still a little worried about a meatball entirely made of pork, which led me to an important discovery. You can make ground chicken at home! I had a chicken breast in the freezer, so I partially thawed it and popped it in the magic bullet and bam! Homemade ground chicken! I mixed it about 50/50 with the pork and these meatballs turned out perfect! I actually felt like if I didn’t add the chicken they might have been a bit too greasy.
And finally, about the finished product. To make them easier I used left over brown rice from a meal earlier in the week, and then its simply mixing a few things for meatballs and shredding some carrots. These actually turned out so good that I decided I made them again for John, and even the All-American kid liked them.
Bahn Mi Bowls with Lemongrass Meatball
Quick Pickled Vegetables
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 T sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 carrots, cut into thin ribbons (I used a peeler)
- 5 mini bell peppers cut into rings
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1-2 tablespoons lemongrass paste*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili paste (like Sriracha or Sambal Oelek)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- brown rice, quinoa, rice, or noodles
- cilantro, or other herb toppings such as basil, mint, scallions
- crushed peanuts
- spicy mayo (just mix mayo with a hit of sriracha)
- Quick Pickled Carrots: Whisk the rice vinegar, palm sugar, sesame oil, and salt together. Soak the carrots and peppers in the mixture for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meatballs: Mix all ingredients. Roll into small meatballs with your hands, refrigerate if possible to increase firmness. Heat a little bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and fry until golden brown on the outside and fully cooked (not pink) inside, or 165 degrees.
- Bowls: Layer the carrots and meatballs over quinoa, rice, or noodles. Top with herbs, peanuts, and/or spicy mayo.
*You can find this near the herbs in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores (found mine at harris teeter)
Slighlty adapted from Pinch of Yum