I’m reposting the recipe of my Vietnamese meatballs (xíu mại) with new photos. I love the asian flavours of these meatballs cooked in a delicious tomato sauce. There’s a nice surprise of the crunch from the chestnut with these meatballs. Serving these flavoursome meatballs with rice is so delicious, but it’s so much better to have in a crusty Vietnamese bread roll. Or you can serve the meatballs in bowls and then use the baguette to dip in the delicious sauce and meatballs. Yum!
1 kg pork mince
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
3 green onion, white part only, finely chopped
1 small can water chestnut (220g) or 1 jicama, cut into very small pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
oil for pan frying
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
Serving with bread
4 – 6 Vietnamese bread rolls
1/2 bunch coriander, washed
1 cucumber, sliced lengthways
4 spring onions
pickled white radish and carrot
fresh chillies, thinly sliced diagonally (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the pork mince, garlic, shallots, green onions, water chestnuts, egg, sugar, salt, fish sauce and pepper, and mix well with your hands. Form the mixture into 4cm balls then place them on a plate or tray. Place the meatballs into the fridge for at least 30 mins so that it firms up.
Heat up a frying pan, add oil and pan fry the meatballs so that they are brown and charred. They do not need to be fully cooked as doing this will keep their shape. Once they are brown, remove from the pan and place on separate plate.
In a large heavy based saucepan, heat a small amount of oil then add the chopped garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the tomato paste, water, fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Then add the meatballs.
Simmer the meatballs for about 25 minutes or until cooked and sauce is reduced.
Taste test and add more seasoning if required. Remove from heat.
Serve meatballs as fillings in a crusty baguette with coriander, cucumber, spring onions, red chillies and pickled radish and carrots. Or serve meatballs with white rice. You could also serve the meatballs in bowls and use baguette to dip the sauce and meatballs.