Isabelle O'Carroll
Writer and content creator, London

Recipe: Vietnamese Meatballs

I love Vietnamese food, especially when sick and after a bit of a cold I started getting a big craving. I had some pork and beef mince in the freezer, so Vietnamese meatballs seemed perfect.

They’re kind of like your everyday meatball but packed with loads of delicious ingredients like coriander, ginger, chilli and lime. I used this recipe but adapted it slightly for my tastes. You may as well make a huge batch as they freeze really well, and also because I ate half of them while they were cooling, they’re that good! They’re so full of flavour and really juicy too, I’m drooling right now just thinking about them. I chucked mine in a noodle broth packed with green vegetables but you could serve them with summer rolls or as a side dish. I’m considering making burger-sized patties and doing a kind of burger/bhan mi hybrid thing.

Vietnamese Meatballs

650g pork mince
250g beef mince
bunch and a half of coriander
few sprigs of mint
3 birds eye chillies
6 cloves of garlic
med size ginger stem
Chinese five spice
good sprinkle of sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
sesame oil

Add all the non-meat ingredients to a mixer, chopped roughly and blitz until all evenly chopped. Add the juice of a lime, a good few sprinkles of five spice, and the soy and fish sauce. At this moment it will smell like heaven! I’m kind of wondering if you could make a fattoush-style salad with this… Anyway, add the mince and oil and mix thoroughly. Form the mixture into small patties and shallow fry in a mix of sesame and sunflower oil until cooked through. Good luck with not eating the lot.

I ate these with a simple rice noodle broth, it’s my favourite thing to eat when I’m sick. I based this one loosely around a Pho, but it’s not totally authentic as I really fancied some daikon/mooli, the white radish goes really well with clear asian style soups.

Noodle Broth

rice noodles
chicken stock (or veggie bouillon)
tofu, cubed
daikon, cut into half coins
spring onion, cut into strips
pak choi, quartered
few mint leaves
chopped coriander
soy & fish sauce

Heat up your chicken stock or bouillon and chuck in your pak choi, base first, to soften. Once the bases are cooked, stir in the rest of the ingredients including the noodles and cook until the noodles are done.

Isabelle O'Carroll: I’m a writer, content designer and consultant with 11+ years’ experience across fashion, food and drink and the arts.

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