I don't get the chance to make dinner as often as I would like, but on this presidential holiday, I decided to throw down some homemade banh mi's to practice for a Vietnamese hoagie party I am planning in the near future. I have made hoisin meatballs before, but this time I adopted some of the recipe from Bon Appétit's hoisin glazed meatloaf in the March issue. Basically you can follow their ingredient suggestions (I also add some gochujang, soy sauce and hoisin to the meat mixture, and shape them into meatballs. I then baked these off on an baking rack over a sheet pan for maximum surface area crispiness. This recipe makes about 35 meatballs.
Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Hoisin Glaze (glaze the meatballs after they are 3/4 of the way done cooking)
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Bring to a boil and turn off
Nonstick vegetable oil spray (for the rack)
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes day-old crustless white bread (from 2 slices)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 slices bacon, minced
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced scallions (dark green parts separated)
3 celery stalks, minced (about 1 cup)
1 4-inch piece ginger, peeled, minced
7 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
Dice and fry the bacon. Shred the bread and soak in chicken broth. Prepare the veggies and throw them in with the bacon when it is just about done, cook until veggies are just soft. Add all ingredients together with the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Here's where you decide whether or not you want bite-sized balls, or a whole loaf for slicing later. Prepare the meatballs by using an ice-cream scoop to portion even sized pieces of the mixture and form. Place on oiled baking rack about 1.5 inches apart, bake at 400 until internal temp is 165 and outside is nicely crispy. Prepare your roll with some mayo (I added lime juice, garlic, and red pepper spice), a little pickled salad (I made a quick carrot and jalapeno salad with a pinch of salt, sugar, tsp. of grapeseed oil and 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar), and fresh cilantro. You can lightly toast the roll if you like.
Simple, filling, and delicious, this was an excellent banh mi. The meatballs are incredibly juicy, crispy, and bursting with flavor. This is also a very economical dish, as you will get about 8-10 servings out of this recipe. Unless you are like me and eat ten meatballs for dinner. In which case you will get 4 servings.