My daughter took me to a Vietnamese sandwich place last August while I was in Hawaii. The tiny, not all fashionable place was a funky, family owned restaurant. It seems me that the smell and grease was deeply saturated into the wall and my germ phobia forbid me to sit squarely on the chair at first. I had to trust her judgment though. She knows all that good stuff. Well,it was tasty! I wasn’t blown away but I was satisfied. I try to recreate that flavor here. Interestingly, carrots and daikon marinated in vinegar taste exactly like Japanese NAMASU(なます or 酢の物-vinegar stuff). It compliments the spicy meatballs. Other than French baguette (I bought it for 99 cents), I had rest of ingridients at home so it was low budget yet great homey dinner which I’m sure I’ll repeat often.
Meatballs – makes 4-5 sandwiches
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 4 garlic coves, minced
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce or more if you tolerate spicy
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Line baking sheet with plastic wrap.
- In large bowl, mix all ingredients.
- Have bowl of cold water near by, Wet hands and roll about a tablespoonful of meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Rewet hands each time. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Cover and chill for 1 hour or more.
- 1 cup coarsely grated or thin matchstick cut carrots
- 1 cup coarsely grated or thin matchstick cut peeled daikon
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar-superfine sugar preferred
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- French-bread baguette- cut 6 to 8 inches long
- fresh cilantro sprigs
- Toss carrots, daikon, rice vinegar, sugar, salt and sesame oil in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Tossing occasionally.
- Mean while, preheat oven to 300 F. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown.
- Put browned meatballs in cooking sheet lined with foil then finish cooking in the oven - about 5 minutes.
Hot chili Mayonnaise
Mix well 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon of hot chili sauce (more or less to taste)
- Cut each baguette horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each half to make space for meatballs.
- Spread hot chili mayonnaise inside cavity of each bread
- Put drained vinegar carrots and daikon then 4-5 meatballs in each bread. Put on some cilantro sprigs.