Bánh Mì Xíu Mại Recipe

Lastest Updated April 21, 2024
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Let’s explore the intricacies of the Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Bánh Mì Xíu Mại)! My recipe will show you how to whip up tender meatballs in detail and put them all together to make the perfect Banh Mi Xiu Mai.

The wonders of Vietnamese cuisine are only a recipe away. So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into this flavor-packed Vietnamese dish. It’s time to unlock the secrets of this treasured sandwich recipe from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Banh Mi Xiu Mai – A Beloved Breakfast Dish

I still remember my first taste of Banh Mi Xiu Mai; the rich, savory meatballs with the slightly sweet and tangy tomato sauce, all tucked into a warm, crunchy baguette. The combination was absolutely heavenly.

It’s a versatile dish, too – you can enjoy it nestled in a baguette for a hearty on-the-go breakfast or served alongside steamed white rice for a comforting home-cooked meal.

From the bustling street food stalls of Vietnam to the family dinner tables, Banh Mi Xiu Mai is a beloved staple. It’s a reflection of Vietnamese culture – generous, vibrant, and soulful. Each bite takes me back to that lively street corner, bringing a rush of nostalgia.

Tools

Large Pot With Lid
  • Non-stick Pan: Ideal for sautéing and simmering without worrying about ingredients sticking or burning.
  • Mixing Bowl: A good-sized bowl will make mixing your ground meat and chopped ingredients a breeze.
  • Pot: A staple in any kitchen, you’ll need this for boiling the quail eggs and steaming your meatballs.
  • Plate or Steaming Tray: To hold the meatballs while they are being gently steamed to perfection.
  • Large Pot with Lid: Essential for the steaming process, ensuring your meatballs are cooked evenly and thoroughly.
  • Spatula: This handy tool will help you stir and mix ingredients during cooking, ensuring nothing sticks and burns.
  • Nylon Gloves: Hygienic and convenient, these will make mixing your ground meat and shaping the meatballs a cleaner task.
  • Soup Ladle & Chopsticks: Helpful tools for serving and eating your delicious Banh Mi Xiu Mai

Ingredients

  • Ground meat: The heart of your meatballs, this can be either pork or beef or a mouthwatering blend of the two. It’s entirely up to your personal taste.
  • Jicama, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushroom, and onion: These are finely chopped to add a delightful crunch and earthy taste to the meatball filling.
  • Shallots and garlic: Sauteed in olive oil until they’re golden and aromatic. They infuse the meatballs with a rich depth of flavor.
  • Quail eggs: Boiled to perfection and encased in the meatball, these mini eggs offer a delightful surprise with each bite.
  • Tomatoes: these will be turned into a bright, tangy sauce to perfectly offset the rich meatballs.
  • Scallions and cilantro: freshly chopped, these herbs add an aromatic finishing touch to your sandwiches.
  • Bread: opt for your favorite bread. Whether you prefer a crispy baguette or a fluffy roll, it’s all up to you.
  • Olive oil: Drizzled in the pan to sauté the shallots and garlic, it releases their tantalizing aroma and flavors.

Spices For the Meatballs:

  • Ground pepper: Sprinkled into the mixture for a little heat.
  • Red pepper powder: Lends a subtle kick to the meatballs.
  • Brown sugar: A touch of sweetness to balance the savory ingredients.
  • Fish sauce: An essential Vietnamese ingredient, it brings the umami factor into the mix.

Spices For the Sauce:

  • Salt: A fundamental ingredient, this crystalline mineral utilizes the best in all the other components.
  • Soup powder: A hidden hero that adds a deep, savory note.
  • Sugar: Mellowing out the tartness of the tomatoes. It brings a perfect balance to the sauce.
  • Oyster sauce: An extra layer of depth and complexity is added to the sauce with this.
  • Fish sauce: Intensifies the savory flavors.
  • Ketchup: This enhances the fresh tomato taste and adds a pleasant richness to the sauce.
  • Chili sauce: A little chili sauce provides the dish with a delicious spicy kick.
  • Cornstarch: The key to getting a gorgeously thick sauce, it holds everything together.
  • Water: Used to adjust the consistency of the sauce as needed.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients

Soak the shiitake and wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15 – 20 minutes until they soften, then chop finely.

Finely chop the other ingredients: tomatoes, onions, carrots, jicama, shallots, garlic, green onions, and cilantro.

Finely Chop The Other Ingredients

Boil the quail eggs, peel them, and set aside.

Step 2: Saute The Spices

Saute the shallots, chopped garlic, and onions until they become fragrant. Be careful not to overcook them, as it can result in a burnt smell that takes away from their delicious aroma.

Saute The Spices

Step 3: Season The Meat

Mix the ground meat with jicama, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, half of the scallions and cilantro, half of the onions, garlic, and shallots.

Next, season with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of soup powder, 1 teaspoon of ground pepper, 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder, and ½ tablespoon of fish sauce.

Mix well with your hands to combine all the ingredients. Don’t forget to put on your food prep gloves.

Season The Meat

Step 4: Form The Meatballs

Take a portion of the meat mixture that’s slightly larger than a quail egg and shape it into a round ball. Press the meat into your palm to flatten it, place a quail egg on top, and carefully form the meat around the egg.

Repeat these steps with the remaining meat and quail eggs, placing each finished meatball on a steaming tray.

Form The Meatballs

Step 5: Steam The Meatballs

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place the tray of meatballs into it. You can utilize a pair of chopsticks to support an additional plate of meatballs on top for steaming. Steam everything for about 25 minutes over medium heat.

Steam The Meatballs

Step 6: Make The Tomato Sauce

While the meatballs are near the end of their cooking time, start on the tomato sauce. Heat the remaining garlic, shallots, and onions in a pan. Add the tomatoes, and stir well.

Make The Tomato Sauce

Pour in 10 fluid ounces of water and season the sauce with ½ tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon each of sugar and salt, 1 tablespoon each of oyster sauce, chili sauce, and ketchup.

Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your personal taste.

Cover the pan. Simmer the tomatoes over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until they’re soft.

Cover The Pan

Once they’re cooked, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 5 tablespoons of water in a separate bowl. Gradually pour this slurry into the pan to thicken the sauce.

Combine Of Cornstarch With Water

Step 7: Add The Meatballs To The Tomato Sauce

Finally, add the remaining scallions and cilantro, the meatballs, and the liquid from the steaming tray to the pan.

Stir gently to ensure the meatballs are evenly distributed. Let everything cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the meatballs to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Then, remove the pan from the heat.

Add The Meatballs

How To Serve Banh Mi Xiu Mai

For the first approach, serve the steamed meatballs on a plate or in a bowl. Enhance their flavor with a sprinkle of chopped green onions, cilantro, freshly ground pepper, and a dollop of chili sauce.

In this form, they make an excellent companion to steamed rice or bread. Consider the option of adding pickled vegetables (Do Chua), fresh salad, and cucumber slices for a complete Vietnamese meal.

Serve Banh Mi Xiu Mai

For a quick, satisfying on-the-go breakfast, consider transforming the meatballs into a filling for a Banh Mi sandwich. Just nestle the meatballs and a generous helping of tomato sauce inside a fresh baguette.

You can layer pickled vegetables, fresh salad leaves, and cucumber slices at the bottom of the sandwich and top it off with green onions, cilantro, ground pepper, and chili sauce for an extra flavor punch.

Fresh Salad Leaves And Cucumber Slices

This results in a convenient handheld breakfast that’s hearty, balanced, and full of authentic Vietnamese flavors.

Tips And Tricks

  • Adjust the number of spices and seasonings based on your preference to enhance both the meatball flavor and the tomato sauce.
  • Gently stir when adding the meatballs to the pan to prevent them from breaking apart.
  • Use a steamer if available. If not, follow the provided alternative method for similar results.
  • Always choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. The quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the final taste of your Banh Mi Xiu Mai.
  • Prepare all your ingredients in advance. Doing this helps you focus on the cooking process without interruption.
  • Allow the meatballs to rest after steaming. Resting lets the juices redistribute, making the meatballs more flavorful.
  • Personalize your Banh Mi by adding a variety of pickles, fresh herbs, and spicy sauces for an added flavor punch.

Proper Ways To Store The Dish

Storing The Meatballs

Allow the meatballs to cool completely. Once they are at room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container along with some of the sauce to keep them moist. Stored this way, they will last for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

If you’d like to store them longer, you can freeze the meatballs. Once frozen, they should be good for about 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat them gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Store The Dish

Storing The Banh Mi

It’s best to consume the bread on the same day as it tends to harden and lose its freshness. If you have leftover bread, you can store it in a bread box or a cloth bag at room temperature. It should last for about 2 days.

To refresh day-old bread, sprinkle it with some water and warm it up in the oven for a few minutes.

Like This Recipe? Check Out Other Vietnamese Breakfast!

  • Vietnamese Pho Ga (Chicken Pho): A comforting bowl of Pho Ga consists of a savory chicken broth seasoned with star anise, ginger, and other spices. It’s served with rice noodles, shredded chicken, and garnished with fresh herbs.
  • Vietnamese Banh Mi Ga (Chicken Banh Mi): This is a Vietnamese sandwich made with baguette, filled with tender and juicy chicken, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and a flavorful sauce. It’s a great on-the-go breakfast option that is super satisfying.
  • Vietnamese Xoi Dau Phong (Peanut Sticky Rice): A popular street food in Vietnam, Xoi Dau Phong is glutinous rice cooked until sticky and then mixed with crushed roasted peanuts and sugar.
  • Vietnamese Egg Omelet: This dish is a savory breakfast choice, typically including ingredients like onions, mushrooms, and glass noodles cooked into the eggs. It’s a balanced and nutritious start to your day.
  • Vietnamese Yogurt Coffee (Sua Chua Cafe): This unique beverage combines the strong flavor of Vietnamese coffee with the creamy, tangy taste of yogurt, served either hot or cold.

FAQs

Banh Mi Xiu Mai is usually served with a Vietnamese baguette, which is light and crispy, with a soft interior. However, it can be enjoyed with any type of bread you prefer. Just make sure it’s something sturdy enough to hold the meatballs and sauce.

Banh Mi Xiu Mai is typically served hot, with meatballs and tomato sauce freshly cooked and warm.

Some cooks might experiment with a different blend of spices or use ground beef instead of traditional pork. In some cases, vendors might choose to omit the quail eggs. However, apart from these minor tweaks, there aren’t many substantial variations in the recipe.

The meatballs are typically fully cooked after about 25 minutes of steaming. They should be firm to the touch. However, as cooking times can vary, it’s always a good idea to cut one open to make sure it’s fully cooked before serving.

Enjoy Banh Mi Xiu Mai To The Last Bite

This Vietnamese wonder is more than just a sandwich; it is a marvel that combines the simplest ingredients and turns them into an irresistible meal. Moreover, although it’s usually served as breakfast, you can have it any time of the day!

Don’t forget to hit the like button and share this flavorful journey with others who might be intrigued by the tale of Banh Mi Xiu Mai. If you’ve tasted this sandwich, I’m eager to know your thoughts. Feel free to leave your experiences and feedback in the comments!

Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich Recipe

Banh Mi Xiu Mai – Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich Recipe

Learn how to craft an authentic Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (Banh Mi Xiu Mai) and enjoy a mouth-watering breakfast. Moreover, you can also serve it for other meals as well!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 361kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.1 pounds (500 grams) of ground pork
  • 0.25 (0.5 ounces) jicama
  • 0.5 (0.5 ounces) carrot
  • 5 pieces (about 0.35 ounces) of shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 piece (about 0.18 ounces) of wood ear mushroom
  • 1 medium onion
  • 0.35 ounces (15 grams) of shallots
  • 0.35 ounces (15 grams) of garlic
  • 14 quail eggs
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • Scallions, cilantro
  • Vietnamese Banh Mi
  • Olive oil

Spices for the meatballs

  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 0.5 tablespoon of fish sauce

Spices for the sauce

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of soup powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 0.5 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 0.7 ounces of cornstarch
  • 10 fluid ounces (300 milliliters) of water

Instructions 

  • Soak the shiitake and wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15 – 20 minutes until they soften, then chop finely.
  • Finely chop the other ingredients: tomatoes, onions, carrots, jicama, shallots, garlic, green onions, and cilantro.
    Finely Chop The Other Ingredients
  • Boil the quail eggs, peel them, and set aside.
  • Saute the shallots, chopped garlic, and onions until they become fragrant.
    Saute The Spices
  • Mix the ground meat with jicama, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, half of the scallions and cilantro, half of the onions, garlic, and shallots.
  • Next, season with brown sugar, soup powder, ground pepper, red pepper powder, and fish sauce.
  • Mix well with your hands to combine all the ingredients.
    Season The Meat
  • Take a portion of the meat mixture that’s slightly larger than a quail egg and shape it into a round ball.
  • Press the meat into your palm to flatten it, place a quail egg on top, and carefully form the meat around the egg.
  • Repeat these steps with the remaining meat and quail eggs, placing each finished meatball on a steaming tray.
    Form The Meatballs
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place the tray of meatballs into it.
  • Steam everything for about 25 minutes over medium heat.
    Steam The Meatballs
  • While the meatballs are near the end of their cooking time, start on the tomato sauce.
  • Heat the remaining garlic, shallots, and onions in a pan.
  • Add the tomatoes, and stir well.
    Make The Tomato Sauce
  • Pour in water and season the sauce with fish sauce, sugar, salt, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and ketchup.
  • Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your personal taste.
  • Cover the pan and allow the tomatoes to simmer over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until they’re soft.
    Cover The Pan
  • Once they’re cooked, combine cornstarch with water in a separate bowl and gradually add this mixture to the pan to thicken the sauce.
    Combine Of Cornstarch With Water
  • Finally, add the remaining scallions and cilantro, the meatballs, and the liquid from the steaming tray to the pan.
  • Stir gently to ensure the meatballs are evenly distributed.
  • Let everything cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the meatballs to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  • Then, remove the pan from the heat. Enjoy!
    Add The Meatballs

Video

Notes

  • The estimated cooking time is for making 5 servings of Banh Mi Xiu Mai.
  • Adjust the number of spices and seasonings based on your preference.
  • Gently stir when adding the meatballs to the pan to prevent them from breaking apart.
  • Use a steamer if available. If not, follow the provided alternative method for similar results.
  • Always choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. The quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the final taste of your Banh Mi Xiu Mai.
  • Prepare all your ingredients in advance. Doing this helps you focus on the cooking process without interruption.
  • Allow the meatballs to rest after steaming. Resting lets the juices redistribute, making the meatballs more flavorful.
  • Personalize your Banh Mi by adding a variety of pickles, fresh herbs, and spicy sauces for an added flavor punch.

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 1040mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
Richie

Richie

Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Food Styling, Food Photography, Cooking-video Maker, Beverage Evaluation Expert

Education

Saigon Culinary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Diploma in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Asian cuisines with intensive training and hands-on approach.

Vietnam Australia Vocational School (VAAC), Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Basic knowledge on how to store, preserve and select ingredients, and practice cocktails, mocktails, hot and cold drinks.

Richie, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a dynamic Content Writer with a talent for capturing the essence of culinary art.

Richie specializes in creating visually appealing and tasty content, offering a new angle on Vietnamese and other culinary traditions. With a background in graphic design and a love for food styling and photography, he expertly combines beauty with food narratives, encouraging his audience to discover the culinary world through his imaginative perspective.

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