Recipe: Bahn Mi-eatball Bowls


Bahn Mi-eatball Bowls have become a new thing in our house.  Chris and I both love them.  The well seasoned meatballs combined with the creamy peanut sauce and tangy pickled veggies all come together for a satisfying meal.  But I’m not going to lie to you, this recipe takes a little bit of work.  It will pay off I promise.  I suggest making this dish on a weekend day vs a weeknight after work.  You’ll need some time to put together all the pieces, which come together deliciously (again, it pays off!), so personally I find it a lot to do at the end of the day.

But the good news is, putting in the work pays off (SEE! Didn’t I tell you?!) when you are able to stash half of the meatballs and sauce in the freezer then pull them out for a delicious dinner-in-a-pinch situation like I just did last night.

The most tedious part is portioning out and rolling the meatballs.  So maybe recruit the help of a spare set of hands — or perhaps just pawn that part off entirely, haha! But they broil super quick once in the oven, and everything else falls into place rapidly from there. Don’t make me say it again….. the whole thing about the paying off part.  Just trust me. And enjoy!


Bahn Mi-eatball Bowls
Serves 4 – plus portions for the freezer


  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 ounces whole-wheat bread, crusts removed
  • 1 3/4 pounds 90% lean ground sirloin
  • 3/4 pound lean ground pork

Bahn Mi Bowls:

  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup shredded carrot ribbons
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cups very thinly sliced radishes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons  soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Siracha
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (that’s about 2 cups uncooked rice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 lime wedges


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, black pepper, and red pepper; cook 10 minutes or until onion is very tender, stirring occasionally. Place onion mixture in a bowl; cool completely.

Tear bread into small pieces. Place onion mixture, bread pieces, beef, and pork in a large bowl; mix gently with your hands to combine. Shape beef mixture into 42 meatballs (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each).  Arrange on 2 large foil-lined baking sheets coated with cooking spray.

Preheat broiler. Broil meatballs for 7 minutes or until browned and done.  Set aside 12 meatballs to use in the Bahn Mi Bowls.  Once the remaining meatballs have cooled pack and freeze them in a ziplock bag.**


Bahn Mi Bowls:

Bring vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil on a small sauce pot.  Remove from heat and add carrots, cabbage and radish.  Let sit for 20 minutes then drain.  Stir in cilantro.

While that mixture is sitting, combine broth, soy sauce, Siracha, peanut butter, and garlic to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 12 meatballs to the sauce and toss to coat.  Cook for 5 minutes until the meatballs are heated through and the sauce is thickened.

Cook rice according to package directions (you can do this while doing the pickled vegetables and sauce), and divide among 4 bowls.  Top each rice serving with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture, 3 meatballs and about 3 tablespoons of sauce. ***

Top each bowl with peanuts and serve with lime wedges.


** When ready to consume the meatballs, thaw the desired amount overnight in the refrigerator, in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or in a covered skillet on the stovetop over low heat.

***Spoon remaining sauce into a container and freeze, along with the extra meatballs.  Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature a few hours before serving.


Adapted from Cooking Light


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