Banh Mi Meatballs

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The pandemic life means that we’ve been trying to limit our grocery store trips and only eating the food we have in the house. This has been good and bad for our cooking. It’s forced some creativity that has been well-worth the effort, but other times it’s just led to us eating the same thing over and over. Tonight I found a recipe I’ve long had saved on Pinterest that matched the ingredients we had at home perfectly! We had to make a few tweaks, but I’m really happy with our version. The flavors of the banh mi are there, and it’s a pretty healthy dinner option! We ended up eating these with a Vietnamese-flavored cucumber salad, but it would work in a lot of different ways. You could definitely use them as the meat component in a further riff on the classic banh mi. They’d be great as an appetizer, though you’d probably want a dipping sauce to go with them. Or eat them on top of grain bowl or a salad!

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Banh Mi Meatballs
(Adapted from Cooking Light)
Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey (85/15 or similarly fatty)
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Lots of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced & zested
  • 1 egg
Instructions:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. (I found it easier to just use my hands.)
  2. Refrigerate for 30+ minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Form small meatballs, approximately 2 tbsp worth, with your hands and place on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. (Safe internal temp is 165 degrees.)
Makes ~30 small meatballs

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