Rice Bowls with Vietnamese Meatballs


We love rice bowls and our dinner often ends up looking like the above photograph.  This meatball recipe was recently featured in the San Jose Mercury as part of a Vietnamese meatball sandwich (banh mi) and gets made a bunch around here.

Served with toothpicks, these meatballs would be great for a cocktail party as well.  Since we make them in the oven, the mess is minimal.  A fried or boiled egg would make this rice bowl even yummier!

Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

Makes about 24 meatballs


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 or 3 spring onions or scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • Black pepper, salt to taste

Quick carrot pickle:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients. Using oiled or damp hands, form 1-inch meatballs and place them on on the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until cooked through, then broil on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a glass or nonreactive bowl, combine the shredded carrots (and any additional vegetables you’d like), vinegar, sugar and salt. Let the quick pickle sit while the meatballs bake.



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