Recipe: Chicken Meatball Banh Mi

April 13, 2017 8:53 am Last Updated: April 14, 2017 2:43 pm

This recipe for Chicken Meatball Banh Mi, from chef Sam Talbot, comes from his new book, “100% REAL: 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh.”

Chicken Meatball Banh Mi

(Courtesy of Time Inc. Books)
(Courtesy of Time Inc. Books)


My version of the epic Vietnamese-French sandwich is all about texture, the balance between acidity and spiciness, and the crunch of the vegetables and the crusty bread.

Hands-on: 1 hour, 15 minutes Total: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Number Serves



Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 tablespoon bottled yuzu juice 
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups julienned cucumber
  • 2 cups julienned carrots
  • 2 cups julienned daikon

Spicy Mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 6 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger 


  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons duck fat
  • 6 hero rolls or 6-inch baguettes 
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, sliced


1. To prepare the Pickled Vegetables: Combine the yuzu juice and vinegar in a bowl. Stir in the 1/4 cup sugar, red chili flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt until dissolved. Add the cucumber, carrots, and daikon. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the vegetables marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

2. To prepare the Spicy Mayonnaise: Combine the mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

3. To prepare the Meatballs: Gently mix the ground chicken and next 12 ingredients in a large bowl. Using moistened hands, shape the mixture into 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch meatballs.

4. Heat the duck fat in a skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, sauté the meatballs until cooked through, turning to brown on all sides. Keep warm.

5. Slice the rolls open lengthwise. Toast in the oven, if desired. Coat the insides of the rolls with the spicy mayonnaise. Divide the meatballs among the sandwiches. Top with the pickled vegetables, jalapeño slices, and cilantro sprigs.

Tip: Gochujang is a Korean chili paste. If you don’t have it on hand, use Sriracha or another chili sauce.

Reprinted from “100% REAL: 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh” by Sam Talbot. Copyright 2017. Published by Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, N.Y. All rights reserved.