Just spear them with a fancy toothpick and you have protein-packed finger food. Wendy Goodfriend
Just spear them with a fancy toothpick and you have protein-packed finger food. (Wendy Goodfriend)

Get Your Super Bowl On: Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Sweet-Tangy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Get Your Super Bowl On: Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Sweet-Tangy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Meatballs are perfect party fare. Just spear them with a fancy toothpick and you have protein-packed finger food. And one thing I love about meatballs is how versatile they can be, just by altering some of the flavorings you put in them. Whether you go for oregano-and-fennel seed fragranced Italian meatballs, spicy chipotle albóndigas, or these garlicky Sriracha-spiked pork meatballs with loads of herbs, you (and your guests) are sure to be happy, and well fed.

I’m particularly fond of these little gems, because they are slightly unexpected. They are also beautifully balances with flavors of sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, and umami.

Set them out with the tangy dipping sauce or if you want to get really fancy, turn them into meatball bánh mì sliders! Just stuff these flavorful meatballs into hunks of baguette and top with pickled carrots, cucumbers, sliced jalapeños. If you are feeling extra naughty, add some thin slices of pork pate.

You can make bigger meatballs too if you like, or double this recipe to feed a crowd.

Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Sweet-Tangy Garlic Dipping Sauce
Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Sweet-Tangy Garlic Dipping Sauce
(Wendy Goodfriend)

Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Sweet-Tangy Garlic Dipping Sauce

Makes 16 meatballs

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Ingredients:

    Dipping sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 fresh red Thai chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Scant 1/4 cup very finely julienned or shredded carrot
    Meatballs
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 green onion, trimmed and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 lb ground pork
  • Canola oil
    Instructions:
  1. To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat combine the water, sugar, and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, chile, garlic, and carrot. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the pork and oil. Add the pork and gently stir to combine. Using tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into meatballs.
  3. In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the pork and oil.
    In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the pork and oil. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Add the pork and gently stir to combine.
    Add the pork and gently stir to combine. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Using tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into meatballs.
    Using tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into meatballs. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  4. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with about 2 tbsp canola oil and place the meatballs in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Bake until cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with about 2 tbsp canola oil and place the meatballs in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly.
    Coat a rimmed baking sheet with about 2 tbsp canola oil and place the meatballs in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Bake at 425°F for about 10 minutes.
    Bake at 425°F for about 10 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Bake until cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes.
    Bake until cooked through and browned. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  6. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.
  7. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.
    Serve right away with the dipping sauce. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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