Growing up as a somewhat picky eater, I really missed out on some amazing food that was right under my nose. I lived down the street from one of the largest Vietnamese communities in New England, but I didn't have my first taste of Vietnamese food until about a year ago!
Now whenever I am visiting home, my sister and I try and stop in to one of the local restaurants for some Vietnamese delights. Most people go right to Pho, a hot soup that is the favorite Vietnamese option for many, but I always search the Bun section of the menu for cold noodles and exotic grilled meats.
This Vietnamese Bun recipe
looks daunting, with lots of ingredients and writing, but it is actually a fairly quick and easy dish and makes for an amazing weekend lunch. The main work is cooking the sweet and savory meatballs, known as Xiu Mai in Vietnamese, and as Vietnameatballs by me.
Lemongrass. I love working with lemongrass! It is an interesting ingredient that you can find at any Asian market, but they also usually have it at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. To use it, you need to peel off many woody, stringy layers to reveal the tender center. Chop up the center into small pieces.
Lemongrass steeping in hot water. This is for the sauce that comes on the side.
Meatball ingredients. Just add pork!
Tasty meatballs flecked with cracked pepper.
Step one is to brown the meatballs on all sides.
Then, you make a quick caramel in the pan.
Add the meatballs back in and simmer until a thick glaze coats them. Yum!
The noodles have soaked and now are being rinsed.
Everything ready to go.
Serve with the sauce on the side, and some sriracha.
I like to mix everything together, add the sriracha, and dig in!Dan Whalen knows meatballs and pasta are a winning combo in any language. He has been writing recipes for over 3 years on his website The Food In My Beard; check Dan’s Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!