ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Banh Mi Bowls

Photo: Victor Protasio; Styling: Paige Hicks 

Active time 30 mins
Total time 30 mins

Serves 4

We deconstruct the classic Vietnamese sandwich for a whole-grain bowl that's perfect for make-ahead lunches or dinner. If you haven't quick pickled your own vegetables before, you'll be suprised by how easy it is. Not sure how to use the rest of the chile paste? Try tossing green beans with a couple teaspoons (along with honey, soy sauce, garlic, and canola oil) and roasting, spread a little on grilled cheese, and add it to dressing for cucumber salad.   


  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup shaved carrot ribbons
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced radishes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 cooked meatballs (from Sheet Pan Swedish Meatballs)
  • 2 (8.5-oz.) pouches precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 4 lime wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 453
  • fat 17.3 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 7 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 28 g
  • carbohydrate 50 g
  • fiber 6 g
  • cholesterol 59 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 668 mg
  • calcium 57 mg
  • sugars 5 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 3 g

How to Make It

  1. Bring vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat; add carrot ribbons and radishes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain. Add cilantro to carrot mixture; toss.

  2. Combine stock, soy sauce, sambal, peanut butter, and garlic in a large skillet over medium. Add meatballs; toss to coat. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until heated. Remove meatballs from pan with a slotted spoon. Bring stock mixture to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened.

  3. Heat rice according to package directions.

  4. Divide rice evenly among 4 bowls. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup carrot mixture, 3 meatballs, and about 3 tablespoons stock mixture. Top with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.