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. 


How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 3

Heat rice according to package directions.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

Great flavors for a quick or make-ahead dish

October 03, 2017
I enjoyed the meatballs in their Swedish iteration but was looking forward to this recipe more.  I made brown rice instead of precooked, and also made extra carrot/radish mixture, but followed the rest as written.  Super flavorful and satisfying except that I made it way too spicy for my taste - I should have known to cut down the sambal oelek by maybe half.  I did this as a make-ahead recipe as well and it reheated very well the next day.  Will make again, with less chile paste!

Restaurant Quality

August 28, 2016
My husband thinks this is as good as the food at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Even if you aren't a radish eater, I bet you will like the pickled radishes in this recipe. I made chicken meatballs instead of beef and used chicken broth in the recipe as a result. I've used both peanuts and almonds on top. Served over rice and brown noodles. Any way, it's all good. 

The best!

September 13, 2016
Never had a banner mi sandwich so didn't know what to expect. This was my favorite of the 3 recipies for the meatballs! Such a unique balance of savory and sweet/sour, we loved it and it would be a great meal to pack for lunches! Highly recommended!

taste broth mixture before you add all the sambal oelek

September 23, 2016
Made to directions except used a bahn mi meatball recipe adapted from Bon Appétit's 2010 recipe of the year .  Also made rice rather than using pre-cooked.  We tasted the broth mixture after ½tbs sambal oelek and that was hot enough for us--reccomend you do the same.  Added some fried shallots, a litte sliced cuke & jalapeno to bulk up the toppings.  Very good.


November 08, 2016
Hubby and I really enjoyed this.  Our teen did not but she has an unexplained dislike of meatballs - anyway.  Flavors were wonderful and so far I'm enjoying the recipes that stem from the Sheet Pan Swedish Meatballs.  I did only use a heaping tablespoon of the sambal oelek and it was spicy enough for us.  Will definitely make again.