Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Fried Rice

Photo by Audrey Kelly

To make this dish extra crispy, sauté the ingredients separately and use cold, cooked rice. As you're stir-frying, allow the rice to interact with the heat at the bottom of the pan—this will give it a nice, toasted texture.


  1. Do Chua
    • 1 small daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  2. Vietnamese Meatballs
    • 1 stalk lemongrass, root end trimmed, outer leaves removed, finely sliced (white part only; about 2 Tbsp.)
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 green onions
    • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 1 Tbsp.sriracha
    • 1 salt
    • 1 lb. ground pork
  3. Fried Rice
    • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 5 green onions, ends trimmed, cut into 1” lengths
    • 4 cups cold cooked rice
    • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. sriracha, plus more for serving
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. To make the do chua:
    1. Combine the daikon and carrot on a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt, and massage the vegetables until they’re bendable and have expelled their liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, water, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the carrot and daikon, pressing to make sure the vegetables are mostly submerged. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before using, and up to several weeks.
  2. To make the meatballs:
    1. In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, garlic, and green onions. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the fish sauce, sriracha, salt, and pork; pulse until just combined. (Alternatively, you can very finely chop the lemongrass, garlic, and green onions by hand or use a mortar and pestle, then mix with the remaining ingredients. Filling can be made several days ahead and refrigerated.) Roll the meat mixture into heaping teaspoon-size meatballs (alternatively, you can roll just half into meatballs and use a combination of ground pork and meatballs in the fried rice).
    2. To make the fried rice:
        • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. (If you rolled only half the mixture into meatballs, now sauté the ground pork in the pan until cooked through, then transfer to the plate.) Add the green onions and sauté until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until warmed through and softened, then continue sautéing until the rice seems firm again, about 3 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook until warmed through. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sriracha. Drizzle the mixture over the rice and stir until evenly coated.
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