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Vietnamese-Style Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Vietnamese meatballs are often skewered and grilled, but for a quick weeknight meal, a skillet does a fine job. You could serve these over steamed rice or rice vermicelli, but we liked them with herbs and lettuce leaves for wrapping, along with a lime juice and fish sauce mixture for drizzling. They're also a great filling for Vietnamese báhn mì sandwiches.
teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
pound ground pork
01Coat a large plate with 1 teaspoon of the oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, 3 tablespoons water, cilantro, ½ teaspoon pepper, minced scallions, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the 2 teaspoons sugar. Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds. The mixture will be soft and sticky. With lightly moistened hands, form into 20 balls and place on the prepared plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
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I made these for my family tonight. I am a software engineer & my wife is a trained chef who worked in one of the best kitchens in the world. I'm not sure whether this is a compliment but my girls suggested that I start a food truck and make these for everyone all of the time. Either way, they were delicious, easy to make & great for a weeknight dinner
I love the flavor of these meatballs and have used them also for Bahn Mi. But I have made them twice and both time I don't think frying them at the temperature suggested cooks them fully. Both times the pork was a little undercooked. Perhaps I will try them in the oven or I wonder if an Air Fryer would work?
Would it be possible to get directions for baking the meatballs? We have tried frying as directed and just can't get it right. The outside is overcooked, the inside raw. I'm sure it's user error but baking them would really be more convenient for us too.
Hi Erin -
First, are you adjusting the heat as you cook the meatballs? You want to brown the meatballs for 1-2 minutes at medium-high, but then adjust the temperature to ensure the insides cook before the outsides overcook. This may be down to medium or medium-low depending on your cooktop. If you are doing that and *still* having trouble, when you lower the temp also cover the skillet. This will create a more "oven-like" environment for the meatballs. Lastly, you can bake them in the oven. We would line a sheet tray with foil and spray with cooking spray or brush with oil. Then bake the meatballs at around 425 degrees for anywhere from 10-20 minutes. We haven't tested these meatballs in the oven so we can't give exact timing, but we would just cut one open on the early side of that time range and go from there.
The Milk Street Team
Do you think the meatballs could be mixed a day in advance then cooked the the next day?