Banh Mi Salad Recipe with Pork Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
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Traditional Banh Mi ingredients (minus the actual Banh Mi, or bread, itself) are piled on a bed of lettuce to make a flavor-packed and healthy Vietnamese Salad with Pork Meatballs. It’s a light and gluten free way to enjoy the flavors of the classic street food.

Banh Mi-Inspired Vietnamese Salad Recipe image with title

Several years ago, one of my blog contributors shared what she called the Banh Mi Salad.

It was based on her love of the Banh Mi Sandwich that she and a friend would often enjoy in between classes, right around lunch time. The sandwich place that she often went to always added Maggi sauce to the mayo spread, giving it a different flavor compared to other sandwich shops.

Unique and yet delicious.

What is a Banh Mi?

Most people think of a sandwich when they hear this term, but technically Banh Mi is the Vietnamese word for bread.

It is typically a short baguette with a soft interior and crispy outside. In the 1950’s it became a popular street food when it was split open and filled with a variety of fillings, oftentimes meat and veggies.

The pork sausage with pickled vegetable combination is one of the most common, and the inspiration for this salad.

Vietnamese Salad with Banh Mi Ingredients on top

Banh Mi Salad Recipe

This salad is based on the banh mi recipe with pork meatballs. Piled on top of a bed of greens with quick pickled veggies and some cucumbers and jalapenos for crunch and a kick. The Banh Mi ingredients are all brought together by a fresh and flavorful sriracha lime dressing that brings out all the flavors of the meatballs and pickles.

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
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What is in a banh mi salad?

Pork Meatballs

These are so easy to make and you only need 1 bowl to combine all the ingredients. Letting them firm up a bit in the fridge while before sauteeing helps them hold their shape since they don’t have any breadcrumbs for binding.

In a bowl, combine the following ingredients and roll into balls:

  • Ground pork
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Garlic
  • Fish sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Dry ground ginger
  • Pepper

Roll the balls in cornstarch and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Then heat oil in a pan and fry for about 5 minutes or until cooked through to 160°F. Drain on paper towels

Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish

Carrot daikon pickles are delicious and you only need 30 minutes to marinate it. Bonus point, you can enjoy this pickles alone or add them to your favorite salad.

Combine the following ingredients in a jar, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes:

  • Julienned carrots and daikon radish
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Lime juice
  • Sugar

Sriracha Lime Dressing

Stir or shake together the following ingredients:

  • Maggi sauce – this is an ingredient that is popular in Canada. If you cannot find it or need a gluten free substitute, use equal parts soy sauce (gluten free, if needed) and Worcestershire sauce, or just use tamari
  • Fish sauce
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Sugar
Jar of pickled carrots and daikon radish and on top of the salad

How to make Banh Mi salad

Fill your bowl or plate with lettuce, preferably a spring mix.

Top with the Banh mi ingredients you’ve made, the pork meatballs and pickles.

Add sliced cucumber and jalapenos (if you like the heat).

Drizzle with the dressing.

Make it a Meal

You might enjoy this salad with:

Vietnamese Pork Meatball Salad with Pickled Vegetables

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Salad topped with pork meatballs, quick pickled carrots, cucumbers, and jalapenos
5 from 2 votes

Banh Mi Salad

The classic Vietnamese pork sandwich is transformed into a healthy salad.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chilling time 20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Pork Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch for dredging
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Carrot Daikon Pickles:

  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp lime juice about 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 cup carrot julienned
  • 1/3 cup daikon radish julienned

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp maggi sauce (can substitute with tamari or equal parts soy sauce and Wrocesterahire sauce)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp lime juice, about 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar

For the Salad:

  • 5 oz salad greens, such as Spring Mix
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced or julienne

Instructions

For the Pork Meatballs:

  • Combine all the ingredients, except cornstarch, in a bowl.
  • Roll into approximately 16 balls (1 ounce each) and roll in cornstarch to completely cover the surface, refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan or a large pot over medium-­high heat. Add meatballs into the hot oil and fry for 5 minutes. Don’t crowd them.
  • Remove the meatballs to a paper towel-­lined plate to drain.
  • Set aside.

For the Carrot Daikon Pickles:

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the Salad Dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients and drizzle over salad.

For the salad:

  • Add salad greens to your plate and top with jalapeno, cucumber, and meatballs.
Nutrition Facts
Banh Mi Salad
Amount Per Serving (4 meatballs plus salad)
Calories 491 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 1412mg59%
Potassium 579mg17%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 2320IU46%
Vitamin C 26mg32%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

16 Comments
  1. Amy Weaver

    Made this last night. One of my absolute favorite foods is the northern Vietnamese Bun Cha. This is very similar, without the fried spring roll. I used a little less of the Sriracha, but it was soooo good!! I also used kale b/c that is what I happened to have on hand. My family normally doesn’t like kale, but they all said this was really good 😀

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Bethany, the recipe uses a pound of meat, so if you’re serving it as a main dish, you’ll get 4-5 servings from it. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. This was outstanding! I love love love Bahn Mi but am trying to eat less bread/carbs so this was right up my alley. The meatballs were seriously out of this world! My fiance is still raving about it. Thank you for sharing such an incredible dish! My only add-ons were quinoa and a spicy mayo (mayo + sriracha) to dollop on the meatballs but other than that I followed the recipe verbatim. Thank you!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Emily, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the Banh Mi salad recipe! Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  3. Oh my…I’ve pinned this and can’t wait to make it. Looks just delicious. This is one of my most favorite kind of meals…kind of a deconstructed kind of thing on a bed of lettuce. Can’t go wrong.

    Thanks, Lynn

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