Caramelized Vietnamese Meatballs: Lily’s Sensational Xiu Mai


As a kid, Lily loved Banh Mi Xiu Mai, a banh mi made with savory and sweet meatballs. When she moved to Boston, the Banh Mi Xiu Mai had a softer meatball that had a tomato sauce, which was satisfying, but it did not compare to the version she had as a child.

After plenty of recipes, Lily finally decided to tackle Xiu Mai. This version has a sugar based sauce similar to that used with Thit Kho, and instead of using traditional ground pork, these Xiu Mai were made with ground turkey. You can use whatever meat you prefer; Lily herself will probably experiment with a mix of ground beef and pork in the future!

We served the Xiu Mai as a Banh Mi sandwich, but you can eat the meatballs with rice, vermicelli, or pieces of bread. If you roll the meatballs smaller, you can even make them into tasty appetizers with a small slice of pickled carrot and daikon! Enjoy!

Music provided by Georg Friedrich Händel’s Concerto Grosso no. 1, HWV 319

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