This recipe for Vietnamese Meatballs (Xiu Mai) is a pure comfort-food dish. The tender pork meatballs are flavorful and have delicious crunch from the jicama. Cooked in a homemade tomato sauce, these hearty meatballs are absolutely mouth-watering. Super-versatile, the meatballs can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a small meal or appetizer. Serve the Vietnamese Meatballs with lots of crusty bread for dipping in the zesty sauce. Enjoy!
In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, jicama, green onion (white) root, garlic, fish sauce, corn starch and ground black pepper. Mix together by hand combining all of the ingredients well. Combine just until everything sticks together. Avoid over-working the meat mixture as this will make the meatballs tough.
To serve, transfer a few meatballs into a small bowl along with a generous amount of tomato sauce. Top with the chopped green onion stems. Enjoy these scrumptious Vietnamese Meatballs with crusty bread.
For juicier meatballs, use ground pork with some fat in it. An 80/20 mixture is ideal. Optionally, if using lean or extra-lean ground pork, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to the meat mixture.
If jicama is difficult to find, substitute with canned water chestnuts. Use one 8 oz can for this recipe. Drain the canning liquid and then finely chop the water chestnuts.
Avoid over-working the meat mixture as this makes the meatballs tough. Combine the meat mixture just until it sticks together.
Try this recipe with ground chicken, turkey or beef. I often make this with ground chicken and it's delicious!
I like my tomato sauce a bit chunky and so don't cook the tomatoes long. Feel free to cook the tomatoes longer for a smoother sauce. This recipe is super forgiving so you can make and then simmer on the stove until you're ready to eat.
Adjust the tomato sauce to your preference. If you want a thicker sauce, reduce the water and/or add the corn starch + water mixture. When using the thickener, make sure to cook it adequately or the sauce will taste starchy.
These meatballs make an awesome sandwich. Add sliced cucumber, jalapeno, carrot and radish pickles and cilantro for an amazing banh mi!
Refrigerate any remaining portions and enjoy within the week.