Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Chili Sauce

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Vietnamese Style Meatballs

My husband calls these Vietnamese-style meatballs “flavor bombs” (which, by the way, is a good thing). I can’t say that they’re completely authentic, but they do have that combination of fresh, bright, and pungent flavors that makes Vietnamese food so enticing. For a quick weeknight supper, wrap the meatballs in lettuce cups or serve them over rice. For an appetizer, arrange the meatballs on a platter and spear with them with toothpicks. Either way, drizzle the sweet-spicy-sour chili sauce over top and sprinkle them with fresh herbs, scallions, and chopped peanuts. They’ll go quickly!

how to make vietnamese meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, scallions, lime zest, cilantro, and mint.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Whisk to combine.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Add the beef, pork, and panko.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Using your hands, mix until evenly combined.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls and arrange on an unlined baking sheet. The mixture will be a bit sticky; dampen your hands every so often while rolling the meatballs if necessary.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once with a metal spatula halfway through the cooking time, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

Meanwhile make the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved and not stuck to the bottom of the bowl.

how to make vietnamese meatballs

Serve the meatballs drizzled with the sauce and sprinkled with scallions, cilantro, mint, and peanuts.

how to make vietnamese-style meatballs

My Recipe Videos

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Chili Sauce

Servings: 22 to 24 small meatballs (Serves 6)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup), plus a few more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest, from 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts, for serving

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Asian chili sauce, such as Sambal Oelek, or Asian chili garlic sauce (available in Asian aisle of most supermarkets)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 to 3 limes
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, scallions, lime zest, cilantro, and mint. Whisk to combine. Add the beef, pork, and panko. Using your hands, mix until evenly combined. Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls and arrange on an unlined baking sheet. The mixture will be a bit sticky; dampen your hands every so often while rolling the meatballs if necessary. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once with a metal spatula halfway through the cooking time, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. (If the meatballs stick a bit to the pan, simply slide the metal spatula underneath them and they should release.)
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved and not stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Taste and add more chili sauce if desired.
  4. Serve the meatballs drizzled with the sauce and sprinkled with scallions, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. (Be judicious with the sauce; it's very strong in flavor.)
  5. Make Ahead: The meatballs can be made completely ahead of time and refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve them, reheat them in the microwave.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 488
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Sodium: 2046 mg
  • Cholesterol: 141 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • Oh Fish Sauce. How I loathe you. Every brand I try, every bottle I open… sigh. (Or don’t, as the smell… it just creeps me out.)

    This recipe is, as all of your recipes are, wonderful.

    However: Fish Sauce. Do you have a recommended brand because Thai Kitchen, Tasty Thai… three other bottles from the local import store written in the appropriate language which I am not learned enough to read and asked what was a best fish sauce… yeah… none of them seem to add the depth and saltiness you are going for without the overpowering dead fish smell I seem unable to shake.

    That said, don’t be deterred anyone else. These are awesome, my spouse and KIDS gobbled them up, but they weren’t here when I made them and perhaps that is my entire problem.

    FISH SAUCE. I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE.

    • — Karin on November 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karin, They are all pretty stinky but if you can find Red Boat, that’s the best one. I just saw it at Whole Foods. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Word of the Day: Judicious
    I love it! Great recipe! I’m happy I was and used low sodium soy sauce. Came out great for us high blood pressure ridden lot. Thank you for a new dish to put in rotation.

    • — Damann95 on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Ha!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Very flavorful and tasty! Would make double and freeze half next time. Only negative would be that we found them a bit salty. Maybe will try with low sodium soy next time, or a different brand fish sauce.

    • — Jennifer on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe is so bomb! Thank you for sharing with us chef. I was wondering if there’s any way to incorporate the sauce into the meatballs?

    • — Santiago on November 12, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you like these, Santiago! I don’t really think there’s a way to incorporate the sauce into the meatballs – I’d just stick with drizzling it on top.

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2018
      • Reply
  • Any tips on making these meatballs in bulk and more importantly, in advance? Would love to make these for a potluck!

    • — Jamie on November 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jamie, Depending upon how far in advance you want to make these, they can be refrigerated or frozen. They can be made completely ahead of time and refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for 2 to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve them, reheat them in the microwave.

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • My husband made a declaration that these meatballs were the best thing ever to be cooked in our kitchen! Thank you for restoring my spouses faith in my cooking. Sometimes I hit, sometimes I miss, and I’m delighted to say that everything I’ve made off of this website has been a hit out of the ballpark. I’m loving cooking again. Much appreciated.

    • — Laura on November 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • ☺️

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • My grocery store doesn’t have Asian chili sauce and I’m dying to make this recipe! Do you think I could use sweet chili sauce instead?

    • — Vicki on October 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • Actually, I think I better substitute would be sriracha (and you could also add some red pepper flakes for heat. Hope you enjoy the meatballs!

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • Fantastic meatballs! I use a tiny bit of the sauce as a dressing on a salad*. With the meatballs, I do a satay sauce: pan fry onions, add garlic, several tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter sauce. Remove from the stove-top and use hand held blender. Then add coconut milk to get consistency you are after.
    (*big handful of mint leaves and coriander leaves; salad leaves; blanched greens of any type; long thin strips of cucumber – all elements patted dry and don’t add the dressing until immediately prior to serving)

    • — Karen Volpato on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made these tonight exactly as written, and concur with everyone: they are delicious. My husband was concerned that the pork wouldn’t be cooked enough after the time was up, so I added 10 extra minutes to the cookingtime and then let them sit in the turned-off oven for another 10 minutes. They were as moist and perfect as they had been at the original time, so I’m guessing the pork makes them almost indestructable. Served them with the cauliflower fried rice, which was also great. But next time would try to start earlier or snag a helper, as there was quite a bit of prep involved. Thanks for another excellent recipe.

    • — RCB on October 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these meatballs exactly as the recipe is written and they are definitely a flavor bomb! And good advice to be judicious with the sauce, as it is very strong but so good! My family has requested that I make them again, soon, but double the recipe. I served the meatballs with jasmine rice and egg rolls. For dessert we had the No-Churn Key Lime Pie – another hit with my family!

    • — Shellie L on October 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • I just had to try this recipe which the author described as “flavor bombs”. The meatballs were great. I served them over rice. This has been added into the family cookbook. Thanks.

    • — Karen Cauty on October 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious meatballs and flavour bomb dipping sauce. My boyfriend and I sometimes substitute the dipping sauce with Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) when we have the meatballs in vermicelli.

    • — Damy T on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • These Vietnamese meatballs are a huge hit in our house! We made them as the recipe said and served them with some jasmine rice and minted cucumbers. Delicious!

    • — Brooks on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Another fantastic recipe Jenn! I made it exactly as written and everyone in our family loved it, including our 2 teenagers. I wouldn’t change a thing in this recipe. I appreciate that you mentioned going easy on the sauce, as it is so packed with flavor! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe!

    • — Linda Fasulo on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delishous! 😋 I substituted ground chicken for the beef, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. My family loved it! Thank you Jenn.

    • — Marlana on October 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this with ground turkey mince, it was really tasty with rice noodles. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Kate on October 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this last weekend with ground duck. I followed recipe but used Korean sGochujang sauce for the sauce . I served with quick microwave sticky thai jasmin rice. It turned out absolutely delicious. My husband was raving about it. I will definitely make again. As usual, thank you for another wonderful recipe

    • — Ranya on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • These were a huge hit with my family! Even my young boys (ages 3 & 18 months) gobbled them up!!!! I doubled the batch so I have a ton for freezing which is great for a quick weeknight dinner! My husband is already asking when we can have these again! I made them exactly as written, served them over rice and made a side of stir fried Asian green beans. Deeeeeeeelish!!!!!!

    • — Rachel on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the Vietnamese meatballs with chili sauce about a month ago because I had almost all of the ingredients and wanted to make something new. They were delicious! My husband really enjoyed them and there was enough for leftovers. I also put a few in the freezer and the sauce is in the refrigerator ready to use the next time.

    • — nancyinseattle on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • These meatballs were easy to make, quite tasty and freeze well. Toddler-approved. I like to serve them over Japanese rice as shown.

    • — Maria Maddox on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • These meatballs are fabulous and have become a favorite in our house. We like them served over fragrant jasmine rice with a simple asian style slaw or salad to complement. The combinations of scallions, peanuts and added mint/cilantro with the sauce hit all the right flavor notes, so don’t skimp on these! They also make great hors d’oeuvres when made slightly smaller and leftovers freeze beautifully.

    • — Susan Watson on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, LOVE your recipes (and that you answer questions!) Could I make these with all beef and, if so, do I need to make any adjustments? Thanks!

    • — Deb on October 2, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, so glad you like the recipes! You can use all beef here with no adjustments. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 3, 2018
      • Reply
  • Just removed the meatballs from the oven and they look and smell wonderful! Tested a couple and they are delish! Had to omit the mint because my mint plant disappeared from the flower bed. I think the mint would definitely make them taste that much more flavorful…next time. Contrary to others, I thought they were perfectly seasoned without adding salt. After cooling they will go into the fridge until tomorrow for lunch at my office. Will heat & serve with the sauce over Ginger Fried Rice from Food52’s Genius Recipes. So looking forward to tomorrow! Very easy and quick to make; highly recommended. Thanks!

    • — Anicab on September 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – should I adjust the cook time if I made the meatballs smaller to serve as appetizers? Thank you 😊

    • — Mia on September 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, they’re likely to need a bit less time in the oven, but hard to say exactly how long as it depends on how small the meatballs are. I’d check them for doneness at 18 – 20 minutes. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on September 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made these this evening, exactly as directed. And I used Vietnamese vermicelli as the base. AMAZING!!!! I would not change a thing. The herbs were spot on and my mouth is dancing with flavor. I did add a pinch of salt to my bowl at the end but I love salt.
    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

    • — Jeanine on September 10, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi .. wanted to know what if I make these with lamb meat .. would that work out as well? Any additions/subtractions to the recipe if I use ground lamb?

    • — Kaveri on September 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kaveri, I haven’t made these with lamb, but I think it should work with no modifications. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe – easy, satisfying, and very flavorful. A big hit at my house. I used ground turkey to make a lighter meatball – I had no problems and still plenty of flavor and texture. Also, since cloves of garlic vary dramatically in size, I used one large clove; that provided enough flavor without overwhelming everything else.

    • — DML on August 27, 2018
    • Reply
  • This was easy to make and delicious. Loved the sauce

    • — Yen on August 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • This looks delish. May I sub the panko with pork rinds or ground chia?

    • — Nia on August 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Nia, I think ground chia would work here, but I’m really not sure about pork rinds! Please let me know how they turn out if you try these with either of those alternatives.

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this, but the meatballs didn’t have much flavor (because there is no salt in it). If you make it for an audience that likes very flavorful meals, then perhaps you should add some salt. I added salt and also a little bouillion. That made all the difference. Otherwise, very lovely overall.

    • — Martha Redhart on August 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • @martha You added four tbspn fish sauce and a quarter cup soy sauce and thought it didn’t have adequate salt content?

      This dish is amazing and has become a staple in our house.

      • — Jake on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is a bit of a review, and a question. First, I made this recipe last weekend and thought it was great. Question – I tried fish sauce in another recipe and found it totally overpowering, so I did not include it this time. That sauce was fine without it, but the meatballs were clearly missing a bit of oomph. Do you think a specific brand would be a bit “milder” or is there a suggestion of another ingredient I could try instead?

    • — Rossalyn on July 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Rossalyn, The fish sauce adds a nice authentic Thai taste to these meatballs, so perhaps that’s what was missing. I’ve had good luck with both Tiparos and Taste of Thai brands. If you want to avoid using fish sauce, you could substitute with soy sauce, but the meatballs won’t have that signature Thai taste – still good, just different. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 27, 2018
      • Reply
  • I love these meatballs. My kids loved these meatballs. My husband didn’t get to try them because they were gone before he got home. They were so delicious. I made exactly as written. I will need to triple the recipe next time and freeze some. I can see these being a quick and easy dinner!

    • — Kim on July 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these last night and my family and I absolutely loved it! I only had 1 lb. trays of ground turkey, so I ended up using 2 lbs. of turkey to make the meatballs. The meatballs were soft and moist 😋 Other than the turkey, I followed the recipe for the meatballs and the sauce. It made a lot of meatballs! The first night we had it on top of somen noodles with sliced cucumbers, the second night we had it in a bahn mi sandwich topped with jalepeno and pickeled vegetables. This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Cheryl Natividad on July 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • These are so easy to make you can make them after a long days work!
    Absolutely delicious and different from the usual meatball. Sauce is easy too.
    A keeper just like all of the recipes in Once Upon a Chef!

    • — Jane Hedal on June 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • These were delicious. I served these as a main dish. However, these would be fantastic as an appetizer, or make Banh Mi sandwiches with some pickled carrots, daikon and hot chili mayo.

    • — David Cannon on June 28, 2018
    • Reply
  • If I use all pork as you suggested in my first question, would you consider using the baking soda technique to ensure they’re tender? Sometimes pork is not as tender as beef. I tried the baking soda as you directed in your beef chili recipe and was so pleased with the resulting tenderness of the beef.

    • — Candy on June 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Candy, I wouldn’t think it’s necessary to use baking soda with pork as it’s naturally more tender than ground beef, but I don’t think it would hurt.

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • I just fixed this recipe as written for my husband as a dry run for a dinner party. We both loved it. Then my husband reminded me one of our guests doesn’t eat any beef. Would you recommend using all pork or 1/2 pork, 1/2 turkey or some other meat mix? Thanks for another delicious recipe. You never disappoint.

    • — Candy on June 24, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed, Candy! I’d go with all pork. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this a couple nights ago and the meatballs were so delicious and flavorful (even without the sauce). My one year old couldn’t get enough of it. I will definitely be making this again.

    • — Denise on June 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I am serving these to my toddler so can’t use anything with heat. How should I tweak the sauce to make it kid-friendly? Thanks!

    • — Elizabeth on June 1, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, You could just omit the sauce from your toddler’s portion. The meatballs have plenty of flavor in and of themselves. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • These meatballs look fantastic and I really want to try them out, but I have a problem… I absolutely cannot stand cilantro, the moment I taste it I have to spit it out; it’s just too strong for my liking. Is there any way to substitute the cilantro or can I omit it without losing much of the flavour?

    • — Sam on May 31, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Sam, No worries – you can use 2 tablespoons basil or just leave it out.

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this recipe for a dinner party and everyone was so excited to see it/hear what it was. Rave reviews! The meatballs were soft, fragrant, flavorful and the sauce gave it that extra special touch/punch of flavor. Served it with Jenn’s Cauliflower Stir Fried Rice recipe which everyone was equally excited to see and try and loved just a much. Neat to see and hear everyone’s excitement and interest as they ate and commented about how good it was. Extra Bonus: My husband loved his “flavor bowl” of leftover meatballs and cauli rice the next day. Thought he died and went to heaven. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Diane on May 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • We enjoyed this recipe…it’s very tasty. If you like the taste of a soy sauce & washbi type sauce, you will like this chili/soy sauce. I served the meatballs over a store bought sticky rice and made stir fry broccoli. Also served with pickled ginger.

    • — Glinda Lathan on May 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • Your husband is right; these are a flavor bomb! One bite and my husband said “Company dish.” Outstanding. Do you think it would be okay to use these as an appetizer? Good luck on your book tour!

    • — Mary Ward on May 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed these and, yes, you can definitely serve these as an appetizer!

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • I forgot to add the 5 stars – haven’t had a recipe from you yet that didn’t rate at least 5. 😊

    • — Colleen on May 14, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    Just wanted to say these meatballs have become another family favourite along with everything else I have tried on your site. My husband thought we should have them at least twice a week lol. Thank you for sharing your expertise. My new cookbook just arrived and I am ready to dive in and start trying the recipes. I have a large cooking family and I am now set on what to get them for gifts this year. I am sure it will become a best seller! If you have a stop in Vancouver that would be wonderful!

    Colleen

    • — Colleen on May 14, 2018
    • Reply
  • The meatballs came out moist and delicious. I paired mine with vermicelli (rice) noodles.

    • — Mia on May 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Great meatballs and sauce – thanks. I served them on top of jasmine rice, and had an accompanying Vietnamese style salad. Australia has some wonderful Vietnamese grocery stores:)

    • — Karen Volpato on May 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn–Can I make and cook the meatballs the night before–then before serving, brush them with the sauce and reheat, serving sauce on the side? Also, I love your pairing suggestions but wonder–would this taste good with your Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe?

    • — Diane on May 1, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes and Yes! Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 2, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! Can’t wait to make both for company soon. Truly appreciate your expertise and guidance as well as your masterful recipes. Every single one I’ve tried has become a go-to favorite for entertaining.

        • — Diane on May 3, 2018
        • Reply
        • Happy to help! 🙂

          • — Jenn on May 4, 2018
          • Reply
  • Thank you Jenn, for this wonderfully flavored and delicious recipe. I love any kind of Vietnamese food, but these meatballs were the bomb. I made a lot of them and froze them. This way they are available anytime.

    P.S. Also really food on the grill

    • — Lori S on May 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a couple of weeks now and after having made it, I cannot believe I put off making these succulent meatballs for as long as I did. I paired these meatballs with the jasmine rice (as recommended under the “pair with” tab) and roasted carrot (medallions) sprinkled with coriander. I am not the best rice maker, but I, surprisingly, did very well! There wasn’t much chit-chat tonight at dinner, I’ll tell you that! Too many missed bites otherwise! This recipe is a keeper!!! I’m looking forward to the next potluck and making these bite-sized bits of yummy to share with everyone I know! Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Nicole on April 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • HI… So what are the recipe ingredients for the sauce? I’m confused… Thanks

    • — Valerie on April 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Valerie, If you scroll down to the full recipe, the first section has the ingredients for the meatballs and the section immediately below it has the ingredients for the sauce. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy the meatballs!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • Wow! Totally amazing and delicious…. If you want to impress your family and friends and are short on time this is the recipe for you;-) Thank you Jen. You are so talented! Congratulation on your beautiful book.

    • — saharMarin on April 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on April 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi
    I want to try this recipe. But I don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Should I substitute it with more beef or do you suggest another type of meat?

    • — Uz on April 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Uz – all beef will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • This just didn’t do anything for me. I wish I had a different reaction as I have loved every other recipe I have tried. Can’t put my finger on what didn’t work.

    Am sad.

    • — Hollis on April 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Flavor bombs indeed!!! ABSOLUTELY DIVINE….and delicious too! I’m going to serve them for dinner with friends in 6 days. Since it took me a heck of a lot longer than 20 minutes to prepare these, I’m going to spend tomorrow making up a batch. Would I be better off freezing the meatballs UNCOOKED or cooked, then reheated? p.s. LOVE your new book, Jen. Congratulations!

    • — Alison Spinney on April 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sorry to hear they took longer than you anticipated to prepare, but glad you enjoyed them! Yes, you can freeze them (I’d suggest cooking before freezing them, but you can go either way.)

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jen, I think my long prep time was due to an old dull box cheese (etc.) shredder. I just ordered a microplane to help speed up the lime zest and ground ginger operation!

        • — Alison on April 25, 2018
        • Reply
        • You will love it!

          • — Jenn on April 26, 2018
          • Reply
  • Hi. My question had nothing to do with this recipe, but 1) I’d like to thank you for the step by step pictures you provide. 2) Will you someday do a picture tutorial on buying, peeling (if necessary ), and slicing a shallot? Also, what is the difference between the shallot, the green onion and the purple / red onion and can they be used interchangeably?
    Thank you!

    • — Jeannette Shields on April 24, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jeannette, Glad you find the pictures helpful. I will add purchasing/slicing a shallot to my list of potential “how-tos.” Thanks for the suggestion! This piece outlines a variety of onions and the best ways to use them.

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • These are soooooo good. Making them for my book club this weekend…with lamb!

    • — Mary Munson on April 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these cocktail sized for a party last night. I drizzled a little of the sauce over the meatballs and served the remaining sauce on the side for dipping. Not a single meatball was left! I had leftover sauce, so I took some of it and mixed it with canola oil, marinated some tuna steaks in it, then grilled the tuna. I served it with rice noodles mixed with fresh pea shoots and the remaining sauce. It was delicious!

    • — Nancy Dressel on April 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • Wow Jen! What a great recipe love it! Super tasty and easy.

    • — Kylee on April 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • I have never been a fan of meatballs…dry, heavy meat bombs with very little flavor. I tried these only because it was your recipe. They were incredibly moist and flavorful and they stayed that way , refrigerated, for
    three meals. I halved the recipe-it’s just me – and it was perfect. I served them on top of white rice with the toppings you suggested …delicious !

    • — Kathy Vukasovich on April 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this the other night. It was good but not great and it was my fault. Made it again and turned out great. I cannot stress enough how using the correct meat % to use. The first time I made it I used very lean meat. MISTAKE. Use what the recipe calls for…it made all the difference.

    • — Nina on April 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • Could this be made with ground turkey?

    • — Sandy on April 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure – just make sure it’s not too lean. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2018
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  • The meatballs themselves were really wonderful, tons of flavor! The herbs are really critical, don’t skip! Leftovers reheat well too.

    For the sauce I didn’t have Asian Chili Sauce so I substituted Gochujang, which in combination with the fish sauce made the sauce really funky– probably wouldn’t recommend. So my version was only 4 stars, but I bet it is better with the original ingredients so I still give the recipe 5 stars.

    • — Jackie on April 19, 2018
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  • Delish! Perfect for a weeknight dinner – served over rice noodles. Omitted the mint because I didn’t have any and the red pepper flakes because I’m not a spiced food fan. Meatballs came out really good! The sauce was excellent and made as directed except used 1 instead of 2 tablespoons of chili sauce to keep the spiciness down. Definitely a keeper. Thanks Jen!

    • — Gail on April 18, 2018
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  • Just tried the recipe tonight and loved it!!!! Wouldn’t change a thing and can’t wait to make it again!

    • — Nathalie on April 13, 2018
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  • Just tasted this after making this morning….zesty little sauce, that may be too spicy for young kids, but I loved it! This will make a great dinner over rice for two tonite, and ample batch for the freezer till my cocktail party later this month! Well done, as usual, Jen!

    • — Gayann on April 13, 2018
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  • I made these tonight after work with my 11 year old daughter and they were so good!! I wouldn’t change a thing about them 🙂

    • — Laurie on April 12, 2018
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  • Made these meatballs with all ground beef and they turned out great! Full of flavor and very satisfying with some rice. The sauce was also very tasty.
    Thanks for another great weeknight dinner!

    • — Naz on April 12, 2018
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  • Another great recipe from Jen – thanks! I used ground chicken breast and they were perfect.

    • — Allison on April 12, 2018
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  • My friend and l get together once a week to try new recipes. So far we’ve only been making your recipes and have had great success!!!! Yesterday we made the Vietnamese Meatballs paired with the Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing. They were both so so delish!!!! Couldn’t stop eating both!!!! I skipped the mint in the meatballs and still they were so full of flavour! Looking forward to your cookbook!

    • — Kimberley on April 12, 2018
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  • I made these last night and they were amazing! I was wondering if the fish sauce would be too strong and both my husband and I thought it was a perfect blend of ingredients. He agreed with your husband that they were a “flavor bomb”. The results of this recipe has increased my confidence in cooking, as most of your recipes do 😀 I can’t wait to get the cookbook that I pre-ordered. Thank you!

    • — Lusa on April 12, 2018
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    • 😊

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2018
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  • These are absolutely delicious! My whole family loved them including our 2 year old (minus the sauce).

    • — SueC on April 12, 2018
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  • I made this recipe exactly as written. The meatballs were juicy and well seasoned & the sauce added the perfect amount of spice. I will definitely be cooking this again!

    • — Melissa on April 11, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I make these in a slow cooker and serve them as appetizers? How long would I have to cook them for do you think?

    • — Monika on April 11, 2018
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    • Hi Monika, I don’t have a slow cooker, so I can’t say for sure how long it would take, but I think it’s doable. Here are some tips that may help. I’d love to hear how they turn out if you slow cook them!

      • — Jenn on April 11, 2018
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  • I made these last night with all ground turkey and they were FABULOUS! I also made them with your Thai crunch salad and basmati rice. Everyone loved it! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Kristen Berry on April 10, 2018
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  • Made these this evening. My lady thought they were fabulous, as did I. The only changes I made was to add 1/3 cup of water to the meatball mix (adding moisture), then I browned the meatballs in an oiled frying pan on 4 sides before I put them in the oven for 15 minutes.
    Served over stir fried rice noodles with sugar peas and green scallions. Delicious meal.

    • — David Cannon on April 10, 2018
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  • Served with rice and steamed broccoli for quick and easy weeknight dinner…definitely a keeper!

    • — Sarah on April 9, 2018
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  • Sorry, Not really that good! sauce was wonderful but the meatballs themselves! not that great and highly overated. Sorry.

    • — julie a carlson on April 9, 2018
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    • not worth making

      • — julie a carlson on April 9, 2018
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  • Hi can anyone tell me how spicey it is? Is it kid friendly? Thank you

    • — Quynh on April 9, 2018
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    • Hi Quynh, The meatballs themselves are not spicy (and you can leave out the red pepper flakes to make them even milder) but the sauce definitely is.

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2018
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  • I made them with ground turkey tonight and they were delish. My grocery story only had one small package of ground turkey thigh meat left so I had to use ground breast as well (approx .5 lb thigh and 1 lb breast). I agree that all thigh meat likely would have made them even better. I’m trying to avoid beef these days for climate reasons but I can see how delicious they would be made the original way.

    • — Caralee on April 9, 2018
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  • I did not have mint so I increased the cilantro. I used bread crumbs.

    One of my friends told me to boil my meatballs for a bit as they are usually hard but I made half in the toaster oven (my oven is dead) and half I boiled in chicken broth. Both ways were excellent.

    Thank you for a recipe I can now use so I never have to buy rock-like meatballs ready made.

    • — Julie Ali on April 8, 2018
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  • Great recipe! Very unique and tasty. I served it over rice with a side of sugar snap peas. The presentation was beautiful! Two suggestions. Use latex gloves to roll the meatballs. No sticking! I would also line the pan with parchment paper because the meatballs did stick to the pan. My guests ask for the recipe! I did use a pound of both meats and adjusted the other ingredients to compensate.

    • — Marilyn B. on April 8, 2018
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    • You took the words right out of my mouth! My meatballs also stuck to the pan, so I plan to use parchment next time. And the gloves are a must for mixing and rolling! The recipe tasted great, even my toddler ate it.

      • — Katie on April 9, 2018
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  • Well, my husband just went nuts over these meat balls and the sauce! Our new favourite. Absolutely fantastic flavours…..wow!!!can’t wait to serve these as appetizers. Thank you SO much for your amazing recipes, you make me look like a pro in the kitchen. ❤️

    • — Donna Pike on April 7, 2018
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  • Hi Jen! Can I use sweet chili (dipping) sauce instead of sambal olek and skip the sugar addition in the sauce or will that mess everything up?

    Thanks!

    • — Steph on April 7, 2018
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    • Hi Steph, It will absolutely not mess everything up. 🙂 I’d make it that way and then just adjust the flavors as necessary. I’d love to know how it turns out.

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2018
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  • Best flavor ever! These were delicious and really easy to put together. I made them mid afternoon and then baked them for dinner. My husband said he’d rather eat these than go to a restaurant- high praise! We don’t eat pork, so I replaced that with ground turkey. I roasted broccoli florets with the meatballs for the last 12 minutes and served that along with jasmine rice. A definite repeat.

    Jen, I have two questions for you:

    1. They were a little too salty for my taste. Do you think if I cut back the fish sauce to 2 tbsp that would be ok in terms of flavor? I don’t see anywhere else to cut back on the salt.

    2. I have about 10 meatballs left over. Any suggestions how to serve these on a second night in some sort of wrap or sandwich form? What would you include in the wrap in terms of accompaniments?

    Thank you as always for making me look like a serious chef!

    • — Elizabeth on April 7, 2018
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    • Hi Elizabeth, So glad you enjoyed! I think it’s fine to cut back on the fish sauce. You could also use a low sodium soy sauce in the sauce. For leftovers, you might try something like this. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2018
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  • I have never submitted a review on anything before but had to here. This was AMAZING! I made it exactly as the recipe lists and it was a huge hit. Thank you thank you for your fantastic recipes. I am so looking forward to your cookbook.

    • — Dana on April 6, 2018
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  • This was wonderful! I love meatballs and Asian flavors and this was a great combo. Meatballs without the sauce was delicious but the sauce made it superb! Thanks for a great recipe

    One side note… don’t mix/roll your meatballs too much. mine came out a bit tough. Also don’t overcook them… oops on me for leaving them in the oven a bit longer than I should. Still tasted great but will make it again and stand close to the oven.

    • — Lana on April 6, 2018
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  • Perfect recipe! My husband and I made this last night for dinner and it was a huge success! Better than most of the local Vietnamese food in out city. Super flavorful and because they cook in the oven, very simple to make on a weeknight.
    We served over rice and really enjoyed the chile sauce over the rice to make a delicious “bowl”. I often do not like meatballs because they have a weird texture or too fatty. These were perfect crunchy outside but moist inside.
    We are planning on making these for any future pot-luck occasion. I know these Meatballs would be a huge hit!

    • — Keisha on April 6, 2018
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  • I made these meatballs last night and they were absolutely delicious! They were packed with flavour in every bite. The meatballs were easy to assemble, roll and bake. Yummy!

    • — Donna Smith on April 6, 2018
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  • Is there a substitute for pork in this recipe? Thanks!

    • — Nasar on April 6, 2018
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    • Sure, Nasar, ground turkey should work as long as it’s not too lean. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 6, 2018
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      • Thank you Jenn for the reply. A follow-on question! Can I freeze these?

        • — Nasar on April 6, 2018
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        • Yes, they freeze well. 🙂

          • — Jenn on April 6, 2018
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  • Can you suggest a vegetable or salad side dish to serve with this? I look forward to trying this recipe!

    • — Mary Beth on April 6, 2018
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    • Hi Mary Beth, in addition to the option of serving over steamed rice, the meatballs would pair nicely with this Thai Crunch Salad. Also, there’s a feature on the website– for all main dishes, I suggest one or two sides that I think would work well with them. To see what I’ve suggested, scroll to the top of the recipe page and, immediately under the recipe title, you’ll see a bar with several options, one of which says “pair with.” If you click on this, you’ll see the sides I’ve suggested. Hope you enjoy the meatballs is you make them!

      • — Jenn on April 6, 2018
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  • DELICIOUS! A lot of chopping but worth it.

    • — Nicole P on April 5, 2018
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  • Another great recipe of yours that I will put into my rotation. My fiance loved it! I used all beef (bc I can’t eat pork) and a bit less fish sauce b/c I feel our fish sauce is super intense ha but it came out great. I will be asking for your cookbook for my birthday!

    • — Cat on April 5, 2018
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  • I made the best mistake with this recipe, I grabbed ground lamb rather than ground beef. What a lovely surprise, and it was great tasting. I did not add the pork once I realized I had lamb rather than beef. I have been trying recipes on blogs for years, but since I found your site, this is my go-to spot and I know I can trust your recipes to be fabulous. Looking forward to the new cookbook!

    • — M'Lissa on April 5, 2018
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  • Jenn, I made these for dinner tonight and my family absolutely loved them! I have never had Vietnamese style food and this was a great introduction. I used gluten free panko bread crumbs as my wife is gluten intolerant. Thank you for sharing this recipe….sincerely appreciate it.

    • — Scott Erskine on April 5, 2018
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  • “Flavour Bombs” is correct! I made these ahead in the afternoon for dinner. My husband started “sampling” them, they didn’t make it to dinner time. Another great recipe.
    Suzanna

    • — Suzanna on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Ha! So glad you enjoyed (even if they never made it to the table)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • I’m not a fan of mint. Is it okay to leave it out?

    • — Connie on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Connie, It’s absolutely fine to leave the mint out.

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • These meatballs look delicious. Any recommendations re lowering the amount of sodium in this recipe?
    Stephanie

    • — Stephanie on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, To reduce the sodium, you can use low-sodium soy sauce. The fish sauce also adds a lot of sodium; you could replace some or all of it with additional low-sodium soy sauce. Without the fish sauce, however, these won’t have that signature Vietnamese taste. They’ll still be good — just different. Please let me know how they turn out if you try them with these tweaks!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
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  • Can I make the meatballs a few hours in advance not cooked and bake later? Or better to fully cook ahead of time and reheat in convection oven (don’t have a microwave).

    • — Andrea on April 5, 2018
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    • Hi Andrea, You can definitely make the meatballs a few hours in advance and bake later. I’d go that route. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
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  • Hi Jen,
    Is Fish Sauce the same as Oyster Sauce?
    Thanks
    Suzanna

    • — Suzanna on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Suzanna, Fish sauce is not the same as oyster sauce. You can find fish sauce in the Asian aisle of your supermarket near the Thai/Vietnamese ingredients. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
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  • I’m one of those people who can’t stand cilantro. Is there another herb that I can substitute, or should I just leave out the cilantro? Thank you

    • — Sandra DeLony on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandra, It’s perfectly fine to just leave it out, or you could use Thai basil instead. Please lmk how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
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  • What could I substitute for the eggs? Hubby has egg allergy. Thanks!

    • — Cherie on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Cherie, I think a store-bought egg substitute would work here. I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try them!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • The Vietnamese meat balls sound delicious. However, I don’t eat pork or beef. Would ground turkey work? Should I make adjustments to the recipe?

    Thanks!!!!!,
    Greta Peterson
    [email protected]

    • — Greta Peterson on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Greta, Ground turkey should work as long as it’s not too lean. Please let me know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • Looks amazing! Do you think ground turkey or chicken would work?

    • — Caroline on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Caroline, ground turkey or chicken should work as long as it’s not too lean. Please LMK how they turn out if you make them with one of these!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    These meatballs sound really good! My husband doesn’t like cilantro. Would coriander make an okay substitute? I know one is an herb and one is a spice, but coriander is the seed for cilantro, so I’m wondering if this could possibly work? Thank you so much! Joanne

    • — Joanne Peterson on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Joanne – I think a teaspoon of ground coriander would be a great substitute. You could also just leave it out or sub Thai basil. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
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    • Hello Joanne, I think that cilantro and coriander are interchangeable – they both refer to the same plant. In Australia we specify ‘coriander seeds’ if we mean the seeds of the coriander plant, or just ‘coriander’ if we mean the leafy part of the same plant. I think that cilantro is Spanish for coriander. That’s all, Marina

      • — Marina on April 6, 2018
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  • I do not like cilantro. Would you suggest a substitution or just omit it? Can’t wait for your cookbook to arrive =)

    • — Kim K. on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, Yes fine to omit it or sub Thai basil – either way, it will still be delicious. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • I don’t normally eat pork What can I use as a substitute. Thanks so much

    • — Tony on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tony, You can use ground veal or more ground beef. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
      • Wow. These were amazing. My husband could not get enough of them. Fabulous flavors and the sauce was fantastic. We served it on homemade fried rice. Winner!

        • — Patticakes on April 6, 2018
        • Reply

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