Skip to main content

Featured Post

My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

Bánh mìtballs (turkey meatballs for Bánh mì)

What fascinates me the most about Vietnamese cooking is the locally modified French influences. The most iconic of such influences is Banh-mi, a sandwich made with (mostly) pork and pickled vegetables. Besides many Pan-Asian items such as: curry style stews, rice, and noodles, Vietnamese cuisine has its unique features such as: Pho, sandwiches, crepes, and rolls. Sadly in the West, this fantastic cuisine seems to be underrepresented, specially when compared to other minor Asian cuisines such as Thai or Korean. My absolute favorite Vietnamese food is Banh-mi; therefore, presented here is a meatball recipe for the dish, invented for my Persian readership. To develop a recipe, I had to replace the traditional pork (which is not Kosher) with ground turkey. Bedsides, the meatball recipe by no means is authentic, it even contains the Korean magical Gochujang. I once served my leftover Banh-mi fixings with rice and since then these meatballs became my standard, often served with Cilantro-lime rice and Banh-mi pickles. The recipe was initially inspired by this post.      
1 Pound (~450 gr) 85/15 ground turkey, cold
2 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
1 sprig of scallion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP fish sauce
1 TBSP Gochujang
2 TSP brown sugar
1 TBSP corn starch

Mix all the ingredients and knead until well-combined. Form several meatballs and let temper to the room temperature. The size of meatballs (and hence their number) is up to you. For the sandwich, I prefer golf ball size balls; while for the rice, I prefer much smaller balls.
To cook the larger meatballs, brown all sides of each ball in a hot skillet. Transfer to a preheated oven (375 F ~ 190 C) for 5 to minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Note that: medium rare is not an option for poultry meat. For the smaller meatballs, cooking can be done in one stage and in a hot pan.