Serves 6 or makes about 30 meatballs
2 cups (500 ml) each peeled and coarsely grated carrots and daikon radish
¼ cup (60 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) coarse kosher salt
1½ lbs (750 g) lean ground pork
½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped yellow onion
⅓ cup (75 ml) finely chopped water chestnuts
3 tbsp (45 ml) each finely chopped cilantro and green onion
½ tsp (2 ml) white pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2 tsp (10 ml) granulated sugar
1½ tbsp (22 ml) cornstarch
2 tsp (10 ml) toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
1½ tbsp (22 ml) Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 large egg
1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil, plus extra if needed
⅔ cup (150 ml) mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) hot chili sauce such as Sriracha
6 Vietnamese buns or substitute Portuguese, torpedo or soft baguettes
jalapeño slices and cilantro, for garnish


  1. To make PICKLED CARROTS AND DAIKON: Toss ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let sit at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheatovento300F(150C). To make PORK MEATBALLS: In a large bowl combine pork, onion, water chestnuts, cilantro and green onion. In a smaller bowl whisk together pepper, salt, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine and egg. Pour over meat mixture and mix well to blend.
  3. With damp hands, form meatballs into Ping-Pong-sized meatballs, about 2 tbsp (30 ml) each. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and set aside.
  4. To make HOT CHILI MAYO: Mix together mayonnaise, chopped green onions and hot chili sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Inalargenon-stickfryingpan,heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs, avoiding crowding, and sauté until brown and cooked through, 15 minutes. Turn meatballs often, reducing heat if browning too quickly. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs, adding more oil if necessary.
  6. To assemble, cut each bun in half. Pull out enough bread from each half to leave 1⁄2-in (0.5 cm) thick shell. Spread Hot Chili Mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro in bottom halves. Fill each with 4 to 6 meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place on top of meatballs. Press on baguette tops.
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