You will love these Vietnamese meatballs over low-carb broccoli rice with spicy Sriracha mayonnaise sauce. I used ground pork to make the meatballs in this recipe but you can use any other meat mince you like. This bowl of goodness is nutritious and tasty; it’s gluten-free, paleo, keto and Whole30-friendly.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved eating and making meatballs. My grandma often had a batch of pork meatballs on the go and I would always get involved in rolling the patties. I have tried many types over the years but these Vietnamese meatballs made with ground pork and Asian aromatics would have to be my favourite.
They are super easy to make and taste delicious smothered with some spicy Sriracha mayonnaise. I decided to serve them over paleo and low-carb broccoli ‘rice’ (kind of like cauliflower rice but made with finely chopped broccoli). A few raw zucchini shavings, fresh coriander and lime and you have a fabulous Vietnamese-inspired bowl of goodness.
I have a bit more info about this dish but if you want to jump straight to the recipe, scroll down below.
VIETNAMESE MEATBALLS NUTRITION
As a complete meal, this recipe is suitable to those following a paleo, low-carb or keto diets and is also Whole30 friendly. It’s naturally gluten-free as well. The whole bowl comes in at about 670 calories with 10 grams of carbohydrates (net, without the fibre), 54 grams fat and 34 grams protein. It’s satiating and very nutritious, covering a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. You can see the full nutritional breakdown below.
You can make these meatballs with any kind of ground meat but I particularly like Asian aromatics with white or light-coloured meat like chicken, pork and turkey. Ground-up fish mince would also work really well here.
These meatballs and broccoli rice are egg-free and nut-free. You can replace egg-based mayonnaise with coconut yoghurt.
INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS
As I mentioned above, you can use any type of ground meat mince but for this recipe, I am using free-range pork. It is worth spending a little extra on good quality pork. It tastes better, is better for you and supports better farming practices.
We are using common Vietnamese aromatics such as garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli and spring onions (scallions). If you can’t find fresh lemongrass (look in your local Asian grocers!), you can use dried lemongrass or simply grate some lime or lemon zest into the mixture.
HOW TO MAKE VIETNAMESE PORK MEATBALLS
Step 1. Okay, making these meatballs is super easy! The only part that requires a bit of time and effort is chopping the aromatics. You can use a grater or a crusher to do the garlic and ginger. With lemongrass, use the lower half of the stem as the top half is too woody and hard. Try to chop everything as finely as possible and feel free to use a food processor to speed things up.
Step 2. Combine ground pork or other meat with the chopped aromatics, salt, fish sauce, coconut aminos and sesame oil. See the full recipe below for measurements. Use your hands to work through the mixture and to combine everything together. There is no need to add an egg or breadcrumbs, the mixture will stick together well enough.
Step 3. Roll the mixture into small balls. You should get about 15-17 meatballs from 500 grams / 1.1lb of meat. Smaller meatballs are also quicker to cook. If the mixture starts to stick to your hands, give them a quick rinse (your hands, that is).
Step 4. Pan-fry the meatballs for a total of 10 minutes, rotating around a few times. While the meatballs are cooking, you can prepare the broccoli rice and the spicy mayo sauce.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI RICE
Making broccoli ‘rice’ is pretty much the same as making cauliflower rice. Cut up a head of broccoli into florets and process them into small pieces (kernels-like) using a food processor or your mad knife skills. I have a handy post on the gadget I use to make cauliflower and broccoli rice.
I like to cook it in a frying pan with a little butter, chopped garlic and spring onions. Season with a little sea salt and some lemon juice. Note, broccoli cooks quicker than cauliflower so you only really need to pan-fry it for a minute or two. Full instructions in the recipe below.
MORE ASIAN PALEO & LOW-CARB RECIPES
- Lemongrass Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
- Vietnamese Shaking Beef Salad
- Quick & Easy Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Crispy Shredded Chinese Chicken Stir-Fry
- Chicken Larb Salad With Red Cabbage Slaw
Juicy, aromatic and perfectly delicious, these Vietnamese meatballs will make you want to make this dish over and over again. Served over broccoli rice with Sriracha mayo on top. Keto, paleo, gluten-free and Whole30-friendly.
Make the meatballs. Combine all ingredients together and use your hands to work through the meat to make sure everything is well incorporated. Use wet hands to mould the mixture into small balls. You should get about 15-17 balls.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes total (3-4 minutes each side, plus 1-2 minutes on the edges). While these are cooking, prepare other ingredients.
Make the broccoli rice. Use a food processor or your mad knife skills to chop the broccoli florets into tiny pieces, kind of like large rice kernels. I use a small food processor and do this in two batches. Transfer to a bowl. Dice up a clove of garlic and a spring onion.
Heat a dollop of butter in another pan or a pot over medium heat (use ghee or olive oil for Whole30 and paleo). Add the chopped garlic and onions and stir through for about 30 seconds. Add the riced broccoli and season with a little sea salt and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through but still has some crunch.
Finishing touches. Whisk together the spicy mayo sauce in a bowl. Shave a small zucchini using a peeler, cut a few more chili slices, lime wedges and wash the coriander.
Assemble the meatballs over broccoli rice and drizzle with the mayo sauce. Add a few more finishing touches and serve.
Freezing/Make-Ahead: Cooked and raw meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make the mayo sauce and broccoli rice fresh. Although, the sriracha mayo will last quite well in the fridge in an airtight container if you want to make a larger batch and store for later.