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A few weeks ago, we went to Portland, Oregon to catch up with some of the food carts that were featured on Food Network’s Eat St., and find out what life has been like since they appeared on the show. I had a great time in Portland, seeing all the changes, eating great food and even found some time for karaoke.

The biggest change was Lardo. This small 50 square foot food cart became so popular, it grew into a 5,000 square foot restaurant, across the street from the Cartopia food pod. You can read the story about Lardo’s huge transformation here on the blog or over on Food Network’s Eat St.

I was lucky enough to have dinner at the new Lardo location, and really happy to see they still have their old menu, including this delicious meatball banh mi sandwich. I really love banh mi sandwiches, and I’ve tried every variation, until Lardo. I’ve never had a meatball banh mi sandwich – creative!

When Eat St. filmed at the food cart last season, they came back with this recipe, and after eating this sandwich at Lardo, I had to share it with everyone here. You’ll love this sandwich. It’s a really unique fusion of Italian and Vietnamese. It’s so good, I almost ordered a second sandwich when I was in Portland.

PORK MEATBALL BANH MI

Ingredients

4 French bread or ciabatta rolls, toasted

4 tablespoons Sriracha mayo (see below)

12 meatballs (see below)

2 cups pickled vegetables (see below)

1 bunch of cilantro

Directions

Toast the rolls.

Spread mayo on both sides of the bread.

Place warm meatballs inside the rolls—3 per sandwich.

Top with a generous amount of pickled vegetables.

Place a generous amount of cilantro on top of each sandwich.

MEATBALLS

Ingredients

450 grams ground pork

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 large egg

1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon salt

Directions

Mix together all ingredients, except the cilantro. Only use enough Panko to bind the mixture without drying it out or making it heavy.

Form meatballs with damp hands or with a medium ice cream scoop. You should make approximately 12 meatballs.

Sear in a pan until golden brown on all sides. Place in a baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the meatballs’ internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 20 minutes.

PICKELD VEGETABLES

Ingredients

450 grams carrots, julienned

450 grams daikon radish, julienned

1 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

Directions

Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil.

Remove from heat.

Place carrots and radish in a non-reactive container and pour the hot liquid over top.

Cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate overnight.

SRIRACHA MAYO

Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Mix ingredients together.

You can adjust the amount of Sriracha sauce to your desired level of spiciness.

Yield: 4 servings

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lardo-PDX/151416874880761?sk=wall

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About the Author

Andrew Nicora spends most of his time behind a camera, but never passes an opportunity to try a gourmet dish. He's an avid horror film buff, devoted David Lynch fan, and die hard foodie with a lifetime of food and beverage experience under his belt.

  • http://twitter.com/strategyplanone Strategy Plan One

    Thanks… interested to try out this recipe and the mayo … cheers

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      I had this in Portland and it really blew me away. It’s a really interesting twist on the banh mi sandwich. Let me know what you think of it!