These Vietnamese Meatball Bowls are deliciously Asian flavored… they will make you smile!
Almost all meatballs are awesome. But these meatballs are extra awesome. They are made with pork and infused with some traditional Vietnamese flavors. They are bit-sized, juicy, mouth watering, amazingly flavorful meatballs. (I do realize how over the top that sounds, but I’m sticking with it…)
Almost all food tastes better when it’s turned into a “bowl”. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bowl bandwagon, don’t wait even another minute. A “bowl” is a complete meal served in… a bowl! It’s extra special because you get so many great flavors together in one place. And they are so easy to customize to reflect your own particular tastes.
One of my favorite food bloggers, Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum, posted her awesome recipe for Banh Mi Bowls With Lemongrass Meatballs. I found that recipe so inspiring that I created this recipe for Vietnamese Meatball Bowls.
This bowl has it all. It’s got deliciously moist pork meatballs. The meatballs are on top of spiced cauliflower rice. And crispy pea pods. And a few different kinds of peppers. And fresh aromatic herbs. It’s got so much flavor. And it’s grain-free and dairy-free. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly. And, it’s easy to make. And it tastes great as leftovers the next day. Is that enough? I’m getting hungry again just writing this.
If you are looking for another great meatball recipe, try my Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale recipe.
Here are some of the great ingredients in this Vietnamese Meatball Bowls:
Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.
Lemongrass is great for lots of digestive issues; it can help with stomach pains and vomiting. It’s also good to include lemongrass in your diet when you have a cold and it’s been known to help people with arthritic joint pain.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.
Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.
Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…
Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever and it’s good for some abdominal pains too.
- For meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 Tbs lemongrass paste (or you can buy a jar of sliced lemongrass and mince it up really fine)
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbs sriracha
- 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or substitute soy sauce or fish sauce)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- For rice:
- 2 cups cauliflower rice (buy it already riced or place one head of cauliflower florets in your food processor and pulse it just until it's like rice)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 scallions, sliced
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- For the bowls:
- fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 2 Tbs for each bowl)
- fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 1 Tbs for each bowl)
- pappadew peppers, sliced (as many as you like)
- fresh pea pods or snap peas (as much as you like), briefly sauteed or steamed (they should still be crisp)
- 1 hot red pepper, sliced (or more if you like things spicy)
- 2 limes, zested and cut into wedges
- 1 jar of pickled vegetables (I used pickled ginger carrots, but there are so many awesome varieties available).
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mush it all together with your hands and form into small balls. Place the balls on the tray, so that they are not touching each other.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Place the cauliflower rice in a pot with the turmeric, salt and pepper, and broth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the rice is just softened a bit.
- Using a slotted spoon, divide the cauliflower rice among the bowls. Top with meatballs and surround with the remaining ingredients.