1 slice white sandwich bread
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
5 scallions, white and green parts separated
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
3 large cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
1/3 cup water chestnuts, drained, rinsed and chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 to 4 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup bean sprouts
4 7-inch-long pieces baguette, split open
Tear the sandwich bread into small pieces, then toss with the milk and soy sauce in a large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the scallion whites. Cut the scallion greens into thin 2-inch-long strands. Put the strands in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate while you make the meatballs.
Add the scallion whites, pork, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, egg, cilantro, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the bowl with the bread; mix until combined. Gently form into 16 golf ball-size meatballs. Put the meatballs on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.
Stir the hoisin sauce, mayonnaise, 11/2 tablespoons lime juice, the chili-garlic sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat about 1 1/2 inches peanut oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Add the meatballs in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Drain the scallion greens and toss with the bean sprouts, the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Spread the hoisin mayonnaise on the inside of the baguette pieces, then fill with the meatballs and top with the scallion-sprout mixture.
Photographs by Con Poulos
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