I fell in love with banh mi, Vietnamese sandwiches, while living in New York, and they have been a favorite of mine ever since. The combination of the crusty baguette, crunchy pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, salty meat, and all of the sauces is a bright party of texture and flavor, and I cannot get enough. This version plops some juicy meatballs into the filling and they are dangerously good!
For the pickled vegetables: Stir the vinegar, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup water together in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the carrots and daikon. Marinate until ready to serve.
For the pork meatballs: Mix the pork, cilantro, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, salt, garlic and green onion together in a large bowl. Scoop the meatball mixture into 12 golf-sized balls and roll. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the meatballs. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook until completely cooked through, another 4 minutes.
For the bahn mi: Cut the pieces of baguette in half lengthwise and warm in a 375 degree F oven or on a skillet until slightly toasty. Spread hoisin on one side, sriracha and mayonnaise on the other. Add the cucumber slices, cilantro sprigs and jalapeno slices. Add 3 meatballs and the pickled vegetables. Serve.