Wei Pantry

Artisan Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors

Los Angeles-based food company specializing in Vietnamese and Asian-inspired home-cooking products. 

Banh Mi Bites with Shallot Aioli

In our early twenties Emily and I used to crowd in our small LA apartment kitchens to cook simple meals while talking about boys, work and favorite brunch spots.  I left LA to move to Boston (and then San Francisco, DC, Delhi, and now Seattle), and after years of following each others' careers and thoughts across oceans, we finally got a chance to cook together again last month when I was visiting in LA. This time though we cooked in her palatial, magazine-worthy kitchen, and talking house buying, pregnancy woes, and our companies. It was a comforting mix of lots good things both new and old things, much like the meal we made.

Banhmibites

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • Meatballs
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 1 bunch green onions, diced
    • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped
    • 1.5 tablespoons of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoon of shallot oil (for cooking)
  • Shallot Aioli
    • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
    • 1 cup shallot oil
    • Juice of one small lemon (1.5 tablespoon)
    • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish
    • 1 large carrot, grated
    • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup of basil, chopped
    • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 cup of Amber Vinegar
  • 1 fresh baguette

Directions

Meatballs:

  1. Combine all meatball ingredients (except shallot oil) and mix well; form into small 1 inch balls with hands. 
  2. Pour shallot oil into a skillet on medium-high heat and cook meatballs about 5-7 minutes on each side, turning once until browned. 
  3. Place cooked meatballs onto a paper towel-lined plate.  Meatballs can be made up to two days ahead of serving, just warm them up on a baking tray in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes before assembly.

Shallot Aioli:

  1. Place egg yolks into a small food processor; turn on food processor and drizzle shallot oil slowly (one drop at at time) until combined.
  2. Alternatively you can make the aoili by hand (especially if you want to make a half portion with one yolk and and 1/2 cup shallot oil) by whisking egg yolks in small bowl while adding shallot oil one drop at a time while whisking.  Mix in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly:

  1. Coat grated carrots, cucumber, and herbs with amber vinegar
  2. Cut baguette across its center (like you would a large sandwich) and coat the insides with shallot aioli.  Stack baguette back together and cut into 1 inch slices. 
  3. Stack cucumber, carrots, one meatball, and herbs between baguette slices and secure with toothpick.  Enjoy!