Xiu Mai Meatball Recipe for Banh Mi

Xiu Mai Meatball Recipe for Banh Mi
4.8/5 - (12 votes)

Xiu Mai Meatball is a highly popular topping for Vietnamese Sandwiches (Banh Mi). The reason for its popularity is due to the wonderfully juicy, tender meat and the sweet and crunchiness of the jicama. This makes for the perfect comfort food that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

My 6 year old is quite a picky eater. He avoids most vegetables and wouldn’t eat anything with weird smell or strange textures. But in this case, it’s an exemption. Every time I make Xiu Mai meatball he would clean up the whole dish. It’s definitely really high up on his list of favorites.

There’s really no wrong way to eat this meatball; however, it’s a perfect match to go with Vietnamese baguettes. Typically, you’ll also see this accompanied with cucumbers and cilantro.

The preparation and cooking process is also quite simple and doesn’t take that much time.

This is a dish that I highly recommend for you to make for family and friends, especially if they have never had a chance to try it.

Now, let’s go!

You can also watch the video for details on Grilled Pork Skewers Recipe below:



Ingredients - Xiu Mai Meatball Recipe

  • 1.6 lbs (725 g) ground pork
  • 2 cups (473 ml) jicama (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) potato starch
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) shallots (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) mushroom powder


  • 1 can chicken broth (14 oz / 414 ml)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) annatto oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) ketchup
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) potato starch
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) garlic (chopped)
  • 2 cups (473 ml) tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) mushroom powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ( 1 ml) salt

     Annatto Oil

  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) annatto seed
XiuMai - Ingredients


Coal or Gas Grill 

The one I'm using is a portable gas grill. It is very convenient for picnics and I've used it quite often. In this instance, I've converted it to use coal, but you can use it as is. 

If you're interested, you can purchase it through this Amazon Affiliate link to support my blog:


Annatto Oil

1. In a small pan, add 1/2 cup (118 ml) oil on medium heat. 

2. When the oil heats up (don't wait till it boils), add the annatto seeds. Stir well.

3. Once it starts to boil. Turn off heat.

Grilled Pork - making annatto oil

Meatball Prep

1. In a pan, add cooking oil, garlic, and shallots. Saute until lightly golden and set aside.

2. In a small boiling pot of water, cook jicama for 2 minutes.

3. Remove the jicama and rinse with cold water.

4. Squeeze out the juice and cut into small pieces.

5. In a big bowl, add ground pork, the saute shallots & garlic, mushroom powder, sugar, black pepper, potato starch, and salt. Mix well.

6. Dry out the meat mixture, by removing any loose juice/water.

7. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Xiu Main Saute shallots
Xiu Mai - jicama boil

8. Use a scoop to portion the meat and roll into a round ball with hands.

9. Once we finished rolling the meatball, steam them for 15-20 minutes.

xiu mai - steamed


1. In a pan, add 2 tbsp ( 30 ml) annatto oil.

2. Next, add the onion and saute for 1 minute .

3. Then, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds.

4. Add tomatoes, mushroom powder, sugar, salt. Stir.

5. Now, add the ketchup. Stir well.

6. Add the chicken broth and green onion.

7. Set heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

8. Finally, mix potato starch with water and pour into the boiling sauce while stirring. Mix well.

Xiu mai sauce 1
Xiu mai sauce part 2

Meatball + Sauce

1. Pour the meatballs into the sauce pan. Include all the juices in the meatball bowl.

2. Simmer for 4 - 5 minutes.

3. Turn the meatballs over and simmer for another 4 -5 minutes.

4. Turn off heat and plate the meatballs.


Xiu Mai - plated

And that’s it! You can serve the meatballs with cilantro and cucumbers. If you have baguettes to go with them, that would be perfection!

I hope you enjoyed the Xiu Mai Meatball recipe.

Thank you for following along! Let me know if you have any question.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please check out my other recipes here:

ShakingBeef - Feature Image
Shaking Beef Recipe
Grilled Pork Feature Image
Grilled Pork Skewers Recipe

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