If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!!

I was lucky enough to have been given a sample of locally grown short-grain sticky rice not too long ago. Rice grown by a community of Hmong people out in Hickory, NC. Incongruous, I know. Nonetheless, I had this bag of local sticky rice that I knew I had to find a purpose for. As you may recall, I had checked out the big Gourmet cookbook from the library not too long ago. In that monstrous book was a recipe for rice-studded meatballs. Rice. Meat. Yum.

I knew I had to make those meatballs. I also wanted to make the famous Vietnamese sandwich, Bahn Mi. I had some pork belly that I planned on using for that. So, Asian night at the Mall house was coming together nicely.

I have a freezer full of pork. It seems outrageous to go to the store to buy the ground pork necessary for my rice studded meatballs. So, despite the fact that I gave up shopping for Lent, I picked up the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer at Target a couple of days ago. In my defense, it was on sale AND I had a coupon. I defrosted some pork shoulder, and whipped out my brand new meat grinder, and set about grinding me up some pork. Maybe now the Pink Floyd reference in the title is making sense. If it’s not, let me gently remind you. (it’s 3:30 and 4:15 in)

It might be a while before I grind anymore meat.

Anyway, I recovered from that rather traumatic experience, and had quite a bit more ground beef than I originally planned. So, I’m saving the pork belly to make the famous Momofuku Pork Buns and used my extra ground pork to make little Bahn Mi pork meatballs, a la this epicurious recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/reviews/Pork-Meatball-Banh-Mi-356790

The rice studded meatballs were good, better when dipped in a little ponzu sauce. (also an epicurious recipe): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rice-Studded-Meatballs-109195

Josh loved both forms of meatball. But I knew a big Bahn Mi sandwich on French bread would be a little hard for the kids to eat. That’s when I remembered I had an extra dough ball left in the fridge. I rolled that puppy out and put it on the grill pan. That’s when I realized what I really had on my hands… PITA BREAD! I was able to split the bread and fill it with Josh’s little Bahn Mi. It’s really fantastic (the bread. and the sandwich. but really, this is about the bread) and would be even better on a real grill.

Here’s the kid’s version of the Bahn Mi. Okay, it’s really only Josh’s version. Erin’s (HOMEMADE!!!!) pita was stuffed with ham and cheese. I know my audience.


This is the ‘There’s no way I’m eating that!’ look.


The rice/meat balls before they went into the steamer.


Ready to eat!


The meatballs for the Bahn Mi cooking away in the oven!


How good does that look? Trust me, it tasted even better!


2 thoughts on “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!!

  1. beautiful photos, think I am going to try the banh mi! Looks wonderful.If you're looking for a way to use up some more pork sausage, there is a great recipe in current Cooking Light for Vegetable & Spicy Sausage Soup (not on their website yet). I just made this soup with my farmers fresh market spicy sausage & it was a big hit

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