This turkey banh mi bowl recipe is absolutely delicious and richly flavorful!
What is Banh Mi?
Banh mi is traditionally a Vietnamese meat sandwich. It’s often made with pork and pickled veggies and is served on a rice flour baguette. Banh mi is actually the Vietnamese word for bread, so this bowl is not at all a traditional version of banh mi in that it contains no bread!
Why You’ll Love this Banh Mi Bowl
This recipe really is a riot of complementary flavors – from the quick pickled veggies to the herby meatballs. There’s something about bowls that I really enjoy – you can see all the food and sprinkle on several different toppings.
What I’ve replicated here with the turkey meatballs is the essential flavors in a banh mi sandwich – the spicy chili, aromatic herbs, subtle sweetness, and zesty lime. This combines into a flavor explosion that’s offset so well with the creamy mayo/Sriracha mix and a rice or quinoa base.
If you want a more traditional banh mi – skip the rice and add the meatballs and the veggies to a crusty baguette.
I shredded my carrots and cucumbers with a simple Y peeler. You could also use a mandoline.
Variations for This Recipe
You can be flexible on the types of vegetables you pickle for the side. Radishes are often used and I think bean sprouts would work as well. I like carrots and cucumbers as much for their color as their flavor, though. I used smaller Persian cucumbers, but if you can’t find them you can use one large English cucumber.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful and tangy turkey banh mi bowl as much as I do!
- 1 cup uncooked purple sticky rice, black rice, or quinoa
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into ribbons
- 3 Persian cucumbers, sliced into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
- 3 tablespoons sriracha, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- optional - fresh mint and cilantro for topping
- In a medium pot, cook the rice or quinoa according to the package directions.
- Combine the carrots, cucumbers, rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining salt, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, scallions, lemongrass, 2 tablespoons sriracha, oil, basil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and ground pork. Use hands or a spoon to combine all the ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan. Form turkey mixture into small meatballs. When the oil is hot, cook the meatballs for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining sriracha and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
- Divide the rice, meatballs, and pickled veggies between 4 bowls. Top with the sriracha mayo and any desired herbs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 641Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 1910mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 32g