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Vietnamese Meatballs (Xiu Mai) Recipe

Updated on March 20, 2015
Xiu Mai in Tomato Sauce
Xiu Mai in Tomato Sauce

Vietnamese Meatballs (Xiu Mai)

Xiu mai is Vietnamese style of meatballs. It can be made of any meat but preferebly made of ground pork. It could be this dish is a "cousin" of siu mai (shu mai/shaomai)/Chinese dumplings since both have the same cooking process (steaming), also have name that sound similar. I have no doubt that xiu mai is influenced by Chinese but instead of wrapping it in wonton skin and enjoy it with condiments such as soy sauce, black vinegar or hoisin sauce; xiu mai are steamed without wonton wrapper and usually braised in tomato sauce. I think xiu mai is an interesting product of mix marriage between Chinese and French cuisine.

Here is easy to fix xiu mai recipe. Enjoy it with French bread soaked in tomato sauce, or make banh mi xiu mai(Vietnamese meatballs sandwich). Some people love to grill xiu mai at the end of cooking process to give some smocky flavor or you can make caramel sauce or soy sauce based to enjoy them. This meatballs are tasty, soft, melt in your mouth and loaded with savory goodness.

Serves 4


1 lbs ground pork

2 spring onions, chopped

1/4 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vegetable oil


5 tbsp tomato sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp vinegar

½ cup water

2 tbsp corn flour mixed with ¼ cup cold water

How to Fix Xiu Mai

  • In a mixing bowl, combine onion, spring onions, ground pork, sugar, salt, black pepper, oyster sauce and cornstarch. Mix the mixture until well-combined.
  • Scoop a tablespoon of pork mixture and roll with hand to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about 12 meatballs. Place meatballs in a steamer and steam for about 30 minutes or until they are cooked through. Transfer meatballs to a serving plate.
  • In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Then add cornstarch mixture. Stir for a minute to thicken. Transfer from the heat. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs. Or if you prefer, place tomato sauce in a separate dish.

 Banh Mi Xiu Mai
Banh Mi Xiu Mai | Source


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      Emily 5 years ago


      I tried this recipe to make meatballs, except I used ground beef and bulgogi sauce instead of oyster sauce and it came out amazing! Thank you so much for posting this!