If you're too lazy to make your own sauce, or are afraid of caramelizing the sugar, here's my quickie bottled sauce recommendation.
Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatballs)
For about 2 dozen 2-inch meatballs, you'll need:
Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce)
1 lb ground pork
2 tblsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1 tblsp soy sauce
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
Add 2 tblsp fish sauce, 1 tblsp soy sauce, 2 tblsp sugar, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 small chopped onion to 1 lb of ground pork. Shape pork into 2-inch-sized meatballs and pan-fry on high heat until charred. Don't worry about fully cooking them as they'll simmer in the sauce later. The pan-frying helps them retain their shape when they later get braised. When the meatballs are golden, scoop them out into a separate bowl and set aside.
In the empty sauce pan (It's OK if there's browned bits and some fat, that's for flavor.), make the Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce). Stir and when the sugar caramelizes and turns brown, add another 1 cup of water. Stir the caramel sauce again and add the meatballs back in.
Let simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for about half an hour to fully cook the meatballs and let the sauce reduce.
These meatballs are meant to be soft and tender so it's perfectly acceptable to squish them inside your sandwich. You can also squish them and spread them out like a Pate (Faux Gras with Chicken Livers) and add other meats.
Eat with rice, make Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich), or Bo "Ne" Bit Tet (Vietnamese "Stand Back" Beef Steak).
Who made my recipe for xiu mai?
David of Houston Wok declared this is one of his "favorite recipes of all time."
1 year ago today, Happy Bakery in Alhambra burned down. :( They've cleared but haven't rebuilt that space yet. And the herbal medicine shop, Dai Xuong (Tai Shang Hong) opened up a few doors down from their previous location at the same strip mall.