Got Leftover Banh Mi Meatballs? Make a Salad!

Last Thursday I made incredible Banh Mi Vietnamese meatball sandwiches. Well, the next day I had a container full of pork meatballs just waiting to be eaten. I hemmed and hawed about what to make with them...Pasta? Salad? Another sandwich?

Since I had just filled the "Asian" portion of my pantry, I decided to keep that theme going and make a soba noodle and pork meatball salad. It was really simple, considering the meatballs only required reheating, the salad was pre-washed and the soba noodles cook for barely three minutes. Not to mention, I had some of the marinated carrots and Asian radish salad leftover. The hardest part about the meal was making my own salad dressing, but it turned out great and added a spicy kick to my stay-in-and-watch-TiVo meal.

Dressing ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salad ingredients:
  • 1 bag pre-washed salad mix (I prefer mixed greens)
  • 6 Banh Mi pork meatballs, reheated (recipe here)
  • 1.5 ounces organic buckwheat soba noodles, boiled until al dente
  • 1/2 cup marinated carrot & radish salad (recipe here)
  • 1 teaspoon each chopped basil, scallions & cilantro, for garnish
Make the salad dressing: In a blender, combine all salad dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Make the salad: Place salad mix into large bowl. Top with soba noodles. Drizzle greens and noodles with 1/2 salad dressing. Arrange reheated meatballs on top of greens and noodles, followed by the carrot and radish mixture.

Drizzle salad with remaining dressing. Top with chopped scallion, basil and cilantro to garnish. Enjoy!


  1. What an incredible use of 'leftovers'! Wouldn't have thought of cold noodles in the salad, but YUM!

    You mention stocking your 'asian' cupboard -- what are your other tricks for always being at the ready for a recipe on the fly (I'm thinking of the fluffy pancakes -- did you really have club soda & blueberries on hand??)? Just tonight I went for Asian 5 Spice to sprinkle on cod after a quick pan sear (Ludo Lefebvre recipe!) --- discovered it expired 04/09. Dang. Improvised with something else, and it worked out ok - but my on-the-fly cooking didn't work out as I planned (or, maybe it's just that I didn't plan!). What your secret to a well-stocked cupboard?

  2. Hi Penelope! Your question is really timely, as last Friday I spent some time reorganizing our pantry. I got some rectangular containers from Bed Bath & Beyond and organized my pantry according to the way I use it most: "Savory spices," "baking/dessert spices/ingredients," "Italian cooking" and "Asian cooking." I've got a fair number of spices that I go to quite often (cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, olive oil, truffle salt, etc.) but as far as being ready on the fly, it's more just looking through what we've got and being creative with it. For the fluffy pancakes, we had club soda leftover from making cocktails with friends and we had blueberries that Bryan uses in smoothies almost daily. So I was able to go through our fridge and pantry and just imagine what would taste good to us. Or, conversely, I'll find a recipe and scan it to see if we have the necessarily ingredients. But it really just boils down to using your imagination and trusting your taste buds!

  3. Everytime someoone makes banh mi, the meal looks fantastic. We're all about reusing leftovers for another meal, so this is awesome.

  4. I have to echo the "leftover noodles in a salad" comment--very cool idea! I'm always on the lookout for leftover ideas, so thanks. Great blog, btw!

  5. Thanks guys! If you've got a few Asian staples in your pantry, definitely go for adding the noodles to this type of salad. It's a great idea. Another, Italian leftover go-to is for risotto. Make Arancini, or risotto balls, filled with mozzarella cheese, covered in breadcrumbs and deep fry (or oven fry). Top with some leftover marinara or another favorite sauce you're good to go!

  6. Meatballs in a salad!?! I love it!!! I would never in a million years have put those two things together. I will now though.


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