Lemongrass Chicken Meatball Banh Mi(nis)

When I first started recipe planning for these organic gluten-free chicken meatballs from Hip Chick Farms, one of the first things I did was call my sister D’yannah to say that she could have them. After she developed a gluten allergy a few years ago, she rapidly had to alter every aspect of her diet and that meant bidding farewell to so many of her favorite foods.

While my family and I tried to be positive and supportive we couldn’t really appreciate what it would be like to have to completely change our diets like she did. Just the thought of giving up bread and pasta depresses me to no end. At the time there were far less gluten-free options (especially decent tasting ones) for her to turn to. Try as we might to stay positive, we didn’t get it, and our initial recipe suggestions and meal alternatives were meager at best.

There were times when we’d all forget and inadvertently try to murder her by offering up some gluten-laced delicacy. Like the time that she came over to my house and (before she could offer protest) I shoved a cookie in her mouth (literally) telling her just how good it was and had she ever tried them before?! Her sense of humor kept her sane at times like these I’m sure.

Now there is no shortage of new diet compliant food for her to try, and as with pretty much every member of my family, her love of food and cooking has simply evolved to accommodate. So whenever I come across something truly exceptional in the gluten free world I always reach out to her. I’m always happy to find brands like these to share with her and the rest of my family.

When I partnered with Hip Chick Farms I was happy to hear about they integrity of the brand and the passion and compassion of its founders Serafina Palandech and her partner Jennifer Johnson. Their transparency with where they source and what goes into their products is part of the reason I was drawn to them in the first place. They launched their End Pink Slime campaign to say goodbye to the conventional chicken nugget and provide food lovers and families alike, healthy, quality products.

Hip Chick Farms created a fun series of educational videos to shed light on pink slime and the inferiority of the conventional chicken nugget. They champion real ingredients that can be incorporated into quick healthy meals: convenience without ever compromising quality! Have a look below and click here for more!

These chicken meatballs are full of flavor and real chicken…which is really all I want out of a meatball! Growing up I was a picky eater when it came to textures. I can’t tell you how many times I forfeited a meal because a “chicken” strip, tender, or nugget contained some ungodly bit or piece that rattled my entire being. To this day, I rarely order chicken when eating out, I usually prefer to purchase and prepare it myself.

So back to today’s recipe! Not only are these meatballs organic and gluten-free, they are free range, have no antibiotics or added hormones, and they are humanely raised. In addition, they are delicious! I love making Banh Mi; Vietnamese for “bread” and now synonymous for this fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine. My mini sandwiches do not contain the traditional pâté, but they do have tangy pickled veggies, fresh herbs, a sweet and sour lemongrass sauce, and a spicy mayo. I could barely reign in my emotions and manners when setting up this shoot…most of the lemony meatballs never made it to their intended baguettes! My only regret in making these sandwiches is that my sister wasn’t here to try them out!

I’ve included some quick notes below to make this dish entirely gluten-free (for you my sister).

This delicious post was sponsored by Hip Chick Farms, but all opinions and general fantastic-ness is my own!

Lemongrass Chicken Meatball Banh Mi(nis)
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. For the Pickled Vegetables
  2. 1 cup julienned carrots
  3. 1 cup julienned cucumber
  4. 1 cup julienned daikon
  5. 1 cup rice vinegar
  6. 1 cup water
  7. ¼ tsp. salt
  8. ¼ cup sugar
  9. Lemongrass Sauce
  10. 3 stalks lemongrass
  11. ¼ cup lemon juice
  12. 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  13. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  14. 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  15. 2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  16. 1 clove garlic, minced
  17. 1/3 cup water + 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  18. 2 tsp. black sesame seeds, optional
  19. For the Sandwiches
  20. 1/3 cup mayo
  21. 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
  22. 2 Tbsp. minced basil
  23. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  24. Salt and pepper
  25. 2 8oz. boxes Hip Chick Farms Gluten Free Chicken Meatballs
  26. 4-6 mini baguettes or sandwich rolls + butter for toasting
  27. 1 bunch fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves
  28. 1 cup diced green onions
  29. Sliced jalapeños, optional
Instructions
  1. To make the pickled vegetables place carrots, cucumber, and daikon in a 16oz mason jar. Add in sugar, salt, water and vinegar. Secure with lid and give a gently shake to mix. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and cook according to package instructions.
  4. While the meatballs are baking make the sauce.
  5. Cut tops and ends of lemongrass stalks. Remove a few of the outer layers of the stalk. Slice part of the way through to help release flavors.
  6. Place lemongrass, lemon juice, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then add in water and cornstarch mixture in slowly, while stirring continually to avoid lumps.
  7. When meatballs are ready, drizzle with lemongrass sauce.
  8. Assemble
  9. In a small bowl combine mayo, Sriracha, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
  10. Slice baguettes lengthwise and lightly butter each side. Pan grill over medium heat until golden.
  11. Spread Sriracha mayo on toasted baguettes. Top with fresh basil and/or cilantro. Place about 3-4 meatballs on each sandwich, followed by pickled veggies and diced green onions.
  12. Try not to eat all the sandwiches yourself. They are that good!
  13. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. To make this recipe entirely gluten-free swap out the baguettes for some gluten-free bread or lettuce cups. Also, be sure to sue a gluten-free soy sauce!
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