“Yerba Bueno” or the Good Herb refers to the dark green leaves of mint which are packed with nutrients, particularly Vitamin A which is essential for eye health and night vision.
Mint is big business and is used across the globe in everything from chutneys to mojitos. Commercial mint oils have become associated with toothpaste, candies, gum, chocolates, fragrances, and skin products.
We associate fresh mint flavour with oral hygiene, but for thousands of years we have also used it to clean our skin and as a “stomach soother”. Fresh mint leaves are edible cooked or raw. Cooking can help add flavour, but it can also be added to water, smoothies, herbal teas, salads, dips, sauces, and chocolate chip cookies. Peppermint tea is the perfect calorie and caffeine-free tea to drink any time of the day.
A generous portion of fresh mint and coriander leaves have been used in the preparation of this delicious version of Vietnamese Chicken and Pork Balls. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Servings: Four to six
- ½ lb. ground chicken
- ½ lb. ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup finely ground bread crumbs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 pale yellow lemon grass stalk (located under the tough outer leaves), finely chopped (optional)
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 tbsps. fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp. of fresh coriander leaves, finely sliced
- ½ cup un-salted peanuts
- 8 oz. cooked vermicelli noodles
- 2 butterleaf lettuce heads
- Pickled vegetables
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Thai dipping sauce
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium mixing bowl, gently combine ground chicken, pork, eggs, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions, lemon grass, bread crumbs, cilantro, and mint.
- Use wet hands to form golf ball size balls (approximately 18 to 22) and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet, taking care to leave space between each ball. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, flipping once during cooking or until balls are cooked through.
- To serve, place a spoonful of vermicelli in each lettuce cup and sprinkle with Thai fish sauce. Top with chicken and pork balls, pickled veggies, sweet chili sauce, peanuts, and coriander leaves to taste.
- Alternatively, serve chicken and pork balls on a platter attached to a toothpick and fresh or canned pineapple pieces. Garnish with pickled veggies and sweet chili sauce.