Xíu Mại Instant Pot (Vietnamese Meatballs)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


– 1 lb of ground pork
– 1/2 a medium size jicama (finely chopped)
– 1/2 shallot (minced)
– 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
– 1 tbsp cornstarch
– 2 eggs
– 1.5 tbsp of sugar
– 2 tbsp of good fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
– 1 tbsp of mushroom seasoning
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 3 tbsp of annatto seeds oil for color (in a pan on medium heat added 3 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of annatto seeds, stirred continuously until oil color turns to a deep orange, drained oil and set aside, discarded seeds)
– 2 large fresh tomatoes (diced)
– 1/2 a white or yellow onion (diced)
– 3 cloves garlic (minced)
– 1/2 a shallot (minced)
– 1 tsp of salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp of good fish sauce
– 2 tbsp of mushroom seasoning
– 2 cups of chicken broth
– 2 cups of hot water
– 2 tbsp of tapioca mix with 2 tbsp of water


1. Mix all ingredients under meatballs and set aside.

2. To prepare the sauce, turn IP on Saute mode, adjust to Normal heat, with lid off add 3 tbsp of annatto seeds oil. Once oil is hot add minced shallot and garlic (under Sauce section) and saute until fragrant. Then add diced tomato and onion and saute for for 3 minutes. Remove 1/2 portion of diced tomato and onion, set aside. Pour 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of boiling water. Bring sauce to a boil and season with 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 2 tbsp of mushroom seasoning and 1 tbsp of sugar. Please cater to your taste!

3. Once sauce is at a boiling point, form meatballs and slowly drop into sauce. Be gentle and give it a quick stir at the end. Cancel Saute mode, close lid, make sure knob is on Sealing, and select Pressure Cook/Manual, LOW Pressure, 10 minutes, QR.

4. Once cook time is up slowly to Knob over to Venting to release all pressure. Open lid and switch to Saute mode again. Add the saute tomato/onion that was set aside earlier. Simmer sauce and meatballs for about 5 minutes. Then remove just the meatballs and set aside. Slowly add in tapioca/water mixture on 1 hand and stir sauce continuously with the other. Sauce will thicken immediately. Add meatballs back in and cancel Saute mode. IP can stay on “Keep Warm” until serving (within an hour or 2 is okay).

5. Serve with hot baguettes. Accompany with sliced cucumber, pickled daikon/carrot (Đồ Chua), sliced jalapeño pepper, and cilantro. Use the thicken sauce as a spread on your baguette for a tasty breakfast or lunch! Meatballs go well with white rice too! Enjoy!




10 Comments on “Xíu Mại Instant Pot (Vietnamese Meatballs)”

  1. Is annato seed oil crucial? I live in a rural area, access to things Asian is difficult. The spice section at the market is limited to what most supermarkets carry.

  2. I noticed that many of your recipes call for mushrooms seasoning or some sort of vegetarian alternative. However, I’m allergic to mushrooms. When I see that can I substitute it with chicken stock/ broth?

    • Hi, Mushroom seasoning is just a vegetable alternative for MSG. You can substitute with chicken powder to help provide umami (savory taste) to the dish. I’d substitute 1 tsp of chicken powder for every 1 tbsp of mushroom seasoning. Or just omit both all together if you prefer.

    • Hi Kelly, in step 3 reduce cook time to about 6 or 7 minutes. In step 4 Saute a little bit longer than 5 minutes before removing the meatballs and adding in the tapioca/water mixture. Hope it works for you!

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