Pork Meatball Subs with Asian Coleslaw and Spicy Mayonnaise

I’ve gone crazy. I’ve made pork meatballs that have been sweetened with Indonesian thick caramel-like kecap manis, a coleslaw with an Asian dressing and chucked them both on an American hot dog roll with some mayonnaise that’s been laced with Mexican Cholula hot sauce.

I just wrote a whole paragraph about fusion food and then deleted it. It just sounded wanky. Is this fusion food? I don’t know and I don’t really care. I can tell you though that this is one delicious sub.

Meatball subs are only ever a good thing in my book. I just googled meatball sub. You should too, you will be glad that you did.


You do need a fair few ingredients for this one, but once you have your ingredients assembled, the trickiest part is the chopping.



This is my go-to Asian salad dressing. It’s great over any type of coleslaw mix and it’s also great over basic salad leaves.



If you have a mandolin, I’d recommend using that to shred the cabbage. Mine is packed away in storage and dearly missed. You could also use one of those pre-packaged coleslaw mixes. Throw away the dressing that comes with it though and use my Asian style one instead. Yum!


cholula mayonnaise

Bought mayonnaise is fine for this recipe and that is certainly what I used. It is pretty easy to make your own though. I have a basic recipe for one in my Banh Mi (another great sandwich) recipe here.



Grate your onion on a box grater or a chunky microplane. It will be really juicy and moist and it’s a great way to inject some moisture into meatballs and rissoles. Alternatively you can just chop it finely, but you won’t get that same moisture out of it so you may need to use less breadcrumbs.

I also grated the chilli and garlic because I’m lazy like that. I used a finer zester or fine microplane instead of the chunkier box grater though.



The meatballs can be cooked straight away or assembled a few hours before and then put in the fridge ready for cooking when you are ready.

If you are in more of a hamburger mood, you can also shape the mince into rissoles instead and use hamburger buns instead of hot dog rolls.



The meatballs won’t take long to cook. Occasionally turn them and toss the pan around for an even colour on all sides of the meatballs. The meatballs should take 6-8 minutes to cook through.


meatball subs



Pork Meatball Subs with Asian Coleslaw and Spicy Mayonnaise

For the Asian Coleslaw

Ingredients – Makes enough for 4 subs

  • 1½  cups of loosely packed finely shredded red cabbage. You will need about a third of a medium red cabbage for this.
  • 3 spring onions, white and some of the green parts chopped
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped coriander leaves plus optional extra for garnish
  • ½ tbs white sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp shao hsing (shaoxing) wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp neutral oil like rice bran or vegetable
  • ½ tsp fine white sugar
  • ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
  • small pinch of white pepper



  1. In a medium sized, non-reactive bowl, toss together the cabbage, spring onions, coriander and sesame seeds.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients to make a dressing. Add a pinch of salt to season. Once the dressing has emulsified, pour it over the coleslaw ingredients and toss well. Set aside while you make the rest of the elements for the subs.


For The Spicy Mayonnaise

Ingredients – Makes enough for 4 subs

  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 tbs of mayonnaise, shop bought is fine
  • 1 tsp of Cholula or another hot sauce like Sriracha



  1. Mix together all of the ingredients. Set aside until ready to serve the subs.


For the Pork Meatballs

Ingredients – Makes 4 Subs

  • 400g pork mince
  • ½ small onion, peeled and grated or chopped finely
  • 1 tsp kecap manis (sometimes also labelled ketchup manis)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tbs chopped Asian chives or alternatively use normal chives
  • 1 long red chilli, finely grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tbs panko breadcrumbs
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 4 hot dog rolls



  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except for the rolls) in a medium sized bowl with a small pinch of salt. Mix well with your hands or a spoon.
  2. Form into meatball shapes that are slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  3. The meatballs can be set aside in the fridge for cooking later, or they can be cooked immediately.
  4. Heat a small amount of neutral oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan has come up to heat, add the meatballs and cook them until browned all over and cooked through. Occasionally turn them and toss the pan around for an even colour on all sides of the meatballs. The meatballs should take 6-8 minutes to cook through. Test one for doneness by cutting it open.
  5. To serve the subs, place the cooked meatballs onto the split hot dog rolls, drizzle with the spicy mayonnaise and top with the Asian coleslaw. Garnish with more coriander.


Pork Meatball Subs with Asian Coleslaw and Spicy Mayonnaise



Like The Wooden Spoons on Facebook

Subscribe by Mail

Follow on bloglovin


Hi! I’m Taryn. The Wooden Spoons is a food blog and collection of wooden spoons, recipes and stories. I’m a Canberra fan-girl with a passion for all things food. I love South East Asian food, fusion food done well and slow cooked anything. I don’t get quinoa, have a mild phobia of milk touching my skin and custard from a package freaks me out. Thanks for joining me on my cooking and food adventures.

Leave a Comment


captcha *