Thai meatballs

I think meatballs are one of the most diverse dishes of all time - cooked in tomato sauce in Italy and Greece, wrapped in flatbread in Turkey, served in hot soup in Vietnam or covered in gravy in Sweden. When done well, they are moist, delicious and a great cheap eat. When done badly they are dry and tasteless. 

Lending itself to so many different creations, I like to experiment with the humble meatball. For this dish you can use traditional coconut milk however for a tangy and creamy twist, you can use yoghurt. Go with your gut. 

  • 500g pork or beef
  • 1/2inch of ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander
  • 1 red chili (small or ½ big chili – remove seeds if you don’t like spice)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 tablespoons of thai paste (you can use green curry paste if you like or follow the below recipe)
  • 3/4 cup of chicken stock
  • ½ cup yoghurt or coconut milk

Thai paste:
  • ½ lemongrass stick
  • 1 spring onion (OR 1 shallot)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves – spine removed
  • 1 ½ cloves of large garlic (or two small ones)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • vegetable/peanut oil
  • pinch salt 
  • Blend all Thai paste ingredients until smooth
  • Mix the mince, ginger, garlic, lime juice, lemongrass, salt, coriander, chili and sugar and form meatballs
  • Heat pan with oil and cook meatballs until just brown around the outside
  • Remove meatballs and keep any juice/oil
  • Put Thai paste in pan and cook until fragrant – around 1-2 minutes
  • Re-add the meatballs and chicken stock
  • Cook until meatballs are cooked through – around 6-8 minutes
  • Remove meatballs
  • Add some of the sauce to the flour and mix until a paste is formed
  • Add the paste into the sauce and mix until well combined 
  • Cook sauce until it thickens slightly
  • Turn off the sauce and add the yoghurt (if you are using coconut milk, add the coconut milk and cook it with the sauce for 5 minutes)
  • Add meatballs to the sauce and mix well
  • Serve with rice, noodles or in lettuce cups. 
If you are more a fried meatball type of person, you can deep fry the meatballs instead of cooking them in the pan. Plus use a jar of green curry Thai paste if you are in a hurry. 

Fun farewell meatball fact: the world's largest meatball was made in 2017 in North Carolina. It used 1757 pounds of meat. 



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