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Thai-Styled Meatball

Let’s all be honest here. Yes. Including those of us who say we love to cook, and would ferociously defend the legitimacy of home-making Kong Bak PauSteamed Pork Belly with preserved Mustard Green, or even Salt-Baked Fish, once in a blue moon at least, let’s not kid ourselves. In practicality, the song and dance of traveling to exotic and exhilarating corners of the world through dialogue in our own kitchen, most of the time, only romantic in theory. Authentic, or not authentic. Good, or no good. Doesn’t matter.

That’s what normal people do.

We are always a lover of meatball, no matter it is the traditional American-style or the chicken one. This time we decided on how could we incorporate meatball with Thai curry, making a Thai – Styled Meatball.

Meatball

In our last meatball recipes, we share with you the fancier meatball recipes where bacon, sausages, roasted tomatoes have been added. However, the lead for this recipe is the sauces, making a basic meatball is good enough. All you need is ground pork, cornflour, salt and pepper. We head to the wet market for half meat and half fat ground pork, as your meatball will taste juicer. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, using chopsticks mix the ingredients well and till it is all sticky and bouncy. Set it aside for 30 minutes before making them into balls. Leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight before cooking them. You could make this a day ahead too.

Saucepan vs oven
Saucepan: While many baked their meatball in the oven, we prefer the saucepan as we have better control of the heat and how well done we wanted for our meatball. One of the plus points was we make the meatballs and the sauce in the same pan. It adds even more flavour to the sauce and it saves me dirtying another dish.

Oven: When we are in rush for a quick meal, we will toss the meatball in the oven and drizzle over some oil to cook them as it is easy, so it’s basically a no-brainer. It is still good however some flavour will be lost in your sauce and a less crispy meatball.

Inspired Thai Green Curry

Ready-made Thai green curry paste may be widely available now but it always tastes salty for our platter. By looking at the dauntingly long and possibly exotic list of ingredients we decided to modify it making an inspired green curry yet taste awesome.

In the traditional recipe, you will need lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and galangal for your green curry. For this inspired version, all you need are green onion, garlic, chilli and coriander. In your food processor, add in all the ingredients and mix them well. Adding in some coconut cream or water will help to ease the blending too. If you couldn’t take the heat, remember to remove the seeds of the chilli. You could also add lemongrass if you want more flavour to the paste.

What greens vegetables to use?

While the leads here are the meatball and green paste, you don’t want to forget the greens vegetables in this recipe too. We use snap peas and baby kailan for this, as we just grab whatever we see in the market. However, you could add whatever greens you prefer such as tenderstem broccoli is also a good option. Remove the hard stem before cooking them, it will allow them to cook faster and taste softer.

Combining all the elements

When you have your meatball and green paste well prepare it is time to combine time. If you are pan-frying like us, heat about 1/4-inch of oil (I use half olive oil, half vegetable oil) in a large cast-iron skillet. Working in batches, brown the meatballs by cooking 2-3 minutes per side and turning with a spatula to create a nice crust around the outside of each meatball. Cover it will a lid and steam it for 5 minutes, leave it aside for later use.

In the same pan, heat the oil and green paste for minutes before adding in the coconut cream. Add in your meatball, seat it for 5 minutes letting the meatball absorb the sauces before adding in your green vegetables. Season it will fish sauce and soy sauce to add more flavours. Keep your eye on this fire, as you don’t want your green to be overcooked.

While not every home have a food processor you can bash the paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar instead; it will be a bit chunkier but have all the same flavour. Serve the meatballs as they are or with cooked rice.

xoxo, Joe

Thai-Styled Meatball

Ingredients

  • 500g pork mince

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced

  • large handful of coriander, stalks and leaves separated

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 x 400ml tin reduced fat coconut milk

  • 200g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed

  • 250g sugar snap peas

  • 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce

  • 2 tsp fish sauce

Method

  • Season the mince with some salt and pepper and shape into 12–16 meatballs.
  • Put the chilli, garlic, green parts of the spring onions, coriander stalks and a splash of water into the bowl of a mini food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
  • Heat a little of the oil in a frying pan over a high heat, and fry the meatballs until brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside, then add the rest of the oil and fry the green paste for 2–3 minutes until aromatic. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  • Return the meatballs to the pan and add the broccoli and sugar snap peas. Season with the soy and fish sauces and cook for 3–4 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Serve scattered with coriander leaves and the white parts of the spring onions.

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