Epic THAI MEATBALLS!!! Made with pork or chicken, the brilliant Thai flavour of these will have everyone convinced you picked them up from one of those posh Thai restaurants. Served with a Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, these are seriously tasty!!
With regards to the family beach BBQ last Friday evening, I am very pleased to report that Dozer only stole 2 hot dogs (of which only one was straight out of a childs’ hand), did a face plant in only one full dinner plate (the other 3 plates he launched himself onto were half eaten abandoned ones), was treated to only a few dozen treats from the children who kept running up and asking “can he have this?”, shoving a grubby hand clutching a half eaten sausage or crushed potato chips or whatever it was they happened to be eating towards his giant, slobbery jaws before I even had a chance to say “yea” or “nay”.
And all this happened on a short leash. I unleashed him for 30 seconds, saw the immediate and imminent danger that created for the piles of pulled meats and the 3 kg / 6 lb of prawns (shrimp) that my mother had spent hours peeling and skewering, and quickly put him back on the leash.
By the end of the night, we were both exhausted. Him from the sheer excitement of so much food and so many people to play / pat / feed him was just all too much. Me from the immense concentration and biceps required to restraint a 40 kg / 80 lb dog on a mission.😂
I didn’t even take a single photo, not even with my iPhone. But he was running around like this for much of the evening – with a sandy nose:
I feel like I just used up an inordinate amount of words describing Dozer’s shameful behaviour at the BBQ so I’m going to get efficient telling you about these Thai Meatballs!!!
You can mix together mince with coriander/cilantro, garlic and a dash of soy and get away with calling that Thai. And they will be ok(ish). But if you want some Thai Meatballs that are seriously delicious, and really truly do taste real-deal Thai, then you’re going to need the help of a few more things.
I think you’ll be familiar with most of the items in these meatballs, except perhaps this one – Kaffir Lime Leaves. Now, before you run around town trying to hunt these down in an Asian store (albeit Sydney-siders can just pop into Wooles, Coles and Harris Farm for these nowadays!), let me just stress this fact: yes it adds a little something-something that is so authentically posh-Thai-restauranty (like Longrain and Sailors Thai here in Sydney), but it isn’t mandatory!! These are still smashing meatballs even without kaffir lime leaves. 🙂
Kaffir lime leaves aren’t from normal lime trees, they are different. They smell limey but more earthy. They are plonked in whole into curries / soups / coconut rice to infuse with flavour, or finely chopped as pictured above. Cut out the stem, roll it up like a cigar, then finely slice (cause they are kind of tough, got to chop ’em finely).
They cost a few dollars for 20 or so, and they freeze so well! I use them in a handful of recipes and I’ve linked them in the notes for you.
Add the other usual Thai-flavour suspects: plenty of garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander/cilantro, lemongrass, fish sauce (or soy, if you really insist), and you have yourself some seriously tasty meatballs. (I bake these as they are pretty delicate which is why they come out lovely and soft so they are kind of hard to pan fry).
I totally cheat with the dipping sauce, I just doctor up sweet chilli sauce with some garlic and lime juice. In case you really want to go all out, I’ve included the recipe for a homemade Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce (which is pictured in the photo right at the top). But I don’t usually bother, if I’m really honest. 🙂
Because…. well, want to know the truth? I figure the meatballs themselves are impressive enough as it is and people don’t really notice the dipping sauce. 😉
Make these for dinner or serve them at a party. Either way, you will be a hero! – Nagi x
- 500 g / 1 lb pork mince (ground pork, or chicken)
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste (or finely chopped fresh) (Note 1)
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed and very finely shredded, optional extra (Note 2)
- 3 Thai or birds eye chillies , seeds removed and finely chopped (Note 3)
- 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro , leaves and stem finely chopped (Note 4)
- 1 tsp sugar (any)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (can sub with soy sauce if required)
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (+ extra 1/4 cup if needed)
- 1 small egg
- Oil spray
Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml sweet chilli sauce , store bought (Note 5)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 tbsp lime juice , plus more to taste
- Coriander/cilantro leaves , finely sliced large red chillies
- Preheat oven to 220C/430F (standard) or 200C/390F (fan / convection).
- Place a rack on a tray (optional, rack keeps balls slightly rounder).
- Place Meatball ingredients in a bowl (except oil spray), mix well with your hands. Only use extra breadcrumbs if necessary - sometimes, chicken mince can be quite wet. Scoop up 1 slightly heaped tablespoon and roll into a ball (about 3cm / 1.25" diameter). (Note 6 for my way)
- Spray rack well with oil and place the meatballs on the rack.
- Spray meatballs generously with oil, then bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a bit browned. They should be beautifully soft - see video!
- Serve warm with Sauce, garnished with coriander and chillies if desired.
- Place ingredients in a bowl and mix. Set aside for at least 10 minutes before using.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Be warned of close encounter with Baby Hands. Also – Dozer fans – don’t miss his little cameo at the end of the recipe video. I swear, one day a pelican is going to turn around and give him a big peck!!
LIFE OF DOZER
He’s really looking forward to tomorrow. Really.