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.
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 ingredients 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, let me just stress this fact: yes it adds a little something-something that is so authentically posh-Thai-restauranty, 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.
What goes in Thai Meatballs
In addition to the optional Kaffir lime leaves, these Thai Meatballs have all the other usual Thai-flavour suspects:
- plenty of garlic, ginger, chillies
- fish sauce (or soy, if you really insist)
Just give them mix and you have yourself some seriously tasty meatballs.
How to cook them – because they’re so lovely and soft, they are kind of hard to pan fry. So I bake these. They hold their shape and are golden on the outside, and juicy on the inside!
Make a meal out of it – serve these on the side!
- Steamed Jasmine rice, Thai Fried Rice, Pineapple Fried Rice or Coconut Rice
- Crunchy Asian Slaw on the side – great all rounder Asian salad that goes with all Asian foods
- Asian Sesame Dressing for any fresh salad or steamed vegetables
Sweet Chilli Dipping sauce for Thai Meatballs
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
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!!
- 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
Optional garnishes & serving:
- Coriander/cilantro leaves , finely sliced large red chillies
- Steamed jasmine rice
- 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.
More Thai food recipes
- Pad Thai and Pad See Ew
- Thai Red Curry and Green Curry
- Massaman Curry
- Thai Fried Rice
- Starters – Chicken Satay and Thai Fish Cakes
- Browse the Thai recipe collection
Life of Dozer
He’s really looking forward to tomorrow (Halloween).