Tender chicken meatballs with a scratch-made coconut curry sauce, rice noodles, long beans, shallots, and fresh herbs.
This is a mild northern Thai style coconut curry, served with ginger and lemongrass scented meatballs, rice stick noodles, herbs, and veggies. It is slightly sweet and full of flavor.
The sauce is the focal point of this dish, with a homemade curry paste for its base. The paste is fairly easy to make, just a little peeling and rough chopping of vegetables. Then, the food processor takes over and finishes the hard work of pureeing them until smooth. This portion of the recipe yields twice the amount needed for the sauce. Leftovers can be frozen or vacuum sealed and refrigerated for two weeks. I do not suggest using store-bought curry paste. It will completely change the flavor.
Lemongrass is one of the main flavor components in these meatballs. It has a citrusy flavor, grassy top, and woody bottom. To prep the grass, smack the base a few times with the back of a knife. This will release the root stem and make it easier to remove the hard outer layers. Trim the top grassy part of the stalk and finely chop the soft inner portion.
I kept the garnishes for this dish simple. The fresh herbs, limes, and shallots being essential components. But the long beans can be switched out for green beans, bok choy, or choy sum. Some other common garnishes for this type of curry include bean sprouts, pickled mustard greens, fresh chilis, chili garlic paste, and more fish sauce. As always, use what suits your taste.
Thai Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry
- 1 ounce dried New Mexico Chilis about 6 stemmed and seeded
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 ounce lemongrass 1 large stalk rough chopped
- 3 inch ginger peeled and rough chopped
- 1/2 cup shallots rough chopped more for garnish
- 2 ounces garlic peeled 25-30 cloves
- 2 tbsp shrimp paste
- 1 pound fresh chicken sausage or ground chicken
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 tsp cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp lemongrass minced fine
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp garlic grated
- 1 tbsp oil
- 5 tbsp homemade curry paste
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp garam masala
- 1/8 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 cans coconut milk (13.5 ounce)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 package rice stick noodles 12 ounces
- 4 cups long beans cut into 3 inch pieces
- cilantro as needed for garnish
- thai basil as needed for garnish
- shallots julienne as needed for garnish
- lime wedges as needed for garnish
- Tear the chilis into pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and salt to the bowl. Run on high until all the ingredients are in small pieces, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the cardamom, coriander, cumin, and shallots to the bowl and process until smooth. Mix in the shrimp paste. Set aside until ready to use. Makes 10 tablespoons.
- Mix all of the ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Portion the meatballs using a tablespoon measure. Place on a sheet pan. Once portioned, roll them between your hands to form balls. There will be about 22. Refrigerate for 15 minutes up to one day.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium high heat. Sear the meatballs on all sides and cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve
- Heat a large pot with oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers add the curry paste. Toast the paste for 5 minutes stirring frequently to keep from browning. Add the turmeric and garam masala, toast for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and sugar to the pot. Bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil. Place the rice noodles in a heat safe bowl. When the water boils, pour enough water over the noodles to cover. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Return the pot to the stove and bring the remaining water back to a boil. Add the long beans, cook until tender, and strain. When the noodles have softened, strain them and divide them between 5 bowls. Ladle the curry sauce over the noodles. Add the long beans and the meatballs to the bowls. Serve immediately with herbs, shallots, and limes.