|Red Curry Meatballs with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce|
I was inspired to make Red Curry Meatballs with a Vietnamese Dipping Sauce after trying a spicy meatball recipe from Monica Bhide’s Everything Indian cookbook, and seeing Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Thai-Inspired meatball recipe. I’ve been on a Southeast Asian kick lately, and have been experimenting with Thai red curry, so why not try them in meatballs.
In coming up with this recipe, I was reminded of the spiciness of Monica’s meatballs and the low-fat cooking method in her recipe. Likewise, I love Kaylyn’s idea of eating the meatballs in a lettuce wrap with a dipping sauce. Not only is this presentation pretty to look at, but it’s also fun to eat.
I thought of incorporating the flavors of the popular Thai snack, Tod Mun, typically made with fish. The typical ingredients for Tod Mun include red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves.
I wanted to lighten up the dish, so instead of deep-frying the meatballs, I followed Monica’s method of cooking the meatballs in some water first, and then browning them in a little oil afterwards. What resulted were juicy, tender meatballs.
To add some crunch and tang to the meatballs, I decided to serve the Red Curry Meatballs with Boston lettuce, and a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Mam Chanh, made with garlic, chilies, fish sauce, and lime juice.
Red Curry Meatballs
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
Put shallots, lime leaves, curry paste, egg and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Combine well with ground turkey, cornstarch and cilantro.
Wet both hands and make small meatballs, about 1″ in diameter. Heat 1/2 cup of water in a deep saucepan. Gently place meatballs in pan, and cook until water is just evaporated, turning meatballs after a few minutes to color all sides. Heat oil in a skillet. Brown meatballs and cook through.
|Vietnamese Dipping Sauce|
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Chanh)
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek chili sauce
1 Thai bird chili, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
finely shredded carrots, for garnish
Mix all ingredients together.
To serve, place one or two meatballs on each lettuce leaf. Spoon sauce on top and eat!