Meatballs are a great comfort food. One immediately associates meatballs with those wonderful sausage and beef concoctions bathed in red sauce on top of a generous helping of spaghetti. But meatballs are not just indigenous to the Italians...every culture and cuisine has a unique take on meatballs.
I think a big reason that meatballs are so ubiquitous across so many cultures is that they are so stinkin' easy to make. Heck, you just take a bucketload of ingredients....mix 'em together....then roll 'em into balls and bake 'em.
This is Thai street food at it's best. To make these meatballs a complete meal, I like to serve them in a butter lettuce leaf. To that I add the Thai Dipping Sauce and a side dish of aromatic basmati rice. This Michael Symon recipe will serve four if you make the meatballs about the size of golf balls. If you want to serve these as appetizers, make the meatballs from one heaping tablespoon of the mixture.
For the Thai Meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 small jalapeño (seeded and minced)
2 teaspoons lemongrass (chopped)
1/2 carrot (grated)
1- inch piece fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
3 scallions (white and green parts; finely chopped)
1/4 cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
2 tablespoons mint (roughly chopped)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
White sesame seeds, for garnish
For the Thai Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons chili paste (such as Sambal Oelek, Gochujang or Sriracha)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
- FOR THE MEATBALLS: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Roll into meatballs and place on parchment or foiled lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. When finished, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Serve alongside the meatballs.
Wine Pairing: A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.