Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs (with Tofu)


ThaiMeatballs

It was many years ago when I traveled to Singapore that I was introduced to the magical flavors of green curry and coconut milk. It was at a hawker stall in the middle of the night and I was waiting for my flight back to Narito, Japan. At the time, I had met a journalist and he insisted on taking me to this outdoor food court full of local street food. Local is a subjective term when it is used with Singaporean cuisine as Singapore is a diverse country with cuisine from many cultures including Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Thai and others.

Little did I know then, that I would eventually (20 years later) have the privilege of racing half way around the world for Singapore as part of the Clipper Round the World Race. But, that is a story for another blog.

One of the reasons I enjoy this Thai meatball recipe so much, is that it balances the spiciness of the green curry with the creaminess of the coconut milk. I also like adding the tofu, which is optional, as it is great at absorbing the flavors from the delicious sauce. I can actually say that this dish could easily stand on its own without the meatballs, and just tofu. And, that’s being said by a devoted meat lover!

I find this an excellent meal to cook on a sail boat while underway. The heat from the green curry provides a nice warmth on those cold nights at sea when standing watch.

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Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs (with Tofu)
serves 4

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. green curry paste
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

Coconut Curry Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk (13 ounces)
  • 5-6 ounces firm tofu, cubed into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2-3 cups baby bok choy, roughly chopped
  • Green onions, angled slices to garnish

Directions

  1. Combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, fish sauce, curry paste, scallions and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until combined.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high and add oil. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and form into small- to medium-sized (1″-1 1/2″) meatballs and cook for 5 minutes in the skillet, turning until nicely brown on all sides.
  3. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside. Saute minced garlic and grated ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add green curry paste, mix well. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to minimum, add meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tofu and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add roughly chopped baby bok choy and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve over hot rice. I actually like to serve this over sprouted rice (brown, red and black), as it adds a nice texture and a nuttiness to the dish. To garnish, sprinkle chopped scallions over the plated dish.
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