These Thai Meatballs hit all the right spots! The sticky texture, and savory flavors with a slice of twang just keep on giving and will have you craving for them pretty often! This one's always on my top ten go-to party appetizer list, and you'll soon know why.
(This recipe was originally published in January, 2016 and has been revamped with new pictures, introduction and an improved recipe)
There’s something about Thai food that makes me weak in the knees. The earthy flavors, the sharp spices and lemon-y flavors that add that perfect twang to any meal. And these sticky Thai meatballs are an absolute favorite. Featuring the juiciest meatballs with layers of thai flavors, these make for the perfect appetizer. But I also sometimes sneak it in as a main with noodles or a bowl of fragrant sticky rice.
Table of contents
Shape of the meatballs
Okay before I tell you all the reasons why I love these sticky Thai meatballs, I need to tell you DON’T stress about the shape of the meatballs. Mine aren’t perfect either and besides once the flavors soak in, it's all you’ll see and savor. Trust me.
Reasons you'll love these sticky Thai meatballs
- They are juicy with hints of basil, ginger, garlic, spicy and sticky soy, honey and vinegar, all in one bite.
- It takes all of 30 minutes from prep to plate.
- Doesn't require too many too many ingredients
Flavoring the meatballs
You don't need a lot of ingredients to nail the flavors of this meatballs. The main flavor in these Thai meatballs comes from Thai green curry paste, which you can easily buy. Just get a brand that you already love or have in your fridge and go with it. I tried adding flavors to the meatballs from scratch but quickly realized that store bought paste is the way to go. Because the proportions are already perfect and it's a concentrated flavor bomb!
How to mix meatball mixture just right
The trick to making sure everything is well combined when you mix your meatballs mixture, is to add all your condiments and seasoning first, mix it up and then add the ground meat. This way, you won't have pockets of flavor. I've demonstrated this in the recipe below.
These meatballs can be baked or pan fried. I prefer baking them as they can crumble or lose their shape while cooking on the pan. That's because these are really soft and juicy and that's what makes them so perfect really!
The best way to fix a runny sauce is to add a little more cornflour slurry. I would recommend adding it gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
Absolutely! This recipe is super freezer-friendly, which is why I usually make a big batch and store half of it for another time. It makes for a great appetizer for unexpected guests or for dinner after a busy work day.
You can freeze these meatballs either cooked or uncooked. I prefer to cook the meatballs, allow them to cool completely, and then line them up on a baking tray with parchment paper (make sure they're aren't touching each other) before sticking it into the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, I transfer them to ziplock bags and put them back into the freezer.
Then I want to eat, I simply make the gravy and cook these balls for a few minutes (no need to thaw) until it's heated through.
I serve it just as is or with a bowl of sticky rice topped with scraped spoonfuls of sauce. I’m warning you that these are really hard to stay away from. But meatballs usually are. So go on, indulge that Thai craving with a magnificent bowl of sticky Thai meatballs, you’ll be a fan forever. I know I am!
Sticky Thai Meatballs
For the Meatballs:
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1 tablespoon Thai Green Curry Paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste grated or minced ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 500 grams Ground Beef
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 Thai Chillies chopped (or ½ teaspoon chilli flakes)
- 2 tablespoons Honey
- ½ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Cornflour
- Preheat oven to 220C/430F
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except ground beef in a bowl and mix well. Once the aromatics are well combined with the breadcrumbs, add the ground beef and lightly mix together. Adding the beef right in the end ensures that the flavors are mixed well and don’t sit around in lumps.
- Form the mixture into 20-22 lime sized balls and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes till they are cooked through, and slightly brown.
- For the sauce, whisk everything together in a bowl and add it to a wok. Heat for a few minutes till the mixture thickens. Toss the meatballs in the sauce and serve hot.
- You can swap the ground beef for pork or chicken. The baking time will not change
- To cook these meatballs on the stove, add some oil to a non stick pan and place the meatballs in the pan. Brown them on high heat on all sides and then let them cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally to make sure they don't burn on one side.
- To store, you can half bake them and store in an air tight container in the freezer. Defrost and finish them in the oven or in a pan. This will finish the cooking and make it crispy.