Thai chicken meatballs are a flavorful dish that can work as an appetizer or an full meal. Ground chicken is blended with aromatic ingredients such as ginger, cilantro, and garlic before the mixture is cooked twice. To ensure that the meatballs both brown and cook without drying out, they are first browned for a few minutes in a pan before being transferred to the oven. If you are serving these meatballs as a meal, you can lay them on a bed of rice noodles with pickled cucumbers and carrots, chopped cilantro and peanuts and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce.
Thai Chicken Meatballs
Makes 20 to 25 meatballs
1 pound ground chicken*
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 red Thai chili, seeds and rib removed and finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 lime, juiced and zested, plus more for garnish
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup coconut flour**
coconut oil for cooking
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, green onions, chili, garlic, lime juice and zest, ginger, fish sauce, egg, and coconut flour. Finely chop a 1/4 cup of the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Reserve the other half for garnish. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or your meatballs will be tough.
Step 3: Cover your hands with coconut oil to prevent the meat from sticking and form the patties. The patties should be approximately 2 inches wide. If the mixture appears to be too "wet," add some more coconut flour.
Step 4: Heat the coconut oil in a skillet pan over medium to high heat. Place the meatballs in the pan and brown them on each side for 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Remove them from the pan and place the meatballs on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Serve with sweet chilli sauce and garnish with lime wedges and remaining cilantro.
*Note: Ground turkey would also work in this recipe.
**Note: Almond meal is a good substitute for coconut flour if you already have that on hand.