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turkey meatballs – with an Asian twist

turkey meatballsThis dish transports my foodie mind back to Thailand.  One of the first things introduced to us was a welcome snack called Miang kham.  The base is a betel nut leaf and piled onto the leaf are fried shallots, ginger, toasted coconut flakes, garlic, lime, peanuts, chopped chili peppers, and topped with a drizzle of palm syrup.  Then carefully wrapped up and popped into your mouth.  Talk about an explosion of tastes!  I can easily scoff down 6 they’re that good.   It’s a common sight in Thailand (whether from a street vendor or at a cafe) to see lettuce leaves used as a way to contain food.  Minced beef or pork spiced up and placed into a lettuce cup is one of my favorites.  Eating with your hands brings a closer connection to your food and I find it more satisfying.  Turkey meatballs wrapped up in lettuce is another favorite.

These meatballs are perfect for an informal gathering.  And don’t worry about making a mess…you won’t be the only one!

Makes 13 to 15 meatballs
slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma
453g (1 lb) ground turkey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white portion only
2 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup oil
lettuce leaves
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges

Preheat an oven to 350f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the turkey, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and garlic. Mix well. Roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a platter.

In a frying pan heat oil over medium heat.  Add meatballs and fry.  Turn to brown evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels.  Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Arrange a platter with lettuce leaves and place warm meatballs on top. Sprinkle with green onions and squeeze lime over. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Boston or baby Romaine lettuce works well here or you can use large basil leaves.  Enjoy!

turkey meatballs - with an Asian twist
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These meatballs are perfect for an informal gathering. And don’t worry about making a mess…you won’t be the only one!
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 453g (1 lb) ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white portion only
  • 2 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ cup oil
  • lettuce leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 350f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the turkey, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and garlic. Mix well. Roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a platter.
  3. In a frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Add meatballs and fry. Turn to brown evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Arrange a platter with lettuce leaves and place warm meatballs on top. Sprinkle with green onions and squeeze lime over. Serve immediately.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Boston or baby Romaine lettuce works well here or you can use large basil leaves. Enjoy!

 

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