Thai food is one of my favorites. I am regularly on the prowl for really flavorful Thai recipes, that I can make at home. This recipe for Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs is so good, it is now on regular rotation in my house. Over the years I have recreated many dishes I have had in restaurants with great success. If you love Thai flavors as much as I do, then you will want to try my Thai Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. It is a hearty soup, packed with layers of flavor. For a lighter soup, you will love my all time favorite, Tom Kha Gai Soup. This is made with a light coconut milk broth and has deep flavors and lovely aromatics.
Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs are a perfectly tender and flavor packed meatball. Serve a few as an appetizer or pile them on for a main dish!
The secret to good Thai food is the balance of flavors. Thai food is renowned for its balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty. Once you find out what that balance tastes like, you can make a variety of Thai foods well. Some of the ingredients may sounds exotic and I suppose they are, if you haven’t tried them before. Most, if not all the ingredients, can be found in your local grocery story.
I think one of the most important parts of making good Thai food, is using fresh, instead of dried ingredients. For these Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs I used fresh ginger because it packs the most flavor. Most of the time you will be asked to add either grated or finely chopped ginger. Using dried ginger powder will not give you the flavor you want for these meatballs. Same goes for the garlic. Use fresh, chopped garlic, if at all possible.
Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs are a perfect bite, served with a bowl of steaming hot rice or on top of a pile of zoodles.
I have made these several different ways and I always add shrimp, but it all depends on which kind I have available. I think the flavor of raw shrimp, lends for a deeper shrimp-like taste, but when I only have cooked shrimp, I don’t let that stop me either. I plop the fresh shrimp into the food processor and chop it up with the ginger, garlic and green onions. All this to say, use whatever kind of shrimp you have on hand and you will get a yummy, tender meatball.
To make these involves adding ground pork to a bowl. When choosing pork, the finer the grind the better. You will then add the shrimp, ginger and garlic to the food processor and grind until you have ground the ginger and garlic up into smaller bits. If you are using raw shrimp in this part, make sure you are pulsing the food processor or you can inadvertently grind to the point that the shrimp becomes a paste. There is nothing wrong with the flavor if you grind it to a paste, it just takes away some of the texture of the meatball when cooked.
Next, add the ground shrimp, ginger, garlic and green onion to the ground pork in the bowl. To this, you will add the additional ingredients. This is also where you get to be creative. Sometimes I add fresh, finely chopped green beans, sometimes I just use canned. Finely grated or finely chopped carrot is a wonderful addition of flavor and color if you have it but, if you don’t, leave it out. If you have lemongrass paste, you can add a tablespoon of that for a really lovely, aromatic flavor. All that to say, you can personalize it. I never make these Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs exactly the same way. There is always something just a little different, based on the availability of ingredients to me.
Once you have added all of the ingredients to the bowl, mix this together well. I usually throw on a pair of gloves to do this and make clean up a little easier. Once ingredients are well incorporated, shape them into balls and place into a skillet, lightly coated with oil. Skillet should be medium hot. Cook these until lightly browned on the outside and the center is cooked through. You may want to cut a meatball in half and make sure it is cooked through, but don’t cook them so long that they lose their moisture, just cook until just done and tender.
Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs
- 1 pounds ground pork
- 2 cups chopped, raw shrimp can substitute cooked shrimp instead
- 1/4 cup finely chopped, fresh green beans can substitute 1/2 cup canned beans
- 1/4 cup finely chopped, green onion
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh ginger
- 2 cloves chopped, fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2-1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar I use monk sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- oil to coat skillet
- Add ground pork to a bowl. In a food processor, add shrimp, ginger, garlic and green onions. Pulse until shrimp is course and ginger and garlic are chopped.
- Add shrimp mixture to ground pork and add remaining ingredients. Mix together with hands until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Preheat skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with oil. Make a test meatball to cook and taste, making sure you're meatballs are well seasoned before cooking all meatballs.
- Fry remaining meatballs until lightly browned on the outside and cooked through.
- Once meatballs are done serve or rice, caulirice or zoodles. Can serve with Sriracha, Sriracha mayo or your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
Once these Thai Shrimp and Pork Meatballs are cooked through, I either plop them onto a bed of white rice, cauliflower rice or zoodles, if I am watching my carbs. I love Sriracha Mayo as a side, but plain Sriracha on top or your favorite Asian Dipping sauce would be perfect. I serve these as an appetizer, main dish or sometimes I just make a big batch and keep them cooked and in the fridge for me to have for lunch throughout the week. Enjoy friends!
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