Pork Meatballs in a Creamy Green Curry
For the pork & basil meatballs:
- 2 lbs / 900 g ground pork
- 1 packed cup / 30 g fresh basil, finely chopped, or 3 tbsp minced
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml fish sauce
- 1/2 – 1 tsp / 3 – 5 g fine sea salt, to taste
For the creamy Thai green curry sauce:
ROLL: Mix together all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl using your hands to gently combine them all into a uniform meatball mixture. Divide into 2 oz / 56 g portions and roll into evenly sized meatballs. You should have about 18 meatballs when you’re done. Place them onto a parchment paper lined plate and refrigerate them while you make the Thai green curry sauce. Alternatively, cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight if you like.
SIMMER: Skim off about a 1/2 cup / 120 ml or so of the coconut cream layer on the top of the coconut milk cans. Add the coconut cream to a dutch oven over medium heat and cook until the coconut cream begins to bubble. Spoon in the Nightshade Free Thai Green Curry Paste and whisk together with the cream. Cook for a minute or so until the paste is fragrant, then whisk in the rest of the coconut milk and add the galangal or ground ginger &white pepper, if using. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add the lime juice & fish sauce. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer gently until it has thickened a little, about 20 minutes or so. Brown the meatballs while the sauce is thickening.
BROWN: Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with generous amount of the fat or oil of your choice. When the oil is hot and just beginning to simmer, add half of the meatballs to the skillet, making sure they don’t touch and aren’t overcrowded in the skillet. (You’ll have to brown the meatballs in batches for this reason – I fit half the batch, 9 meatballs, into my 12 inch cast iron skillet comfortably.) Cook until the meatballs have a good browned crust on all sides, rolling them over with tongs to turn, about 10 – 12 minutes. Transfer the browned meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and repeat until all of the meatballs are browned and drained of any excess fat.
WARM: Taste the Thai green curry sauce and add extra fish sauce & lime juice, if needed. Transfer the browned meatballs to the sauce and bring to a simmer until they’re cooked & warmed through. Serve the meatballs with a generous spoon of the Thai green curry sauce and garnish with extra green onions, cilantro and basil if you like.
Ground galangal has a flavor similar to ground ginger, with a little more heat and a hit of peppery spice. It’s a lovely addition to your AIP pantry if you’re missing spice & heat, but if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute ground ginger instead.
If the sauce looks like it’s thickening too much while you’re browning the meatballs, just turn off the heat and cover the pan while you finish them up. Don’t let the Thai green curry sauce reduce too much, but if it does happen, you can add a splash or two of broth to loosen the sauce back up again before adding the meatballs