I came across this recipe a while back and immediately decided to make a mental note to try this one day. I think the sheer number of ingredients put me off initially, but the actual cooking part didn’t seem too hard and it looked far too delicious not to try.
As for the ingredients- admittedly I had never heard of a few of these and initially thought they might be tricky to find after making a trip to the food hall in Selfridges with no luck, I was amazed to come across everything I needed only a stone throws away in Sainsburys.
Galangal resembles ginger and is frequently used in Thai and Indonesian cuisine. It in fact branches from the ginger family but is much tougher to cut through and carries a stronger, peppery taste than ginger. Recipes often call for both ginger and galangal, such as this one so when possible I would try to source both. A paste form is available also. (£2 per 100g at Sainsburys)
These come from lime trees and are readily available dry, but pack most flavour when fresh. They add a pungent citrus aroma to dishes and are widely used in Thai cuisine. I think it’s definitely worth trying to track down the fresh lime leaves as they impart a gorgeous flavour to the meatballs. (£1.50 per pack at Sainsburys)
This recipe is adapted from the Reza Mahammed meatball noodle dish and can be found here on foodnetwork.co.uk.
- 700g minced lamb
- 1 egg white
- 60g ground peanuts
- 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2/3 tbsp cornflour
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp grated galangal
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 small red chillies, finely chopped
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp of oil for frying
For the Thai Noodle Salad:
- 1 packet thick rice noodles (Pad-Thai), pre-soaked
- 1 bag of mixed stir fry vegetables
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 red chilli finger
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp crispy shallots
- Oil for frying
For the Dressing:
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- In a large bowl combine the mince lamb, egg white, ground nuts, curry paste, fish sauce and corn flour. Mix well then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine all of the red onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, chopped chilli, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaf and spring onions and mix well. Then add this mix to the lamb mixture and combine together well with your hands.
- Roll into 2 inch diameter balls about the size of a golf ball (they will shrink in size during cooking).
- Heat a large non-stick and oven proof frying pan and then drizzle with a good amount of oil. Place the meatballs into the hot pan and sauté until golden brown, finish off in the oven for about 20/25 minutes turning meatballs over half way through cooking time.
- Whilst this is cooking, prepare the noodle dish.
Pad Thai Noodle Salad:
- First make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together (soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil and lime juice), then set to one side while you make the noodle salad.
- Heat a large wok or frying pan on a medium heat and add a good drizzle of oil, once hot, add the red onion and sauté from 3/4 minutes until soft and just turning golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, and sauté for a further couple of minutes to soften the garlic combining well with the onions.
- When the onions and garlic are soft, turn up the heat on the wok and add the mixed stir fry vegetables, mix and cook for a minute. Then add your noodles, carefully mixing in with the vegetables.
- Just before serving, drizzle over the dressing mix well and serve with a sprinkling of spring onions and crispy shallots.
- Serve with the meatballs.
Personally if I were to make it again I would cut back a touch on the fish sauce in the noodle dressing as it left a slight after taste and would recommend leaving the meatballs to rest, covered in foil once out of the oven to prevent them from drying out. But overall the dish was lovely and fragrant, warm from the heat of the chillies and packed full of fresh citrus flavours provided by the lemongrass and lime leaves.
I may have only touched the tip of the iceberg of Thai cuisine but I’m really looking forward to experimenting with Thai flavours and trying out a few other recipes.