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Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce

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[I made these flavor-loaded Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce for Earth Fare!]

There are few things in life more succulent than a pork meatball. Especially when it’s a pork meatball loaded with the bold flavors of lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, and ginger. 

There are a few perks for you, if you decide to make these Thai meatballs for your next party or holiday gathering: 

Perk #1 You’ll be right there, smack dab in the middle of the meatball prep. Smelling the magical aroma that only comes from fresh herbs and caramelized pork.

Perk #2 As the maker of the meatballs, you’ll have first dibs when they come out of the pan. Piping hot and glistening. 

Perk #3 You will be THE person that brings immense joy to those party-goers lucky enough to snag a meatball or six. 

thai meatballs with sweet chili sauce

And really, isn’t perk #3 the only reason we need? 

thai meatballs with sweet chili sauce

You may have it in your mind that mini meatballs hanging out on an appetizer spread are an evil plan to unravel your commitment to healthy eating. 

But I’d have to disagree!

We’re all different, and the amount of meat protein we need to be healthy is different.

But if you’re reading this post I can only guess you’d agree with me on one thing. That some amount of meat does have a place in a healthy diet. 

Pork happens to be ultra delicious because of it’s higher fat content. And I’m A-OK with that because the story we’ve been told about fat being evil is fiction! F-I-C-T-I-O-N

thai meatballs with sweet chili sauce

Our bodies need fat to be healthy (even saturated fat!). The cost of a low-fat crazed diet industry has been to add huge amounts of sugar to make bland, fat-less food taste appetizing. 

So my suggestion: keep the beautiful, lip-licking fat that nature handed us (probably for a good reason). Enjoy every minute of it. Just make sure it’s coming from quality sources—like pasture raised or antibiotic-free meat. 

And since we’re always looking to cut back on the processed sugar (which we’re finding out is the REAL culprit of inflammation, weight gain, and disease) we’ll make a bangin’ sweet chili sauce with honey. 

thai meatballs with sweet chili sauce

And we’ll dip, and enjoy, and declare Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce our new favorite guiltless-pleasure! 

Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce

Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes 25 small meatballs

Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons Coconut Aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Oil, for pan frying
    For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon cilantro stems, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder, or cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Smash a lemongrass stalk with the side of your knife, peeling the fibrous outer layers away and finely chopping the softer inner layers. Measure about 1 tbs and add to a food processor with the smashed garlic cloves, white and light green parts of the onions, grated ginger, grated carrot, cilantro, fish sauce, Coconut Aminos or soy sauce, chili flakes, and black pepper.
  2. Pulse the ingredients until everything is finely minced. Add the mixture to a bowl with the ground pork and combine until the mixture is fully incorporated. Roll pork into small meatballs and set aside to rest while you prepare the sauce.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and reserve.
  4. Add some oil (I used avocado oil) to a pan and bring to medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches to not overcrowd the pan and allow them to brown on all sides until they are cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). Finished meatballs can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven while you finish cooking the rest.
  5. Serve the meatballs with the dipping sauce, garnishing with the remaining sliced green onions if desired.
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