Lemon Grass Meatballs
Serves: 4 servings (about 20 meatballs)
  • Meatballs:
  • 3 stalks lemon grass
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound ground chicken thigh (breast can be used but I prefer thigh for flavor and texture)
  • ⅓ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped serrano chile (about 1 large)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to your liking
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth (I prefer low sodium)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light coconut milk can be used)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves or 2 cups snow or snap peas or 4 cups kale leaves, stems removed and torn into small pieces
  • Cooked jasmine or basmati rice
  1. To prepare the lemon grass, slice the stalk to use only the bottom one third (about 6 inches). Slice about ¾ to 1 inch off the stem end, then peel off any bruised and dry outer layers to get to the softer inside. Cut into thin slices, then transfer to a food processor (fitted with a steel blade), along with the water and process until finely minced, scraping down the sides several times and cleaning off the blade as needed (pieces of lemon grass can get stuck in the tip of the blade and keep it from turning and finely mincing the lemon grass), this can take several minutes. It is important the lemongrass is finely minced; you should have ½ cup. Transfer lemon grass to a bowl.
  2. Add ground chicken, panko, serrano, salt and pepper to the finely shredded lemon grass and stir together until evenly mixed. In the palm of your hands, roll into about 20 one-inch size meatballs. Meatballs can be formed several hours ahead of cooking and refrigerated.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add meatballs in a single layer and cook until browned, turning several times (often lightly shaking the pan accomplishes this) about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove meatballs from the skillet.
  4. If necessary, add an additional 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet; add onion and garlic and cook just to soften but not brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan; simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in curry paste, then add browned meatballs; cover and simmer over low heat until meatballs are cooked through, stirring a few times to rotate meatballs, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in basil then scatter spinach over meatballs and slightly stir into sauce; cover and cook just until spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with cooked rice.
Recipe by A Year at the Table at http://ayearatthetable.com/lemon-grass-meatballs/