Entree, pork, Recipes, Sauces

Pork Meatballs with Coconut Milk and Peanut Butter Curry Sauce

With the days finally getting a bit cooler, it feels it’s time to start cooking warmer dishes. However, it’s still not really cold enough for heavier and heartier dishes, so I’ve decided on meatballs with a relatively light sauce.

The meatballs are loaded with Asian inspired flavors, from lemongrass, ginger, Hoisin and soy sauce – to Korean Gochujang paste. Once baked for a short time, to firm them up, they are cooked in an aromatic, slightly spicy, sweetish-savory coconut milk and peanut butter sauce, which complements them beautifully.

Served with steamed broccolini,  the meatballs are perfect for a light lunch or dinner. They can also be served on a bed of rice, or rice noodles. Try them and enjoy.

 

Notes:

* Chicken thighs can be used instead of the pork.

* Peppadew are pickled peppers, about the size of a cherry tomato, with a mild sweet and spicy flavor. They are available in specialty stores or online.

* Gochujang paste is a Korean spicy-sweet paste. Note that it varies in texture and spiciness from one brand to another. I’ve used Bibigo’s brand in squeezable bottle, which has smoother texture than most types.

* Curry powder mixes vary substantially from one another. Here I’ve used “S&B oriental curry powder”, which is a Japanese brand.

Makes: 4-6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

 

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1.375 lbs (625 grams) pork loin fillet (see notes)

1 Tbs fresh ginger, finely grated

1 Tbs finely chopped basil

1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro

5-6 mild Peppadew peppers (see notes)

2 scallions, roughly chopped

2 Tbs soy sauce

½ tsp Sriracha sauce (or any other hot sauce)

2 tsp Gochujang paste (see notes)

1 Tbs Hoisin sauce

1 tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix

1 tsp lemongrass paste

¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs

¼ cup plain breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

1 can (13 oz/370 ml) coconut milk

1 Tbs soy sauce

1 Tbs rice wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs brown sugar

2 Tbs unsweetened creamy peanut butter

2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated

2 tsp finely chopped basil

2 tsp finely chopped cilantro

2 tsp lemongrass paste

2 tsp Gochujang paste

1 Tbs Japanese curry powder (see notes)

 

  1. The meatballs: cut the meat into medium size cubes and place in a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Add the ginger, basil, cilantro, peppers, and scallions, and process until finely minced.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce, Sriracha, Gochujang paste, Hoisin sauce, salt, pepper, lemongrass paste and breadcrumbs, and mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat a toaster oven to 400F (205C). Create 22 medium size balls from the mixture. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. The sauce: meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. Pour into a wide pot, and cook over medium-high heat until the sauce is on the verge of boiling, mixing occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Add the meatballs, in one layer. Cook for about 40 minutes, tilting the pot occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through. Serve warm.
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