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Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs in Green Curry Broth

Scott Phillips

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer; 4 to 5 as a main course

Spicy, tangy, and deeply savory, this dish channels my favorite things about Thai food. Using chicken for the meatballs makes them feel light and balanced with the broth.


  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh lemongrass
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs; more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups matchstick-cut or grated carrots
  • Sriracha, for drizzling (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 190
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 11
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 16


  • Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the cumin, coriander, and 1-1/2tsp. salt, and toss well. Transfer to a plate and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • In a food processor, pulse half of the chicken until minced. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken. Mix the lemongrass into the chicken. To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1-1/2-oz. portions of the meat between your palms into balls; you should get 16.
  • Over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot, heat the oil until shimmering hot. Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.
  • Add the shallots, jalapeño, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the pot; cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in half of the cilantro and the basil, and remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the mixture. Return to the pot if using a regular blender. Add the meatballs, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs cook through (165°F), 15 to 20 minutes, adding the carrots during the last minute or two to cook until crisp-tender.
  • Divide the meatballs, carrots, and broth among bowls. Top with the remaining cilantro. Drizzle with Sriracha, if using, and serve.


Rate or Review


  • Love2cook4fmly | 03/12/2018

    This has become a regular favorite since we discovered it earlier this winter. The whole family loves it! To make it easy, I just buy ground chicken. So delicious! Often serve over brown rice.

    Also, leftover brown rice, any extra sauce and an egg makes for an amazing breakfast bowl!

  • ozz54 | 11/25/2017

    This is very good. I used ground turkey. The meatballs were tasty.
    I almost ate the soup after blending I could have just added the meatballs to that and be done. But I added the rest of the ingredients and it was even better... It's all good! I will be making this again, soon!

  • HelenW | 03/13/2016

    This is a fabulous recipe. I used ground thigh meat and the meatballs were light and had a great texture. The sauce had an amazing depth of flavor for something created so quickly and easily. Blending the sauce was a snap in the Vita-mix. Delicious! So happy I tried it and can't wait to make it again.

  • Beckim82 | 02/24/2016

    The flavors in this recipe were lovely, but I had trouble with the broth. On a weeknight, I found it onerous and quite messy to do all the liquid transfer required by a regular blender. I also found that in the end, too much delicious broth had boiled away as the meatballs simmered. One final caution is that the meatballs are on the dense side, since they don't have egg, bread, or other filler. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it made me miss the lost broth even more.

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