Meatballs in Peanut Curry Sauce
Thick canned coconut milk tames the fire in this curry. The brand Chao Koh is recommended because it develops a thick, creamy layer on top if you don’t shake the can before opening it.
Yields 32 to 40 meatballs.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. ground beef, medium lean (80 or 85%)
2 Tbs. vegetable oil; more if necessary
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. red curry paste (I like Krung Gaeng Ped brand); more to taste
1 cup canned coconut milk (refrigerate the can, don’t shake it, and use the thick cream at the top)
2 Tbs. chunky peanut butter
2 tsp. fish sauce (nam pla) or to taste
1-1/2 Tbs. sugar or to taste
1 tsp. chopped fresh mint or basil leaves for garnish
Put the flour on a plate. Put the beef in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and mix well. Shape the beef into small, firm balls about 1 inch in diameter; you’ll get 32 to 40. Roll the meatballs in the flour, dusting off the excess.
Line a plate with paper towels. In a wok or frying pan, heat the oil on high until it’s hot. Fry the garlic until browned, about 1 minute; remove and set aside. Add the meatballs and sear them on high heat, stirring and tilting the pan, until they’re browned evenly and cooked through, about 5 minutes; do this in batches, if necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
If no oil remains in the pan, add 2 tsp. and fry the red curry paste so it releases its aromas, about 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Add the reserved garlic and the solidified coconut milk and then stir in the peanut butter. Cook and stir to get a smooth, uniform consistency, about 1 minute. Taste and add fish sauce, sugar, or more curry paste to taste; the sauce shouldn’t be too sweet.
Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and simmer over low heat until they’re hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the mint or basil sprinkled on top.
Serve with Basmati Rice
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 44
, pp. 64
April 1, 2001