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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

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • user-6768105 | 05/08/2019

    I finally made this recipe after saving it a long time ago. Really sorry I waited. I used store ground chicken breast and scaled everything to 2 lbs of chicken. I added 1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs and 2 tbls of milk to help the density from other comments. The flavorful was wonderful. Next time I will likely increase the cumin and coriander. The broth needed salt so I will add next time. While I used sweet basil, I wondered if I should have used Thai basil. I served this over jasmine rice. I thought about adding finely chopped Napa cabbage to the meatball mixture to soften the meatballs but knew I would likely waste most of the head. The pre-ground meat seemed to cook a lot faster than the recommended times. All in all a delicious recipe.

  • butta211 | 04/02/2018

    Enjoyed the flavors but would like to figure out a way to make the meatballs less dense. Maybe some breadcrumbs and egg would help. Our group was pretty quiet as we gobbled this up and I found myself going back for seconds so couldn't have been all bad. Also made brown rice.

  • 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!

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