Blame Leave it to Beaver or the Brady Brunch: meatballs have been relegated to pedestrian fare for decades. This particular recipe, however, will dust off your taste buds. Each ingredient invites your palette to evolve as the flavors unfurl across your tongue.
The notion of a culinary wunderkammer (“cabinet of curiosities”) is the perfect way to describe this dish: a pinch of savory, a dash of sweet all wrapped in a bite sized morsel. From the earthiness of shiitake mushroom to the smooth curry aroma, these meatballs take umami to a new level. Let’s get cooking!
4 shiitake mushrooms
1½ lbs. ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
2 tsp. minced ginger
2 tsp. Thai green curry paste, or more to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
¹⁄3 c. green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
¼ c. chopped cilantro
salt to taste
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 recipe Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce (optional)
- Finely chop mushrooms.
In a medium bowl, combine mushrooms, turkey, ginger, curry paste, sugar, egg, green onions, and cilantro.
Add more curry paste and salt to taste.
Mix until well blended and form into 1-inch meatballs.
Heat peanut oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add meatballs and cook until all sides are nicely browned, about 10 minutes total.
You can also serve these meatballs in a Thai green curry sauce.
Once meatballs are done, remove from pan and set aside.
Add ½ cup finely chopped onions and 1 teaspoon minced garlic to the fat in the pan. Over medium heat, stir mixture until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add a 13½-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk and scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Whisk in 2 or more tablespoons Thai green curry paste and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice.
Taste and add curry paste and lime juice to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and add back meatballs. Simmer 5 minutes.
Garnish with 12 to 15 fresh basil leaves.