Ginger and lemongrass meatballs are so moist and uber flavorful that they don’t need any sauce. This blend of lamb and pork boldly seasoned with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, basil and cilantro will knock you out with flavor and aroma. Just serve the meatballs on a plate with a side of braised scallions for dinner or stash them all in the fridge for some high-protein snacking. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Meatballs are a terrific vehicle for getting more lamb into your diet. Why use ground lamb instead of beef? Lamb is a great source of B vitamins, niacin and zinc, and it’s one of the richest sources of CLA. If you want to make these meatballs entirely out of lamb, go for it. Just be extra careful not to overcook them, as it’s easy to overcook lamb resulting in a tough rather than tender meatball.
Speaking of which, the two tablespoon of water in the ingredient list? Water helps keep meatballs extra tender and moist. Don’t worry about the meat holding together, it will. Don’t skip the fish sauce either. It gives these meatballs mouth-watering umami flavor and saltiness (so don’t shake in more).
If you don’t try the braised scallions with these meatballs, keep the recipe in mind for another meal. Don’t we all end up with extra green onions in our fridge at one point or another? Instead of letting them go bad, throw those onions in pan with butter, coconut oil and water. You’ll end up with a side dish that brings a little bit of healthy sulfur into your life and a new addiction: the sweet, salty, crispy tips of braised scallions.
Servings: 30 small meatballs
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour
- 1 pound ground lamb (450 g)
- 1/2 pound ground pork (230 g)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (3.8 cm)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (120 ml)
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (240 ml)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (20 ml)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (30 ml)
- 2 tablespoons water (30 ml)
- 1 bunch of scallions (about 16 stalks),trimmed
- 1 tablespoon butter (15 ml)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml)
- 1/2 cup of water (120 ml)
Preheat oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC).
In a large bowl combine the ground meat with the egg and carrot.
Peel away the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass until a softer, pale yellow inner stalk appears. Cut off the bulb at the end of the stalk and discard. Thinly slice the lower half of the stalk for this recipe; the greener, upper half will be too woody and tough to use.
In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, basil, cilantro, fish sauce, lime juice and water. Blend until finely chopped, scraping down the sides a few times.
Gently mix the lemongrass/herb mixture into the ground meat. Form about 30 1-inch diameter meatballs. Don’t pack them too tight; gently formed meatballs that seem a little loose are more tender than tightly packed meatballs.
Place the meatballs on a broiler pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just slightly pink in the middle.
Eat the meatballs immediately or keep them for several days in the refrigerator. Once cooled, the meatballs can also be frozen.
To make the braised scallions, lay the scallions in a buttered or oiled 9×13 rimmed baking dish. The scallions can be overlapping.
Cut the tablespoon of butter into small pieces and drop over the scallions. Drizzle the coconut oil and sprinkle salt on top.
Add the water to the pan and tightly cover the pan with foil.
Braise for 30 minutes (can be in the oven at the same time as the meatballs).