Whole30 Thai Curry Meatballs
I decided to try this recipe on a whim because I had all the ingredients to make Thai curry, but the only meat I had was ground bison. I thought it sounded a little strange, but it ended up being one of my husbands absolute favorite Whole30 dishes! I consider that to be a really big success. Oh yah, and I really loved it too! 🙂
You will need a few “special” ingredients to make this, and you’ll find my recommendations over at the post I made about stocking your pantry for Whole30 (post coming soon!). Being prepared is really important when it comes to eating healthy, but I definitely have nights when I’m not that prepared, and I have an upcoming post about that as well.
The first special ingredient you’ll need is fish sauce. This smelly stuff is really good in small quantities. I like to use it to make Thai Roasted Brussels Sprouts (recipe coming soon)! It really adds some body to a dish, but if you taste it by itself…well, let’s just say it’s kinda fishy (as the name suggests!).
The second special ingredient you’ll need is curry paste. I have been using green Thai curry paste because that’s the kind I bought, but you can easily substitute it for red curry paste as well. Of course, read the ingredients to make sure they are compliant. The one I linked above is compliant and their red Thai curry paste is compliant as well.
So…can you use curry powder instead of curry paste? Well, curry powder is not the same thing. Curry powder is used more in Indian dishes and has a lot fewer ingredients. Curry paste is used more in Thai dishes and has a distinct flavor. That being said, if you want to try it with curry powder, I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂
This dish is really simple, and you can put it all together in less than an hour. It would be an excellent dish to serve to guests in my opinion because it’s kind of impressive 😉 It looks beautiful plated as well! Especially when served over Cilantro Lime Whole30 Cauliflower Rice!
For the meatballs
Using your hands, gently combine the ground meat (I used bison) with the spices (ground ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, cumin, fresh chopped cilantro, and fish sauce). Don’t over mix, as this will make your meatballs tough.
Form several meatballs, making them uniform in size. I use a metal scoop like this that neatly portions out about 1.5 tablespoons. I made my meatballs small because I wanted them to cook quickly, but feel free to make them bigger. Just beware that the bigger they are the lower, and slower they will need to cook in order to make them done all the way through.
Heat some coconut oil in a skillet on medium high until hot (about 1 minute) and add the meatballs. Brown them on all sides and cook until the center reaches 160ºF. 7-10 minutes.
Set the meatballs aside and start your curry.
For the curry
Using the same pan you used for the meatballs, drain some of the fat out but keep abut 1-2 tablespoons in the pan.
Turn the heat on medium and heat up the pan again. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and cherry tomatoes to the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the curry paste and fish sauce and mix well. Then, add the coconut milk and water.
Turn the heat down and let everything simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst and are softened.
Add the meatballs back to the pan, along with the chopped cilantro and stir for 1-2 minutes until the meatballs have reheated and are coated with the sauce.
Turn off the heat, and add the juice from half a lime to the curry. Stir and serve over Cilantro Lime Whole30 Cauliflower Rice.