Vietnamese Meatballs with Spicy Peanut Sauce & Pickled Veg
I love meatballs, they are so versatile and these are no exception! Cooking with fragrant ingredients adds a huge amount of flavour, and for very little effort you accomplish something quite different and special. I used lemongrass, ginger and garlic as the aromatic base to my meatballs and they worked wonderfully with the pork, giving this dish a very South East Asian feel. To keep Oriental continuity I made a fiery peanut sauce using peanut butter, Sriracha sauce (which I'm totally obsessed with at the moment) and natural yogurt.
The crunchy pickled veg take minutes to make and add the most fantastic texture! This recipe can be used in several ways, I created a wrap for a light main meal but you could ditch the carb and serve this as a starter.
Makes 15 meatballs
Ingredients for the meatballs
500g minced pork
3 lemongrass stalks, peeled and roughly chopped
2 inch piece of ginger
2 spring onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
Ground nut oil, for cooking
Ingredients for the vegetables
Half a cucumber
100g red cabbage
3 tbsp rice vinegar
Ingredients for the peanut sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter, I used Meridian crunchy
5 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Start by slicing the vegetables very thinly using a mandolin, if you don't have one use a sharp knife. Place the vegetables in a shallow bowl and cover with the rice vinegar, set to one side.
In a food processor, blitz the lemongrass, ginger, spring onion, garlic and coriander until you have a rough textured paste. Add the nam pla and Sriracha and blitz for 30 seconds to combine. Empty the paste into a large bowl and add the minced pork. Mix together thoroughly, using your hands is probably easiest and most satisfying! Roll the mixture into 15 meatballs.
Now heat a large pan with a glug of nut oil over a medium flame. Once hot, add the meatballs to the pan. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until browned on all sides and cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, stir together the ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce and place in a serving dish.
Serve the meatballs immediately on wraps with the pickled veg and lashings of spicy peanut sauce. Enjoy!