Feb 5, 2012
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Asian-style Meatballs

By: Johanna de Larazzabal-Blanco

Asian-style Meatballs

Pork meatballs simmered in coconut milk mixed with distinctively Asian aromatics.

Prep Time
20 minutes 
Cooking Time
30 minutes


400 grams flat rice noodles
700 grams ground pork
2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
7 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
canola or vegetable oil
8 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks lemongrass, white to light green parts only,
      sliced diagonally
         (Click to see How to Prep Lemongrass)
20 grams ginger, peeled and sliced
600 to 800 ml coconut milk       
2 to 3 finger peppers (siling haba)
         or a couple of bird's eye chilies (siling labuyo), to taste
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
juice from 4 calamansi
2 teaspoons fish sauce (patis)
1 bunch cilantro, lower part of the stems trimmed
3 stalks green onions, sliced diagonally


Prepare noodles according to package directions; set aside.

2  Mix the first 10 ingredients (ground pork to the egg), preferably by hand, until combined. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into balls.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, enough to coat the bottom. When oil is hot, place meatballs in the pan taking care not to crowd them. Do this in batches if they don't all fit. Brown meatballs on all sides; set aside. You don't need to cook meatballs through at this point.

In another pan, heat a couple of glugs of oil. Saute shallots, lemongrass, and ginger until shallots are soft. Add 600 ml coconut milk, chilies, Sriracha, calamansi juice, and fish sauce. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.

5  Add meatballs and simmer a further 5 to 10 minutes or until all the flavors meld and meatballs are cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning: Add patis if it needs more saltiness, calamansi juice if it needs more sourness, and Sriracha if it needs more heat. If you like a saucier dish, add more coconut milk.

6  Add cilantro and green onions (saving some for garnish), toss gently, and take off heat.

Serve atop noodles. Garnish with reserved cilantro and green onions and serve with more patis and calamansi on the side.

If you liked this recipe, we also recommend:  Tuna Pad Thai PastaVegetarian Pad Thai


Photography by Patrick Martires | Styling by Paulynn Chang Afable

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