Thai Turkey Curry Meatballs with Kale
Serves 2 hungry eaters
1 pound ground turkey
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, grated, divided
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated, divided
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp red curry paste
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (15 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cups de-stemmed, roughly chopped kale
Juice of 1 lime
Optional: brown or white rice
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, 1/4 cup cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg, half of the garlic, half of the ginger, 1 tsp red curry paste, and salt. Use a cookie scoop or your hands to measure the meatballs out into 8 to 10 meatballs. Roll them gently to ensure they don’t become tough.
Warm the oil in a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides but do not cook through. Transfer to a holding plate and set aside.
Make sure you have 1 tbsp oil/fat in the skillet (you may have to drain some off, or you may have to add a bit) and add the onion. Cook until softened, then add the remaining garlic and ginger and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of curry paste and continue cooking, smashing it down into the onions to make sure it really gets toasted and cooked. It will stick to the pan a little - that’s ok! When it’s very fragrant and the red color has darkened, around 1 minute, stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar until the paste has dissolved into the coconut milk.
Raise heat to high to bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to low to bring the mixture to a simmer. Add meatballs back into the curry sauce, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs have cooked through. Remove the skillet from heat.
Stir in the kale and lime juice. The kale will wilt very quickly. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over your choice of rice (cauliflower rice is great option here!) or over rice or egg noodles, or even zoodles!
Cauliflower rice or noodles are a great healthy base if you’re not wanting rice or noods.
To grate the garlic and ginger, use a microplane or the smallest hole on a box cheese grater. If you don’t know what a microplane is, close Instagram, open Amazon, and order one immediately. The long skinny one by the brand “Microplane” is watcha need. But fine, yes, you can just mince it.
No, you really can’t use curry powder. Curry paste is available at most major grocers in the Asian section.
You’ll probably use 1 entire bunch of cilantro. Don’t buy the little plastic clamshell, that won’t be enough! You need a big bunch.
Want to pack in more veggies? Sauté in a red bell pepper with the onion and add even more kale at the end.
Hate kale? Use spinach, or omit completely.
To make it vegetarian, omit all of the turkey meatball ingredients, and start with sautéing the onion to make the sauce. Instead of simmering the meatballs in the sauce, simmer large cauliflower florets in the sauce until tender, around 15 minutes. Finish the recipe as written.