It seems curry is a dish we either really really love or really really hate. That’s according to a BBC Good Food survey of 5,000 Brits who named curry as their fifth favourite food and 4th most hated food at the same time!
We like curry in our house so I thought I’d give this Red Thai Meatball Curry from BBC Good Food website a try. After all, it’s got meatballs in it – a surefire recipe for success in our house.
It often surprises me what my kids will eat. They won’t touch soup, but they’ll eat prawns. They turn their nose up at casseroles or stews but they love black pudding. They hate most fish but they regularly ask for Thai food. I could spend my whole life trying to figure out their appetites and still be none the wiser.
Thai food, as I mentioned, always goes down well in our house. I don’t cook it much (make that ever) but once in a while we’ll go to the local cheapie Thai restaurant where I’ll watch wide-eyed as my kids order and eat the most surprising things.
Meatballs are another particular favourite of my kids – tossed with spaghetti or served with rice. So when I found this recipe that combines both Thai flavours and meatballs, it was like all my Christmases had come at once.
This dish is really quite simple to make. You can prepare the meatballs earlier in the day and stick them in the fridge while you go to pick the kids up from school. Then you just finish off with frying the meatballs and simmering the vegetables 15 minutes before you want to eat.
Having never done much in the way of Thai cooking before, I was a little worried I’d make this too hot. But the chilli peppers I used were quite mild and once mixed with the coconut milk, the red Thai curry paste does simmer down a bit.
What I Did Differently
I didn’t use bamboo shoots – I’m not a fan and hey, it doesn’t always have to be about what the kids like, right? Green beans on the other hand, I can’t get enough of, so I added a few more for good measure.
I used 1 Tbsp of the curry paste rather than 1½ just to be on the safe side; I added it a bit at a time and did a lot of tasting as I went along just to make sure this didn’t get too hot. I needn’t have worried – it was, as the BBC website says, a nice, zingy family-friendly curry.
The only other difference was I couldn’t find reduced-fat coconut milk so used the full fat version instead but it didn’t seem to affect the outcome.
The meatballs on their own are really nice – make sure you season them well while you’re mixing. I failed to add salt and pepper to one batch of these and they really weren’t quite as good.
The overall dish was quick and easy and my family all enjoyed it, enough to give it a seven out of ten. Would I make this again? Yes, definitely – there is something in this dish that all the family can like; my daughter liked the meatballs, my son loved the sauce.
Who knows I might get a little more adventurous and try a few other Thai dishes in future.
Makes 4 good-sized servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
- 500g lean beef mince (10% fat)
- 2 red chillies, 1 chopped, 1 sliced
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1-1½ Tbsp Thai red curry paste, depending on how spicy you like it
- 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
- 225g can bamboo shoots, drained
- 140g fine green beans, trimmed
- juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve
- Put the mince into a large bowl with the chopped chilli, ginger and egg, then season generously. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 20 meatballs. Can be made and chilled up to a day ahead.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then brown the meatballs for 5 mins. Tip onto a plate. Add the curry paste, fry for 1 min, then pour in the coconut milk and half a can of water. Bring back to the boil and stir to make a smooth sauce.
- Return the meatballs to the pan with the bamboo shoots and beans. Simmer for 5 mins until the beans are just tender and meatballs cooked through. To serve, season the sauce with salt, pepper and lime juice, then tear in the basil leaves. Scatter with sliced chilli and serve with rice or noodles and more lime wedges for squeezing over.
- Serve with rice or noodles.
Recipe reproduced with kind permission from BBC Good Food. You can read the full results of the survey into the nation’s food tastes in the latest edition of Good Food magazine.