Thai-style Meatballs

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Prep 30minBake 30minMakes 4-6 serves

Any recipe that gets kids rolling balls of mixture will help develop their fine motor skills no matter what their age. Fun to make, these meatballs also encourage independence — put all the components in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves.


200g dried rice vermicelli, cooked according to packet directions
fresh coriander leaves, lime wedges and steamed asian greens, to serve

500g pork and veal mince (see Baker's Tips)
18g (⅓ cup) panko rice crumbs
2 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons finely chopped drained canned water chestnuts
5 green shallots, thinly sliced
⅓ cup finely chopped coriander

2 teaspoon peanut oil
3 tablespoons good-quality green curry paste, or to taste (see Baker's Tips)
125ml (½ cup) good-quality chicken stock
500ml (1 cup) water
440ml can coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 teaspoons fish sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
2 teaspoon grated palm or brown sugar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
  2. Combine the mince, crumbs, milk, ginger, water chestnuts, green shallots and coriander in a large bowl and mix well with your hands until thoroughly combined. Use damp hands to roll 2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place in one layer in a shallow 20cm x 30cm/2.5 litre (10 cup) capacity ovenproof dish. Cover and place in the fridge while making the sauce.
  3. To make the sauce, combine the peanut oil and curry paste in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until aromatic. Add the stock, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and bring just to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are just cooked through. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with extra fish sauce, lime just and sugar if desired.
  5. Divide the noodles among four bowls and spoon over the meatballs and some of the sauce. Top with coriander leaves and serve with lime wedges and steamed Asian greens.

Baker's Tips

  • You can also use just pork mince for this recipe.
  • You may find you need to use a little less or add a little more green curry paste depending on the brand you use as they can vary greatly in flavour and heat intensity. Keep also in mind your childrens' flavour preferences as you don’t want to make it too hot for their sensitive tastebuds.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Kids in the Kitchen. CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

Photography by Alan Benson.