Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thai Basil Meatballs and Mango Coconut Rice

I have really good friends. Like amazing friends! I got this recipe from my dear Jenny. We grew up together. We've been friends since we were but a glimmer in our parent's eyes. We've been through wonderful times, hard times, the best of times and some truly un-fun times. She is in my heart all the time. I only hope that I can help my tiny tot find and keep friends like this. Jenny's latest gift of friendship... meatballs. 

These meatballs are tangy, a little bit spicy (and I upped the spicy because we are into spicy and spicier) and totally flavor-filled. Coconut rice is not sweet, but the mango adds some juicy sweetness that the green onion balances out. I made up a quick cucumber salad and made a whole meal. 

Thai Basil Meatballs - recipe compliments of my dearest Jenny
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 pound of ground meat (I used 1/2 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound ground beef)
4 cloves of garlic - minced
1 egg
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped (I used jarred roasted red peppers)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 lime zested, and half juiced
3 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Add minced garlic, egg, red pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce (fish sauce does not taste fishy! It's not gross either!) Sriracha, basil, lime zest and juice to a large bowl. Mix well. Whisk in flour. 

Add ground meat and using your hands, mix everything together until well combined.

Form into smallish meatballs (I got 20 meatballs out of one pound of meat.; each meatball was about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and place on a parchment lined, rimmed baking pan.

Bake 30 minutes or until internal temp reaches at least 145 for pork/beef mixture or 160 if you use ground chicken or turkey.

The original recipe called for 2 pounds of meat, but I cut it in half since it was just the two of us. 1 pound of meat fed two really good eaters a nice dinner and made a great lunch for me the next day.  

Coconut Mango Rice - recipe from Budget Bytes
1 1/2 cups dry jasmine rice
1 3/4 cups light coconut milk (1 15oz can)
1 cup of water
1 large clove minced garlic
dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped mango (I used frozen chunks that I diced)
1/2 cup chopped fresh green onion

Rinse rice well. Add rice, coconut milk, water, garlic and salt to a sauce pan with a cover. Bring to a full boil and then reduce to the lowest flame your stove has and cover. Let rice simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the flame off and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Stir in mango and onion while you fluff the rice.

**Update - I've been skipping the garlic and salt in this rice, and I like it better without those two ingredients. 

This was a totally new dinner to us and it's going in the rotation! It was delicious. I am going to try ground turkey next - and I'm going to experiment with coconut oil versus coconut milk to make the rice. I had a taster bite at Trader Joes using coconut oil and it was great. I like the calorie savings with the light coconut milk so I'll do some calorie math before I change it up. I hope you all like this one as much as we did!


  1. If you use the coconut oil versus the milk...How much do you need to use?

    1. I talked to the cooking demo person at Trader Joes about that... she recommended using 2 tablespoons of coconut oil added to the cooking water. She used the cooking water ratio listed on the back of the bag of rice - 1 cup rice, to 2 cups liquid. I used a little less than that when using the coconut milk mixed with water. Good luck - let us know how it turns out!

  2. Sarah: How do you make the cucumber salad?

    1. So sorry for the delay!!
      Cucumber Salad
      1 large cucumber
      1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
      1 teaspoon sugar
      1 tablespoon sesame oil
      1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
      With a mandolin (or good knife skills) chop cucumber into thin rounds. Toss with vinegar, sugar and oil and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. I cover the dish and let it sit at room temp. It softens up the cucumber and really melds the flavors. Top with sesame seeds when you serve.

  3. I made this last night and it was very delicious. great recipe!!!

    1. I'm so glad you liked this!! Thank you for letting me know you liked this!! :)