Party food is the best because you get to experience so many different tastes and textures in one night! But the idea that delicious party food is unhealthy is a huge myth. When you start with healthy, quality ingredients, you can snack until your heart is content and still be doing something good for your body.
These bite-sized Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce are a go-to entertaining food at my house. The meatballs are filled with the bold flavors of lemongrass, garlic, and ginger and are incredibly tasty all on their own. But dunk them into this sweet and spicy sauce, and they are out-of-this-world delicious.
You can serve these meatballs straight off a platter with toothpicks, or let your guests fill lettuce cups with the meatballs, some sliced radish, cilantro, and a drizzle of the sauce.
Either way, you’ll make some hungry party-goers very happy.
Thai Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce
Yields 25 small meatballs
For the Meatballs:
– 1 pound ground pork
– 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely minced
– 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
– 4-5 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
– 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
– 1 carrot, grated
– 1/2 cup packed cilantro
– 2 tablespoons fish sauce
– 1.5 tablespoons Coconut Aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
– Black pepper, to taste
– Oil, for pan frying
For the Dipping Sauce:
– 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
– 1 lime, juiced
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon finely grated carrot
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
– 1/2 tablespoon cilantro stems, finely diced
– 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
1. Smash a lemongrass stalk with the side of your knife, peeling the fibrous outer layers away and finely chopping the softer inner layers. Measure about 1 tbs and add to a food processor with the smashed garlic cloves, white and light green parts of the onions, grated ginger, grated carrot, cilantro, fish sauce, Coconut Aminos or soy sauce, chili flakes, and black pepper.
2. Pulse the ingredients until everything is finely minced. Add the mixture to a bowl with the ground pork and combine until the mixture is fully incorporated. Roll pork into small meatballs and set aside to rest while you prepare the sauce.
3. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and reserve.
4. Add some oil (I used avocado oil) to a pan and bring to medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches to not overcrowd the pan and allow them to brown on all sides until they are cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). Finished meatballs can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven while you finish cooking the rest.
5. Serve the meatballs with the dipping sauce, garnishing with the remaining sliced green onions if desired.