Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thai Chicken Meatballs with Red Coconut Curry, Baby Bok Choy & Shirataki Noodles


I got a free week of Blue Apron meals last week and while they provide all the ingredients you need to make the meals, I thought anyone could make this particular recipe, so I decided to document it.

I make red curries all the time, sometimes with rice as the base and others using noodles. I love me some noodles but we've been cutting carbs from our diet and rice noodles are just too high.

Shirataki noodles are a great substitute and give you all the satisfaction of rice noodles with a fraction of the calories and carbs.

Thai Chicken Meatballs with Red Coconut Curry, Baby Bok Choy & Shirataki Noodles
(from Blue Apron, here)

Most of my meals serve 4 but this only serves 2

10 Ounces Ground Chicken
2 - 8 oz packs of wide Shirataki noodles, the tofu ones tastes the best
3 Cloves Garlic (divided)
1 inch Piece of Ginger (divided)
2 Scallions (divided)
1 Stalk Lemongrass
½ Pound Baby Bok Choy
Small handful of cilantro (divided)
2 Tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs 
2 teaspoons to 2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste (to taste, will depend on how hot your brand is)
1 Lime
1 - 15 oz can of Coconut Milk (or 1/2 cup of Coconut Milk Powder & 1.5 cups of Water)

==

Assemble your ingredients. Mine were pre-packaged from Blue Apron. 


I'm using these Shirataki noodles, though the thin ones would work fine.



I detailed the preparation of Shirataki noodles in my last post, but I'll include the steps here.

==

To start, get a pot of water on the boil and salt it.

1 gallon of water to 1 tablespoon of salt, just like regular pasta.


While the water comes to a boil, start rinsing the noodles. 

They will smell really fishy out of the package, ignore it. 

I like to rinse in a colander set over a matching bowl with warm water. 



Get in there and agitate the noodles and when the bowl fills up, dump it out and let it fill again, agitating the whole time.

Repeat for 5 bowls of water. It'll take you probably 3 minutes of constant rinsing. It's ok, you can do it.


When your water comes to a boil, drain the rinsed noodles (notice the smell is virtually gone) and toss them into the boiling water.

Boil for 3 minutes.


Drain the boiled noodles well, try to get all the liquid off of them. No need to rinse.


Toss into a pan over medium-high heat for another 3 minutes, tossing well the entire time.

This will cook off any leftover moisture in the noodles and gives them a more traditional rice noodle texture.


Remove from the heat and set aside for now. It's ok if they get cold, the curry will warm them up. 


==

Meanwhile, you can prep the vegetables. 

Start with the ginger and garlic. 

If you've never used a small spoon to peel your ginger you should give it a try. It's much easier than using a peeler. 

Just scrape it along the ginger. 


You want roughly the same amount of ginger and garlic. 

Here I have about 1 inch of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic. 


Then, we need to split the ginger and garlic in half. 

Half for the meatballs and half for the curry.

Either mince very finely or use a microplane grater to get yourself a paste of both the ginger and garlic.

For the meatballs

For the curry

Next, slice the white parts up to the green parts of 2 scallions. 


Mince these and toss into the meatball bowl.


Go ahead and slice the rest of the scallions and set aside for now. We'll garnish the finished dish with these.


Zest an entire lime.

If you don't have a zester or microplane grater (you should ask for one for Christmas), just peel the very top layer of the lime and mince it well. Avoid the white pith under the skin.


Add to the meatball bowl.


Cut the lime into quarters and set aside.


Get yourself a handful of cilantro.


Pick off the leaves and discard the stems.



Separate into 2 piles and mince one, save the other for garnish.

Toss the minced cilantro into the meatball bowl.


Next, prep the lemongrass.


I bend it and cut where it naturally cracks.


Trim off the end and peel the hard exterior layers until you see that nice, soft purple interior.


Mince this as finely as you can. Even though it's the tenderest part of the lemongrass, it is still very fibrous. I should have minced mine even more than you see below.

Make sure you have at least 1 teaspoon and up to 2 teaspoons - you don't need any more than that.


Toss into the meatball bowl.


Put 2 teaspoon of butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. 


After the butter melts, add the minced aromatics and cook until everything has softened up, about 5-7 minutes, stirring every so often.


In the meantime, add the 10 ounces of chicken and 2 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs to the bowl.

After your aromatics are cooked, toss them back in. 

Season with some salt and pepper. I go towards the 1/4 teaspoon mark with Kosher salt.


Mix everything well, but try to be gentle.


I had around 12 oz of meat mixture at this point. 

You're going to want to make 12 meatballs, so you can weigh each one out if you are anal like I am. 

Around 1 oz each.


Add to the same skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil, 1-2 teaspoons worth.


Cook until brown on all sides or 150F internal.

It's ok if they are a little under cooked, they'll finish in the curry and we don't want to take them all the way to 165F right now or they'll be a bit tough at the end.


Evacuate to a plate for now.


While those cook, prep the baby bok choy. 

They tend to be pretty dirty under the leaves, so wash them well.

Just cut off the root end and separate the leaves. 


Hold for now.


==

Ok, time to start the curry.

To the same pan you cooked the meatballs in, add a drizzle of oil and add in the reserved ginger and garlic.


Scrape up any fond left from the meatballs and cook for 1 minute.


Add your red curry paste. This is to taste and will depend on how hot your curry paste is. Different brands will vary but I'd start with at least 2 teaspoons and go to a maximum of 2 tablespoons. 

This curry paste wasn't very hot, so I did 2 tablespoons.


Cook for 1 more minute, stirring well to incorporate the curry paste.

Add your can of coconut milk.

My kit came with coconut milk powder that I reconstituted in water. A can of coconut milk is way better as this stuff was a little watery. You can use light coconut milk, too.


Stir well and boost the heat to high for a boil.


Once you reach a boil, drop the heat to medium


Drop in your meatballs and let them cook for 5 minutes while the sauce reduces a bit.

Stir every so often to get them evenly cooked.


Next, drop in all the bok choy.


Stir well to get the hot curry to wilt the bok choy to just crisp tender - maybe 2-3 minutes.


To serve, drop your noodles into a bowl.


Ladle the curry over top, it'll warm up the noodles just fine. Garnish with the reserved green tops of the scallions and the whole cilantro leaves. Serve with the limes and maybe some Sriracha on the side.

==

This ended up being a great bowl of food. It satisfied my craving for noodles and ended up being heartier than I thought. The chicken meatballs were browned nicely and were tender, bursting with Thai flavors of lemongrass and ginger and garlic and worked great against the spicy red curry broth.

If you like red curry and noodles as much as we do, give this recipe a try!



Enjoy!

1 comment:

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