Slightly spicy shrimp and pork meatballs made with Thai flavorings are fried in oil and then covered in a Thai sweet chili sauce.
Meatballs are not just for pasta. You are going to love this Thai-inspired meatball fusion recipe. This fun play on the traditional meatball uses shrimp and ground pork as the meat base. The meat is then seasoned with Thai-inspired flavorings like sambal oelek and fish sauce. After being fried, the meatballs are coated in a Thai sweet chili sauce.
Don’t worry if your pantry or grocery store isn’t stocked with Thai specialties. We provide more common substitutions so you can still enjoy these delicious fusion meatballs.
Thai Inspired Shrimp Meatballs
Thai Shrimp Meatballs Ingredients:
- Ground pork
- Garlic cloves
- Sambal oelek (or hot sauce) – Sambal oelek is a Thai hot sauce and it is usually sold in a small jar. If you can’t find it, or don’t want to add another hot sauce to your pantry, you can substitute sriracha or another hot sauce. Sambal oelek is different than siracha and has a much simpler ingredient list.
- Fish sauce (or soy sauce) – Fish sauce should be easy to find at your grocery store. It is made with fermented fish, which sounds gross, but it adds a delicious flavor to Asian-inspired dishes. You can substitute soy or tamari.
- Lime juice
- Panko (or bread crumbs but panko will get crunchier)
- Oil for frying – try peanut oil!
- Thai sweet chili sauce
Thai Shrimp Meatballs Directions:
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Once thawed, peel and devein shrimp. You can purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined to make this process quicker. Put the shrimp and ground pork in a food processor.
Add the garlic, egg, and sugar to the food processor with the meat.
Finally, add the sambal oelek, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt to the food processor.
Pulse the food processor until the mixture is nice and smooth and well combined.
Gently pulse the cilantro into the mixture. Remove the mix to a bowl and stir in the panko.
Using your hands or a cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls.
Set the balls aside on a platter and continue to make meatballs until all of the mixture is used up. You should get about 19-20 meatballs.
Once the meatballs are all ready to go, heat 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. We love to fry with peanut oil or coconut oil.
Cook the meatballs in batches for 8-10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs to a paper towel-lined platter when working in batches. Drain any oil that remains in the skillet.
Once you have finished cooking all the meatballs, return them all to the pan. Toss the meatballs with the Thai sweet chili sauce until well coated and heated through. We used almost the entire bottle of sauce but you can use as much or little as you prefer.
Garnish with more cilantro and serve with sticky rice. We ate these for dinner but they’d also make a great appetizer.
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or hot sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup panko
- ½ cup cilantro
- Oil for frying
- Thai sweet chili sauce
- Put the shrimp, pork, garlic, egg, sugar, sambal oelek, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and well combined.
- Mix in panko and cilantro.
- Using your hands or a cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into 2-inc balls. Set aside on a platter.
- Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Cook the meatballs in batches for 8-10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove meatballs to a paper towel-lined platter when working in batches.
- Finish cooking all the meatballs and then return to the pan.
- Toss the meatballs with the Thai sweet chili sauce until well coated. Garnish with more cilantro.
- Serve with sticky rice.