This was a proud moment in the Em’s Food for Friends Test Kitchen. The standout in this dish was hard to pin…..the gloriously fragrant and spicy turkey balls, the slippery noodles in the rich green curry sauce or the crisp, fresh and punchy salad on top. Turkey mince? Who ever uses turkey mince? Me, from now on. It is the unsung hero here my friends. Seriously lean, budget friendly, super tasty and the perfect vehicle to carry all these intense Thai flavours. It may not be the norm in Thailand or even in your house but it will be a staple in mine from now on. Awesome.
If and only if you have a serious aversion to turkey by all means use chicken or pork mince. It will still be delicious…….just maybe not AS delicious!
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 30 Minutes $ Low Budget
500gm of turkey mince
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves of garlic
3cm piece of ginger, peeled
1 green chilli (seeds removed if preferred)
1 stalk of lemon grass, white part only
4 kaffir lime leaves
2-3 tbs of green curry paste (depending on how hot you like it)
1 cup of chicken stock
400gm can of coconut cream
2 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbs of palm or brown sugar
4 portions of dried rice stick noodles, cooked according to packet instructions (I used Wokka brand as they are the perfect portion size)
A handful of snowpeas, halved lengthways, strings removed
A handful of sugar snap peas, strings removed
1/2 a cup of frozen baby peas
1 bunch of coriander, leaves removed from stalks
1 cup of bean shoots
A handful of Thai basil (optional)
2 spring onions, cut into 3cm batons and then finely julienned
Place the garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon grass and coriander stalks in a turbo chef or food processor and blitz to a fine paste. If you don’t have either of those, use a sharp knife in a back and forth motion or a mortar and pestle to pound into a paste.
In a large bowl combine the turkey mince, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 tablespoon of the green curry paste, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and half of the minced aromatics. Use your hands or a spatula to combine the mixture.
Heat a large pot and add a little peanut or vegetable oil. Once hot fry the remainder of the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon grass and coriander stalks until aromatic and then add the curry paste. Fry for a further minute and then pour in the stock and coconut cream and stir to combine. Add the remaining fish sauce, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves and brown sugar, stir and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer.
Wet your hands and roll the turkey mixture into little bite sized balls and then pop them in the simmering curry sauce. Once all the balls are in the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes or until they are cooked through.
In a medium sized bowl combine half of the coriander leaves, the thai basil leaves, bean shoots and spring onion. Toss to combine and cover with cold water. Pop the bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes or pop a few ice cubes in to really crisp everything up.
A few minutes before serving place the snow peas, sugar snaps and baby peas in the curry and stir through the remaining coriander leaves. Simmer for no more than 2-3 minutes. You want the veggies to be bright green and just tender.
Divide the cooked noodles between four serving bowls. Evenly dish out the meatballs and then ladle over the curry sauce and peas. Drain the water from the herb salad and use your hand to place a generous pile on top of the curry. Serve with love and pride!!
Ps. For me, presentation plays a huge part in serving a meal. A simple wipe around the plate with a cloth to remove any spilled sauce makes all the difference!