These Sticky Baked Thai Chicken Meatballs are juicy, tender and bursting with savory flavor. Baked for convenience and coated in a sticky, slightly sweet Thai sauce, these meatballs are perfect for game day, as an appetizer when entertaining, or for dinner!
Optional Garnishes & Serving Options: Crushed Peanuts, Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Green Onions, Red Chili Flakes, Lime Wedges, White Rice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Make the meatballs: In a large bowl combine the chicken, panko, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of ginger, scallions, jalapeno, lemongrass, cilantro, fish sauce and curry paste. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Use your hands or a rubber spatula to gently mix until just combined. Do NOT overmix.
Using wet hands to prevent sticking, roll the chicken mixture into golf ball-sized balls (about 2 tablespoons mixture each). If the mixture is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of panko, at a time, to the mix until it is easier to shape. Transfer meatballs to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into a meatball reads 165 degrees F.
MEANWHILE, make the sauce: In a skillet, or wok, combine all the sauce ingredients, plus remaining 2 cloves of garlic and tablespoon of ginger. Whisk to combine. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Turn heat off, but keep pan on burner to keep warm.
To serve: When meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to the skillet and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately with optional garnishes. Enjoy!
*YIELD: approximately 26-28 meatballs 1. The recipe calls for ground chicken, but make sure you do NOT use all ground chicken breast or the meatballs won’t be as juicy and flavorful. Purchase ground chicken that is made with both white and dark meat. Bonus, ground chicken that is a mixture of both is cheaper to buy!2. The recipe calls for fish sauce. Fish sauce adds a wonderful umami flavor and there is no great substitution. However, if you are in a pinch, or don’t like fish sauce, you can substitute soy sauce.3. When mixing the ingredients for the meatballs, make sure you do NOT overmix!! Mix everything until the ingredients are JUST combined. Overmixing the ingredients will cause your meatballs to be less tender.4. To keep the meatballs from sticking to your skin when rolling them into balls, lightly oil your hands. This trick works like a charm! Also make sure you DON’T roll your meatballs into a tight ball. When meatballs are packed too tight they will end up tough and chewy after being cooked.5. Make sure you form your meatballs into roughly the same size. You don’t need to be overly obsessive, just make sure they are around the same size. If you want to be precise, you can use an ice cream scoop (it is what I use).6. You can make the meatballs mini sized or jumbo sized if you want, just see the above note (#5), and scale down or up the baking time accordingly.