braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth

I’ve become the kind of person (a grandmother, perhaps; you can say it) who always implores you to stay for dinner. But it’s less benevolent than it sounds. I mean, yes, absolutely I’d love your company and not just because it will provide a welcome break from our usual dinner conversations of “Please take a bite. Of anything.” “No, I promise, that’s not a parsley fleck.” Or “But you liked roasted carrots last week!” And not just because I’ve found it takes 47 group texts to make dinner plans but if I say “just swing by at 6,” the answer is far more often a simple “Yes!” Not just because it’s part of my ongoing ulterior agenda to make entertaining less fussy — nobody is imagining you’d bring out a tray of hor d’oeuvres on a Tuesday night, thus nobody has to be disappointed that that will literally never happen — and therefore a more frequent thing in our lives. And not just because once you’re already making dinner, accounting for a serving or two extra is barely a hurdle.

Or, it’s not exclusively for these reasons. Mostly, I find it makes weeknight cooking more fun. I usually use it as an excuse to try something new that is maybe a step more effort than I’d usually put in, not entirely sure my family will receive it with the standing ovation and outpouring of gratitude that I believe each and every one of my cooking efforts are owed. (I’m kidding. Probably.)

ginger-garlic meatballsginger-garlic meatballscouldn't find my microplanebroth assembly

It’s one of these evenings a couple years ago that led me to this soup. It seemed to have an element for everyone. Meatballs go over well with both kids and adults, keep well (when dinner isn’t going to start on time), and warm up well when there are leftovers. The broth is rich and quick; no bag of food scraps or chicken bones required. We served it with rice on the side, so that people who wanted to could add as much as they wanted (ahem, kids) and people who were not eating rice could skip it and still have a great soup. I couldn’t find lemongrass that day and added some spinach instead, but ended up keeping the spinach in in later rounds. We served it with lightly pickled red chiles, fresh mint and cilantro, and a lot of lime on the side and it was so good, I’ve made it many times since.

broth assembly

How rude of me to hold out on you, then. I’d hoped to give it more context, but didn’t get terribly far. The flavors here are reminiscent of a Thai green curry — green curry paste often includes chiles chiles, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, makrut lime, and cilantro — but also a jok, if the rice was cooked long enough to get porrige-y. Eggs might be added too. In reality, it’s more of a simplified mash-up of all of the above, and it’s wildly delicious. I hope you love it too.

ginger-garlic meatballs in coconut broth


One year ago: Triple Coconut Cream Pie
Two years ago: Pistachio Cake and A Reall Great Pot of Chickpeas
Three years ago: Potato Pizza, Even Better, Carrot Tahini Muffins and Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka
Four years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Soda Syrup, Artichoke Gratin Toasts and Maple Pudding Cake
Five years ago: Lamb Meatballs with Feta and Lemon
Six years ago: Ramp Pizza and Yogurt Panna Cotta with Walnuts and Honey
Seven years ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe, Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cinnamon Toast French Toast
Eight years ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll and Crispy Potato Roast
Nine years ago: Tangy Spiced Brisket
Ten years ago: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper and Buttermilk Ice Cream
Eleven years ago: Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes, Whole Wheat Apple Muffins, and Caramelized Shallots
Twelve years ago: Black Bean Confetti Salad and Margarita Cookies and Tequila Lime Chicken

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Candy Pork and Sunken Black Forest Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Sausage and Potato Roast with Arugula and Bakery-Style Butter Cookies, Endive Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Walnuts
2.5 Years Ago: Russian Honey Cake, Pumpkin Bread, and Winter Squash Pancakes with Crispy Sage and Brown Butter
3.5 Years Ago: The Broccoli Roast and Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
4.5 Years Ago: Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil and Homemade Harissa

Braised Ginger Meatballs in Coconut Broth

I’ve made these before with a mixture of chicken and pork and it works just fine. If you can find it, one stalk of lemongrass, outer leaves removed and cut into 1-inch lengths, is a great addition here; add it with the ginger and garlic to the broth and remove it at the same time. I always add a bit of greens to this recipe. Baby spinach is the quickest. Since it’s May, thinly sliced asparagus or trimmed asparagus in 1-inch segments would be wonderful. Add chiles to taste; two are called for. I often just put a few slices in (because: kids), and then marinate the rest in a little vinegar, setting them out to be spooned on top by those who want more heat.

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Broth
  • One 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh red chiles, thinly sliced, plus extra for serving (see Note)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • A few handfuls of baby spinach
  • To serve
  • Roughly chopped fresh mint and cilantro leaves
  • Additional lime wedges
  • Steamed jasmine rice (I estimate about 1/4 cup cooked per serving)

Make the meatballs: Preheat your oven to 425°. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl; I like to do so with a fork or potato masher. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (I used this scoop) and arrange them on a large rimmed baking sheet about 
1-inch apart. Bake until the meatballs are golden brown and just cooked through, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the broth: In a large, ideally wide, saucepan, combine the coconut milk, stock, ginger, garlic, chiles (to taste), lime zest and juice, fish sauce, turmeric, and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so the broth is simmering. Simmer 10 minutes, until the flavors are infused into the broth. You can leave everything in, but I like to remove everything with a skimmer for a smooth broth. Season to taste, if needed, with salt. 
Add the meatballs to the broth, return to a simmer, cover, and simmer until cooked through and tender, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Add spinach and cook just to wilt. Season the broth with more sugar, salt and lime juice if necessary. Serve with herbs, additional chiles, lime wedges, and rice.

Do Ahead: The uncooked meatballs can be refrigerated on a baking sheet for up to one day. The broth can also be prepared in advanced; it will keep for three days.

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357 comments on braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth

  1. Susan

    I love Brigid Schulte’s book “Overwhelmed” where she talks about a group of friends in Denmark who have a rotating spaghetti and ketchup night where everyone is only allowed to serve spaghetti and ketchup so they can focus on spending time with each other instead of getting a fancy meal/clean house/well-dressed children all ready for guests. This recipe sounds much tastier than spaghetti and ketchup but either way I’m 100% in favor of low-key dinner hosting.

  2. kelly

    thank you for using the term ‘makrut’ instead of what the type of lime has been otherwise commonly referred to. I look forward to trying this recipe!

    1. Maro

      thanks for making me look that up — i had no idea. i’m also so disappointed, and utterly un-surprised, at the number of negative comments in the article I read on why to use Makrut instead. people really just choose to be horrible.

    2. LKC

      This looks so good but I don’t eat pork. Do you think it would work with just ground chicken or just ground turkey?

      1. Kate Nicholson

        I make this about 1-2 times/month. Sometimes with pork, sometimes with chicken, sometimes with turkey. Sometimes I make a half recipe, sometimes a full–but it always gets eaten up with great gusto.

    3. Claudie

      Thank you, I learned something today that I was entirely ignorant of before. There is a Slate article about why Makrut is the term we should all use.

  3. BeachGirl

    This sounds so good! It’s still a little raw outside and this is perfect! I need to de-egg and de-gluten the meatballs. If anyone does this I’d like to hear how it goes!

    1. I make meatballs all the time without eggs or breadcrumbs. Just keep everything else the same, except perhaps reduce the salt a bit and you should be fine.

    2. I use ground oats all the time in meatballs to deglutenize them for my husband. I usually measure the oats in a one to one ratio with the recipe and then grind them up.

    3. Amyo

      Bizarrely, the liquid in a can of chickpeas is a great substitute for egg – it’s called Aquafaba. Just use three tablespoons liquid to equal one egg. I used it for this recipe (i have a little one who is severely allergic to egg) and I actually only needed the equivalent of one egg, so three tablespoons. Worked perfectly!

    4. Cindy B.

      I don’t know where you live, but in New York they have gluten free breadcrumbs that I buy pretty frequently (I’m not G-free but my friend is and she comes to us for all of the major holidays). You can also take some gluten free bread cut it into cubes, toast it, and then put it in the food processor to make crumbs.

      1. Tabitha

        Have you tried freezing this once it’s all cooked? I’m thinking it would work, most broth things do. I’m looking for some healthy meals to stock my freezer with before our next baby is born!

    5. Coriander

      If only you same folks would pipe up about some of Deb’s delicious-looking baked goods and making them gluten/egg/dairy-free! Have you successfully replaced this trio in any of her other recipes?

      1. Libby

        It’s a lot harder to make these replacements in baking recipes where the flour/egg/dairy is much more central to the recipe. I always recommend starting from a recipe that’s already gluten-free/vegan rather than trying to convert a recipe to gluten-free/vegan (check out for tons of good recipes). There are some good gluten-free all-purpose flour blends out there, like Cup 4 Cup, which I would recommend over substituting with just almond flour, rice flour, etc. Aquafaba or a flax egg can be used as an egg substitute, or in some cake recipes you can even use apple sauce or mashed ripe banana. You just have to take into account that all of these might change the flavor. As for dairy, you can sometimes easily substitute vegan options like earth balance for butter, non-dairy milks like almond milk for milk (add some vinegar to sub for buttermilk), and coconut cream is great for buttercream/whipped cream substitutes. Just don’t expect anything to come out exactly the same when you make these substitutions because baking is chemistry and flour, eggs, and dairy are all used for a reason!

        1. Coriander

          Thank you, Libby. I have some experience with changing up recipes to exclude gluten, eggs, and dairy, but it sure is nice to have input from others that have experimented with particular recipes and come up with the best combinations for same. Have you used aquafaba as an egg substitute yourself?

        1. Coriander

          Thank you very much, Serenanmora! I’m going to take a close look at your blog, looks like you’ve come up with some good recipes.
          I’m going to be making these meatballs soon,I’ve been subscribing to the comments for this recipe, and wow, it looks like a real winner according to almost every single comment I’ve seen.

      1. Yes this is how I make these meatballs with grated zucchini skipping the egg and breadcrumbs. It’s how Nigella makes a similar dish with turkey meatballs and Thai green curry in Simply Nigella.
        @Deb have you seen the Nigella recipe? Definitely in need of more meatball recipes that skip the breadcrumbs and egg. I saw an Ottolenghi recipe that used yogurt instead… anymore wonderful ideas from your kitchen in that direction would be lovely. Thanks

    6. Jeanette

      Question: what kind/size of Staub pot did you use and that you show in the photos? I am looking for some bigger than a 3-qt pot for my arsenal!
      Ok, back to recipe! I have been eyeing this since it came out, it looks so lucious! And it was. I followed recipe except I used turkey sausage not ground pork (so no extra salt), shredded kale and snap peas not spinach, matzo meal not Panko, and Gochujang instead of chiles (all these substitutions because that’s what I had). Very yummy! I also did as someone else mentioned previously: there is only two of us and I only had 1 pound of meat, so I halved the recipe for the meatballs but made all the broth. So glad I did that! Now we have enough broth and meatballs for lunch :))

    7. Neven

      I often pad out my meatballs with kidney beans (canned, rinsed, heated, rinsed again, drained), but for this recipe I usually use lentils instead.

  4. I can totally relate to your “usual dinner conversations” and have noted that my kids mostly refrain from all the negative comments about what they don’t like when guests are at the table. And they may even be more willing to try adventurous foods (everybody else is doing it, after all.) Good reasons to have company more often, I have also concluded.

    1. Dana

      I made this with tofu-carrot meat balls that I adapted from a nytimes Thai carrot burger. I used “No-chicken” Better than Bouillon and soy sauce instead of fish sauce The tofu balls fell apart a bit but it was delicious.

      1. This was delicious! However, it took at least double the time specified, and my meatballs sucked up all of the broth despite simmering for the time specified. Can you advise why this may have happened?

    1. eclecticdeb

      While fish sauce does smell pretty pungent, when used sparingly it gives an extra “oomph” to dishes like this. I’d recommend start with 1/3-1/2 of the amount, then add more if you feel like it tastes a little flat.

  5. llaney

    Do you make chicken stock with the Better Than Bouillion in the photo? I have thought about doing that but am always concerned about the sodium/salty-ness, but if it has worked for you I am willing to give it a go!

    1. Jo

      They have a low sodium version I use – Costco has it. I buy the rotisserie chicken and use the carcass to make broth with some of this to boost flavor. Used my crockpot this last time it was so easy.

      1. subtlespeak

        This was delicious, and I say that as a Southeast Asian! I used yardlong beans since those are more widely available in my country than spinach. Another sub I made was calamansi (Philippine lemon) instead of limes. I also used fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut, and added a bit of shiitake broth. This dish would probably be nice with some shiitake as well. One thing — I would recommend not to bring the coconut milk to a heavy boil because that makes it curdle. Thank you for this recipe!!

    2. Nicole

      I have switched to Better Than Bouillon for all my stock needs when I don’t have homemade on hand and am very happy with the results.

  6. Alexis Jonson

    This looks amazing! I am allergic to eggs and I am wondering if you have any recommendations for a binder for the meatballs to substitute?

  7. I don’t do a lot of thai / vietnamese flavors at home but I saw this and was like “yup, that’s our dinner tonight. ” It came out great, and the whole family (including a 2nd-grader and preschooler) loved it.

    One of my favorites in a long time. Thanks Deb!

    1. ADR

      Made this and loved it. And promptly went out of town and was concerned frozen leftovers wouldn’t be nearly as good. It froze beautifully!

      1. Deb

        Saw this recipe posted on Instagram this week and decided to try it tonight. Meatballs were half pork, half chicken. We LOVED it, as did our guests, who asked for the recipe. Served it on udon noodles, though rice would be yummy, too. Thank you for another winner!

    1. paevans

      I bet Chicken would be delicious – Deb’s Baked Chicken Meatballs (on this site) are so good (and easy to make). Try it!

  8. Charlotte in Toronto

    Looks very nice. We’re having similar weather on Toronto. I’m wanting to eat soup. So this is a perfect and delicious fix. I’ll add a heavy dose of cilantro (I seem to have developed a cilantro fetish). Thank you for this. And I must say, I love what you’ve done with that lime. So pretty 💚

  9. Shannon

    Looks wonderful! If you were going to add eggs to this soup would you drizzle them in ala Egg Flower Soup or would you top the soup with a soft boiled egg? Or otherwise?

    1. Lauren

      I was thinking of making this with hard boiled eggs instead of meatballs to make it vegetarian, reminds me of a South Indian dish at one of my favourite restaurants. Probably tofu would also be good!

    1. MK

      I was also wondering if the coconut milk could be eliminated and replaced with more broth or something else. I don’t like coconut, but everything else in this recipe sounds delicious!

    2. I love curries but hate coconut and have done a fair amount of reading about this. I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, but the main two substitutions I see are heavy cream and yogurt. Regular milk is much thinner, which is why people stay away from using it. Yogurt is best in applications where it won’t be heated too much and potentially break, so I might go with half-and-half here (2 cups of cream is kind of a lot, I think). If (when, eventually) I try it, I’ll report back!

    3. Lisa

      I would try evaporated milk. It’s slightly sweet (but not like condensed!) and probably has a similar consistency. It holds up well in soup.

  10. Jody

    If I’m trying to scale this down (halve) then could I do one can coconut and one cup broth? Will serve over rice as sauce.

    1. Karina Lake

      Hi, It’s 1 can coconut milk 2 cups broth! Which is basically a can of broth. Rather than trying to scale down and having odd amounts of liquid ingredients left over, just make the full recipe and freeze half the broth for later. Scaling down the meat is much easier, although again, meatballs freeze well, so make a full batch and then freeze half the meatballs (separate from the sauce).

    2. Jody

      Update that I made the whole amount and just froze a few uncooked meatballs for next time. Broth all sucked up by rice and delicious

    3. Sarah

      I made half the meatballs and the full amount of broth–it was so delicious that I was thrilled to have extra!

  11. leah

    This sounds wonderful. The broth itself is a good start to innovating on the meat or non-meat protein that can be added. Yes to chicken or turkey, minced shrimp or fish. Heck, if there’s no time to make meatballs, you can add sliced chicken breast, shrimp or fish fillets. Perhaps even tofu.

  12. I’m afraid that I would’ve been with the kids on the rice front as I always serve this kind of thing with rice. Jasmine rice, normally. And rice noodles sometimes, for a sort of Thai style pasta and meatballs type meal.

  13. Lily

    Thank you for this! I made it last night and it was roundly enjoyed. I put fried shallots on top and it was a nice addition.

  14. Made this last night and it was amazing! It’s being added to our weekly rotation immediately.
    Bonus: You can definitely stack this with any of your favorite curry-friendly veggies — mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, etc. We added veggies when we added the meatballs so they had 15 or so minutes to cook, and they fit well with the rest of this delightful dish!

  15. Dalnapen

    Smitten, I too love the easy, casual dinner with friends. My widowed mother would do this often in the 1970s. I think it was her thought that we kids should get a clearer view of a nuclear family–one with dad and mom. Most of the dinners would go very well, and we kids had to stick with table manners and learn how to play easily with new kids.
    My sister is an extraordinary cook. I asked her once why we eat out so much as she can make food better than 90% of the places we go to. She said, “Well, it’s just that I don’t have to do the work!”
    But I’m for the re-establishment of “company dinners” and a more civil world!

  16. Louise Crosby

    I just made this exactly as instructed and it was delicious. My pork balls were on the dry side, however, so I’m wondering about replacing the panko with breadcrumbs soaked in a bit of milk. Next time I would also pop the raw meatballs straight into the broth to cook and not roast them in the oven first (they didn’t brown). That would give the broth a more meaty flavour.

    1. Gail

      These were my thoughts exactly when I read this recipe. But I always wonder how long you then have to cook the broth to make sure you aren’t drinking raw-pork-soup, you know? I use Deb’s everyday meatball recipe (that cooks in the red sauce) and am always a little nervous. (but nobody’s gotten sick yet!).

      1. Pamcakes

        I poach my meatballs all the time, don’t worry you’ll be fine. In this recipe however, I enjoyed the crispy nooks and crannys… delicious and has made my rotation ❤️ Not surprised though, everything I have ever made on this website is the bomb 💣 Deb is a genius!

  17. Nancy Duncan

    “You can make that dinner anytime!” is what my husband just said to me. Yum! I didn’t tweak a thing, and I’m glad I used the mint and cilantro. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    1. Kat

      So dang delicious! Kiddos loved it to, my 8 year old had seconds. I added some sliced snow peas in with the spinach and used lemongrass in the broth. I used jalapeno instead of red chile because that’s what they had at the store (seriously lemongrass but no red chilies?!?). Don’t skip pickling some sliced pepper, really really good.

  18. kimstebbins1

    I made this tonight and it was really good! I used all chicken (would rather use pork but that’s what I had—but the chicken meatballs were light and gingery and good–I called them ginger bombs!) and used jarred Calabrian chili’s also because that’s what I had. I didn’t have lemongrass, but I did have all other ingredients and I think sprinkling the mint and cilantro on top made it extra special. I did make one error, thinking I had low sodium chicken broth, but turned out I had no chicken broth except Better than Bullion. Unfortunately, I had already added the salt and fish sauce to the coconut milk, so the BTB made it a little too salty. It was still divine, though! Definitely use low or no salt broth/stock! I’m going to freeze the rest. An old catering trick I learned ages ago (for when you over-salt): put it in the freezer for at least a week. The salt dissipates somehow. I don’t really know what happens, but after a week in the freezer, the over-salted dish is always fine.

  19. Nathalie

    This is such a delicious recipe. I am doing the Whole30 so I had to make some minor tweaks. I left out the breadcrumbs and the fish sauce in the meatballs, made them with ground turkey instead of pork, and omitted the sugar in the sauce. I served them on a bed of cauliflower rice. What incredible and rich flavors! Thank you Deb! Can’t wait to make your toasted pecan cake again after this month.

  20. Elaine

    This is the perfect dinner response to the cold, damp spring that we have been having. I made it for my family and everyone loved it! This dish is going to become a regular in the dinner rotation.
    Thanks Deb!

  21. This was sooooo good. The base broth can be used for so many things–shrimp, mussels, tofu. But simmering the meatballs in it really added lusciousness. We served on rice with roasted asparagus on the side. Oh, and more than a handful of spinach! And will ooomph the chiles next time.

  22. I made this last night and we really liked it. Had to adjust a bit, as I only had 1lb of ground turkey, so I halved that part of the recipe but kept the broth the same portion. I added a bunch of broccoli in when I we added the meatballs into simmer-which I liked.
    Glad I had lemongrass to add into the broth-it was tasty. Also, pickled the red hot pepper to garnish with.
    Things I’d do differently-less salt in with the meatballs. It was too much with fish sauce and a teaspoon of salt. Seemed out of balance with too salty meatballs and not seasoned enough broth. And, I think some green onions in with the meatballs as well next time.
    I would maybe even try more veggies in with the broth next time-and one pound of turkey seemed plenty. I think I’d like to try the pork next time!
    All in all-fun and tasty recipe!

  23. Alice

    Thanks for this great recipe! I made it even simpler by putting chicken thighs to simmer in the broth, then shredding them. A big hit with everyone.

  24. Marijke

    The recipe totally works without the eggs; my boyfriend is allergic so I just left them out. I also added half a minced shallot and a couple minced green onions to the meatballs and really enjoyed the flavour. I used thin rice noodles as my starch and sliced asparagus poached in the broth during the last two minutes of cooking. The recipe is quite heavy on the meatball to broth ratio, you could do half the meatball mixture if you prefer a lighter meal. Seriously good dinner! Thanks

  25. JP

    I made this tonight and we really enjoyed it. As always, I had to tweak the recipe a bit because of what I had and lacked in my kitchen. I made half the meatball recipe (for some reason, my meatballs were flat on one side after baking- the side closest to the baking sheet). I made them just as you did, but left out about half of the salt. I thought about putting the meatballs, raw, in the broth, but decided against it because of the amount of fat that would have rendered out into the broth. I made the broth and because we do not like spicy, I used very thinly slice red bell pepper (mainly for color) and Swiss chard which we have so much of in our garden right now. I cooked it in the broth a little longer than I would have baby spinach. I did not have cilantro so we had mint and parsley, again from the garden. It was delicious and I agree with other comments, that I think there was enough meatballs per serving with half the meat called for, but then we are not huge meat eaters. We had about 6 meatballs each. We did serve with rice too. This will make two big meals for the two of us and was wonderful with a crunchy, tangy, salad on the side. Many thanks!

  26. I loved this simple and delicious recipe especially as we travel a lot and I can add this to my travel recipes. Apart from the fish sauce everything else I can easily source.

  27. Wow, ginger, coconut sauce and meatballs. I really have to try!!! It seems so delicious. I’m sure it will be perfect with a Tokay Pinot Gris from Alsace :-D Yes okay, I’m French and immediately think about the wine I can pair with a recipe!

  28. I can’t get over how good this looks. It’s really handy actually, as I bought a load of Panko breadcrumbs in bulk the other day as they were so cheap and I’ve been looking for new recipes to use them up. I adore ginger and this dish sounds so tasty and fragrant.

  29. I made this for dinner this evening with all-chicken meatballs. Very nice. The recipe reminded me a little of a chicken laksa recipe that I’m fond of, so I did what I do there, and ground up the vegetables for the broth (peppers, ginger, garlic) in the food processor with the spices into a paste. Then I fried that and added the liquids to make the broth. I was concerned it would be too hot, but it was just perfect (in fact I’m thinking I could have added another pepper, but it’s very hard to guess that sort of thing with the peppers I find in the supermarket). One thing I might change the in the future is to try to make the meatballs smaller, more bite-size. But that depends on whether I have the patience for it.

    Oh, and of course I used matzo meal to bind the meatballs instead of panko, because that’s just what you do in the weeks after passover!

  30. bookfanatic84

    This sounds great! I just bought the ingredients, substituting ground turkey since the ground pork they had was frozen solid. I think I’ll add a little oil to the meatball mixture, and I’ll probably add mushrooms.

    What kind of vinegar do you use on the chilies? I’m thinking distilled white.

  31. K

    I made this, nearly exactly as written. So delicious. Husband was raving about it, too.

    Swapped in turkey for pork (thigh mince, as the higher fat content – 7% – keeps them from becoming rock-hard and dry and awful). And couldn’t find fresh lemongrass but added about a teaspoon of lemongrass paste.

    Might reduce the salt slightly next time, or try a mix of turkey breast and thigh.

    But will for sure be making it again and again.

  32. I’m new to your blog, which as a non-cook I’m quickly falling for! So I keep it pretty basic in my tiny little kitchen and hadn’t heard of putting rice in soup before. I’m also not to sure my 14 year old son and my 4 year old granddaughter are prepaired to try green soup hehe. I however cannot wait! This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Since I don’t know you, or what country you’re even in, and can’t count on awaiting an impromptu invitation to dinner, I’m going to try making this this week!

  33. Tovah

    Deb – made this tonight for my husband and kids (who, like all kids, are picky). Made it with a side of coconut rice because the coconut milk cans were 2 for 1! Delicious, everyone gobbled it up. Very easy to make, and loved the 1/2 pork 1/2 chicken combination. Now we’ll have leftovers for days :)

  34. Erin J

    My family loved this! You were right about kids loving meatballs; my one year old gobbled them up. This recipe was the perfect vehicle for the early spring produce just hitting the farmer’s market. I used two stalks of green garlic sliced into thick coins during the poaching stage and also added asparagus with the spinach. We finished the dish with the mint, cilantro, and also fried ramps. What a treat!

  35. Carie Lyn

    Yum! Made this tonight with ground chicken and pork, and it was soooo good. I had run out of fish sauce (and was momentarily irritated until I remembered I’d used it all up in the Candy Pork recipe, which was so worth it) so I substituted with worcestershire sauce. Luckily I had lemongrass, which helped add complexity. I also added both spinach and asparagus, but next time I think I’ll just stick with the spinach. Can’t wait to make this again. Thank you for a great recipe!

  36. I’m a long-time follower, first time commenter. This dish was SO FREAKING GOOD! I made it exactly as written with all the extras: lemongrass, chiles, mint, lime, cilantro, spinach… YUM! I found I didn’t need to make any adjustments. I’m only bummed that the weather is getting warmer now, and soup won’t be on the menu as often. Still — this one is a keeper!! Can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow. Thank you, Deb!

  37. longdistancepunner

    Everybody in my family loved this — including the 2nd-grader & kindergartner. I went easy on the chiles and the cilantro (for the cilantro averse kiddo). I added snow peas & sweet orange peppers for a wholesome meal. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. rutheye

      our dinner guests loved this!
      I did make a couple of additions. brown sugar, quite a bit, because we like asian sweet/salty. I chopped off cilantro stems and simmered in the soup. added garlic chili sauce for extra heat. extra extra garlic. didn’t have fresh lemon grass but did have lemon grass powder which was great.
      this is a terrific dinner for company. make meatballs in advance (through the simmering stage) and the soup comes together quickly.

  38. Meg

    Made it tonight! Loved adding lemongrass in the broth, threw in baby bok choy and cilantro at the end. Heavy on the lime zest and juice. And the meatballs? I used all ground chicken, no pork. We are carb conscious here so we forewent rice, but my guy went back for thirds so I think he liked it…

  39. Hillary

    This was absolutely spectacular! Made exactly as written, including lemon grass. Forgot to add spinach! It was washed and still sitting on the counter! So good. Will make again.

  40. Richelle

    LOVED the flavors here. I made mine more of a curry by boiling diced sweet potato into the broth and then pureeing it. I also added in some sautéed red bell pepper and served over couscous. It turned out AMAZING.

  41. 22pclark

    A propos your dinnertime conversation with finicky offspring: my mother, who cooked every day in the 50’s for a family of seven (four children with various food fetishes/dislikes/opinions and a grandmother as well as my opinionated father) finally began putting dinner on the table, fixing each and every one of us with a piercing gaze, and saying “eat what you like, leave what you don’t like, and SHUT UP ABOUT IT!”. Worked for her.

  42. Melissa

    This was so ridiculously delicious!!!! Will be making again and again for sure. A great weeknight meal for the family but also one I could see making it impress guests with, as we used homemade chicken stock and I bet it made the difference in giving the broth such body and flavor.

  43. Dennis M Clark

    This is a wonderful, beautiful recipe. I was very happy with the results (great taste, textural variety, heavenly aroma) after following it quite closely as written. My household agreed that providing fresh green chiles on the side is important to make the dish really sing. I had some leftovers, so on the second round I tossed in some fresh basil and fava beans that I found at the local farmers market — worked great! This is definitely going to be a go-to recipe for me.

  44. Jill

    I don’t know WHY I have 100 cookbooks. All I really need is this website.
    This. Is. Delicious.
    Thank you so much for your blog.

  45. Lori

    Is the green In the sauce solely from the spinach? Did you blend prior to adding the meatballs? I like the color, just wondering…

    1. deb

      I didn’t blend. The color in the broth might look a little bit green because the light is more blue in the afternoon in my kitchen.

  46. Deb

    So much better than the combination of the ingredients. My hubby, who doesn’t usually comment, said Wow, this is really good. The meatballs are great w/o the sauce and the sauce would be great with anything. This will be a regular.

  47. The first time I made it as-is, and it was delicious! But, I also made some for a vegetarian friend in which I made the broth (with veg. broth and soy sauce replacing fish sauce) and used that with crispy tofu, mushrooms and spinach. It was great. Then my husband loved the meatball version so much, I re-made the broth (as-is) for him, but was too lazy to make meatballs and just added diced raw chicken, mushrooms, potatoes and greens for a delicious asian-style chicken soup. So thanks for this recipe which is delicious, but is also a canvas for so much more! (Oh, and the meatballs, fried as a stand-alone appetizer are fantastic, and so would the meat mixture be amazing inside dumpling wrappers!)

  48. Laura

    I made this last night for dinner with some rice and it was really really good. Well loved by the husband and the baby too. Next time I make it I will make it I will probably add carrots or something too just to have more veggies for the amount of meat. But it was really very good as is.

  49. Rob

    So delicious! Saw this and immediately wanted to make it. My grocery store didn’t have ground pork so I subbed ground dark meat turkey. I added a splash of oil, a diced shallot, and some red pepper flakes to the meatball mixture. I also cut the meatballs in half (so 1 lb of meat) and added about a cup of mushrooms and chopped asparagus to the broth when I put the meatballs in. Was able to find lemongrass stalks in a jar near the coconut milk so added those as well. Couldn’t find red chilies so used serranos – 2 in the broth and 1 raw to garnish. I didn’t skim the soup before adding the meatballs so the ginger/chilies etc. were still in it. Served with rice and was really delicious! Excited to have the leftovers for lunch. Thanks for a great recipe!

  50. Elli Vahrenwald

    This was beyond amazing, top-notch, full of flavor, fantastic, easy, deeeeeeeeeeelicious…. honestly the list goes on. Thank God for Deb!

  51. Ann Oelschlager

    Wow! This was delicious! I was worried that it was too spicy (used 2 hot red chilies) but with the rice it was perfect. Thanks, Deb for a great recipe!

  52. Lynda Elkind

    We absolutely loved this. I]This recipe is added to the taped inside the kitchen cabinet recipes of Deb’s like her Spaghetti with Lemon Sauce which goes with sauvide lobster tails that are on every family celebrations.

  53. Megan

    Super delicious! I made it almost as written, but had run out of bread crumbs. I used 2 tablespoons coconut flour instead, and added a little lime zest to the meat mixture. Served with cauliflower rice sauteed garlic and ginger. Will make again and again and again.

  54. Anna

    I made this last night and followed another commenter’s suggestion of adding extra veggies in with the meatballs at the end – carrots and asparagus as well as spinach. It was SO GOOD, will definitely go into our rotation. However I felt like the ratio was way off. Two pounds of meat makes 50-60 meatballs. Even if you were trying to serve 6 like the recipe says, there wasn’t enough broth for that. I added about 15 meatballs to the broth to serve 2 adults and one toddler, and ended up with leftovers for one generous lunch. I put the rest of the meatballs in two freezer bags for the future. It will be great since the broth comes together so quickly, but I’m surprised the recipe didn’t address that.

  55. Alixandra Hice


    I made this recipe twice this week! It’s pretty flawless and fail proof. I doubled the garlic because I have zero consideration for others when it comes to my favorite herb and have honestly never ever tasted a dish that had too much garlic in it. I just love everything about this recipe. The meatballs are amazing and so is the broth. Love. Love. Love.

  56. Amanda

    These were delicious! I used 1lb of pork and 1lb of chicken, and sambal oelek in place of the chiles. Very good weeknight dinner.

  57. myrna todd

    Stellar dish- visually stunning in my ochre bowls, with a delicate yet flavourful taste. I would certainly serve this to guests anytime. We are looking forward to the leftovers tonight along with your strawberry granola crisp for dessert.
    I keep lemongrass in my freezer along with kefffir lime leaves and curry leaves when I can find them. I split the 6” stalks in two then pound them to release the flavours as I do with any ginger that I plan to remove from the broth. Thank you for posting.

  58. Virginia Shea

    Absolutely delicious, a huge hit!

    A few notes: (1) with less than 4 cups of liquid, I feel like this would be a pretty small amount of broth for 6 people. I was cooking for two tonight, so I halved the meatballs but made the full amount of broth (because no one wants a leftover half-can of coconut milk anyway). We both served ourselves generously and had a smallish serving of everything left over. So if I were going to make this for six, I would double the soup. (2) One 14.5-oz can of chicken broth is 1 3/4 cups. I just used that and added a quarter cup of water. (3) I mistakenly salted the broth before tasting it and was really worried I had overdone it! But I added some extra lime juice and another half-tsp of sugar, and after adding the spinach and serving with the rice mixed in, it was perfect.

    Thank you, Deb, I will definitely be making this again.

  59. sam

    I made this as written. It was easy and delicious. I missed the mint on my shopping list, but didn’t miss it so much in the recipe. I’ll make this again and again.

  60. emilyadi

    This was delicious. I halved the meatballs simply because I can’t read recipes and only bought a pound of pork, but I felt like it was still plenty.. My sauce was more of an orangey color from the turmeric but tasted amazing. Very reminiscent of meals I’ve had at Thai restaurants. I can’t believe it can come so close with just a few ingredients!

  61. Andi

    This was delicious! I used half ground pork and ground chicken. My husband can’t handle spice, so I omitted the chilies, and cut up 1 stalk of lemongrass, added an additional 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and juice of the whole lime. I did do the fresh cilantro and mint as garnishment, along with unsalted chopped peanuts and some peanut sauce with a few extra squeezes of lime. It was quick and easy and definitely going to be a regular in my house!
    I have really enjoyed following you, so many of your recipes are amazing :)

  62. Allie

    Well, I made this for dinner, then my family ate ALL of it…… So, considering my lack of leftovers the next day, I had no choice but to make it again for lunch. Amazing.
    Oh and I added some cubed tofu for my pseudo-vegetarian husband. It worked very well.

  63. Melissa

    This was the most delicious soup and so utterly simple. Thank you so much for sharing it. My family loved it.

  64. Vanessa

    This recipe turned out great! I accidentally bought a package of ground meat that was half beef/half pork, but the meatballs turned out well. I will definitely be making this again.

  65. These sound incredible, I’m always on the lookout for different types of meatballs as they’re the perfect food for baby led weaning which we’re about to start with our second son in a few weeks. Huge fans of introducing flavour early on and these certainly pack a lot of tastes in. Can’t wait to give them a go.

  66. Annie

    We made these last weekend, and if you want a recipe that packs a flavor punch and isn’t complicated or fussy, this is it. I made the meatballs while my sweetie made the broth. Served with rice and extra lime and hot pepper, and the 11 year old loved it as well. Win, win!! Thank you!!

  67. Charity Millard

    These were so easy and so yummy! I usually go with red sauce or mushroom loaded velouté for meatballs. This was a welcome flavor change up. Thanks!

  68. Jennifer

    So delicious!! I added red curry paste to the broth and a handful of shredded carrots along with the spinach. Really really good.

  69. Lois Urkowitz

    I used turkey broth since I was out of chicken and subbed matzah meal for the Panko as my kitchen was not back to pre Passover. I was surprised that my husband liked it. Shared with a client. I’m odd, had it room temp one meal over spring mix and tomatoes and then with sweet chili oil another day. Great dish!

  70. Yolanda

    I made this with half the meatballs but the full amount of broth and about 1 cup (dry) of rice and it made 4 perfect servings. Made exactly 16 meatballs. SO GOOD!

  71. Lauren

    I made this last night and it was PERFECT IN EVERY WAY. Excited to keep making it and change it up by using ground chicken, asparagus, bell peppers, etc. Also I added a little extra fish sauce and served it over more rice (similar to a Thai curry) and it was so so wonderful. Thank you!

  72. shreya

    This was a delicious dinner freshly made and an equally delicious lunch when reheated! I didn’t have ground pork so made it with just some ground chicken I had on hand (1lb) but kept the broth the same amount as the recipe and made sure to add fresh lemongrass. Definitely a keeper for the dinner rotation, thank you for the recipe Deb!

  73. T

    This was a total winner. So quick, easy and very delicious. Plus, so versatile. I had leftover roast veg that I’ll add to the leftovers tomorrow. Will go on our immediate weeknight rotation, thanks Deb.

  74. Amber Leigh

    I’ve been reading this blog for years and have never commented before. This was worth commenting on. Made this last night because the positive kid friendly reviews of the readers, and since I have five of them, that’s always a bonus :) Everybody LOVED it, even the 2 year old…Made with ground chicken and doubled the sauce. Thanks Deb!

  75. Michelle

    One of the best things I’ve ever made! I used ground turkey because it was on sale. I put both red chiles in the broth- perfect heat with the coconut milk. I wish I’d doubled the sauce/broth. I couldn’t believe I had made it myself- exotic and incredibly flavorful. Thank you for a totally amazing recipe!

  76. Lisa

    Made this tonight with chicken I ground myself and added all the meatball ingredients in the food processor. This was easy to put together and simple. Served it with rice. My kids each ate two bowls full. I think this will be part of our spring, summer dinner rotation.

  77. Meg Tsvetkova

    I make a lot of smitten kitchen recipes and always recommend the blog to friends of mine, however this is the second time I’ve ever commented on the website.

    It’s a great recipe, broth tastes authentic and the prep is no fuss. My advice would be, add some mushrooms and bamboo shoots! The crunchiness of the bamboo shoots makes this perfect.

  78. Kate Nicholson

    Made this for dinner tonight, and loved it. Spicy–but not super spicy, warming and comforting. Plus fish sauce makes everything better.

  79. Lisa O

    Yum!! I made the soup part vegan (using Fush sauce instead of fish sauce). Added meatballs to my guy’s serving and just veggies for me. So bright and delicious! While making the soup I put in one lime leaf and, believe it or not, a a Ginger Yogi Tea bag. It has lemongrass and since I didn’t have any, I improvised! This is delicious and we’ll enjoy it in winter and summer!

  80. Flo

    Very good and quick to make — took no more than 30 mins total. Used just 1lb/500g of ground pork but kept the broth the same. It served five of us — four meatballs each for the adults, three each for the kids. Served over rice noodles. The cilantro, mint, pickled peppers and some extra lime juice made it particularly delicious.

  81. Laura

    I made this last night for dinner and it was a huge hit with everyone including my toddler! So easy and so tasty. No leftovers so next time I will double the proportions for the delicious broth… thanks Deb, another winner :)

  82. Pugs

    I am another long time lurker who has finally been driven to comment by this recipe. It is perfect as written, but I also had kaffir lime leaves on hand and added one, finely chopped. Results were divine.

  83. sallyt

    LOVED this. I made half the meatball recipe and it was perfect with the amount of broth. My half recipe made 16 meatballs (with a #40 scoop). I sprayed olive oil on the sheet pan and flipped the meatballs halfway through. Definitely add lemongrass to the broth. Next time I’d try with lite coconut milk –

  84. haydensister

    Just made this for dinner and it was so tasty!! My bf bought the chilies and I’m glad I didn’t slice them, just left them whole in the broth bc otherwise it would have been inedibly spicy but wow. Thanks Deb!!

  85. Kelly lee

    I made this tonight and could not believe how delicious it turned out to be!!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you times a million!!! Seriously!!!! Thank you!

    1. Coriander

      I just printed out a really great pot of chickpeas last night, and based on the comments I get emailed to me daily, I need to try this recipe and soon! Thanks for the tip about combining the two, Rebekah.

  86. Adrianne

    These were richer than I had expected, and went a long way – I have lots of extras to freeze, which makes me happy. The fish sauce (I used Thai Kitchen brand, as that’s what my local grocer had, but probably there are better options?) was definitely strong – I might cut that down in half on the broth next time, just for my personal preference, but it was perfect in the meatballs. I had ground chicken on hand, so I used that, and I made them gluten-free with a couple tablespoons each of almond flour and coconut flour. They were pretty soft, but held up great in the broth after baking in the oven (I made them ahead of time, baked all the way through, and then just warmed them in the sauce at dinner time).

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.

  87. Elle

    Made half the meatballs and all of the sauce for two of us last night. It was delicious and was pronounced a Keeper by both the Cook and the Appreciator. I used 5 oz. of baby spinach and the recommended lemongrass. Great flavors. Easy cleanup and a very pretty, satisfying dinner. We have just enough left over for lunch today. Thanks Deb.

  88. Natascha

    I made a double batch of the meatballs a few weeks ago and froze them in bags with enough balls in each bag to serve a meal for 2 greedy adults. I made the broth with a batch of defrosted meatballs last night. I added kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, bok choy, asparagus and pea aubergine. The result was absolutely delicious.

    Deb, you are probably my mist used resource for meal ideas and baking inspiration. Thanks especially for this recipe, it’s going on the rota.

  89. Nani

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for posting this. Contemplating getting thirds as I type this… I used Better Than Bouillon chicken base because I forgot to get chicken broth and it worked beautifully. I also added 3 red Thai chilis instead of 2 (my husband and I love spice). I also marinated some chilis in vinegar to have on the side and added lemongrass to the soup as suggested – so so good. Will definitely be making this again.

  90. NB

    I would rather not add sugar…has anyone tried it without sugar in the broth? Is there a substitute or can I leave it out completely? I read through a lot of the comments and didn’t see anything about the sugar ingredient…sorry if someone already asked.

  91. Laraine

    I made these last night and they were outstanding. I was freaking out how good they were. And it’s a beautiful dish, the color of the broth with the tumeric. My husband and 14 year old son loved them too. Fantastic recipe, I stuck right to it, though added more lime juice.

  92. Carmen S

    So quick and delicious!! I make a double batch and froze them for mid week dinners. Also a mini ice cream scoop was a gamechanger – so much faster to get them into golfballs and into the oven! Love your work Deb

  93. Sandy Cowan

    I made this for my husband on Father’s Day. We both thought it was delicious and will definitely make it again. I used ground turkey for the meatballs and the flavor was excellent. It’s relatively easy to prepare and would be a great dish to serve company. Thanks Deb for the addition to my “keeper recipes”.

  94. Katie Zagorski

    So darn delicious! I bought fresh turmeric to make it extra special. Love all of your recipes – thank you!

  95. Coriander

    The comment applause was so loud for this recipe that I made it, sans egg and breadcrumbs, and it was as great as the people said it was. I used five slices of jalapeno for warmth and left the rest in vinegar for people to add as they wish. Great recipe, Deb! Thanks!

  96. Ellen

    What type of chile is meant by “fresh red chile”? I bought the only red chiles at my supermarket, but they seem smaller than the pictures here. The ones I bought may be Bird’s Eye Chiles… (my hot pepper purchasing experience doesn’t extend beyond jalapeno)

    1. deb

      Honestly, whatever your grocery store stocks is fine. Thai chile would probably be the closest to “authentic” but it’s going to be very hot. If you want it a little more mild, you could use a red jalapeno. I prefer thinner chiles here, so when you slice them, they fit on your spoon.

  97. Katie

    I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. I made it the first time in the deepest throes of sleep deprivation with a month-old newborn, and it was easy enough to manage then and delicious enough that my mother-in-law, who is not known for large appetites, had seconds. And it was fast enough that I made the meatballs and broth today while the baby and my toddler napped. It’s pretty much perfect.

  98. Zoya

    There is so much umami in this dish, I loved it! I tweaked it a bit: I fried the meatballs in a little bit of coconut oil rather than baking them, and once they had a bit of colour on them I put them to one side. Then, in the same pan I made the broth and then added the meatballs back to the pan. Also five minutes before serving I threw in baby sweetcorn and sugar snap peas. The broth had a lot of the pork flavour and the meatballs were perfectly moist. I’ll be making this again and again!

    1. Carrie

      I made it last night with Quorn meatless meatballs and it was delicious. Husband and teenage daughter asked for it to be included in regular meal rotation (high praise in these parts!)

  99. I love ginger and I also love coconut… but I never thought of putting them together!

    It looks like a great tasting recipe, but is it possible to make a vegetarian version? What would you recommend to do that… lentil balls?

  100. Megan Recupero

    I have a kiddo with egg allergies and we are not pork eaters, so I subbed ground turkey and 3 Tablespoons water for the egg. It was delicious. The kids loved it (first time they’ve eaten meatballs happily in a couple of years. Didn’t tell them there as fish sauce in it). Thank you for a meal that all of our family can get behind!

  101. Rebecca

    This recipe is delicious. Unfortunately, forgetting how spicy they are, I made this with scotch bonnet peppers, so it was a bit of a fire pit, but nonetheless amazing. It’s also great served with leftover ramen noodles instead of rice.

  102. Kat

    I’ve made this twice in two weeks – today was the second time. This is the only thing I’ve ever made that my husband has come back for thirds when eating (and I’ll go in for seconds). I also have a soy allergy (I developed it in college) so a lot of Asian dishes aren’t accessible to me. I love that this has all of the flavors of what I used to love but doesn’t have soy – the fish sauce gives it all the salty/savory factor it needs. Thank you for sharing!

  103. Frances Wallace

    I can’t begin to tell you how outstandingly, stellar, amazing, this is! For the two of us, made half the meat and wish I had doubled the sauce-my husband and I were, literally, licking the pan. A total keeper. Love, love, love your site.

  104. Rachel

    I just made this for dinner after lusting after it since it was first posted! I am a bit afraid of ground meat but eventually overcame my fear because this looked so good…It was!

    Substitutions I made that still worked out fine: Ground turkey instead of pork and the turkey looked really paste-like so I added an extra tablespoon of panko, I used the suggested lemongrass, I didn’t have peppers so I used a dash of sriracha. It could have been spicier but I don’t care for too much spice so it was fine for me.

    Ate over fried shiitakes and rice for the win.

    Next time: I’ll halve the meatballs and make the same amount of broth which will be easier in our tiny kitchen with one small baking sheet. I wouldn’t change anything else. Thanks Deb!!

  105. Nina in Zurich

    So easy! So good!! Many thanks for this recipe, Deb — I am already looking forward to making it again and again. I used half pork and half chicken and the meatballs were tender and juicy. I may follow some of the suggestions here and add more vegetables next time, but the recipe is perfect as is.

  106. Abby

    Made this for dinner tonight and my husband raved about it! My changes:
    Used a sliced jalapeno because that’s what was at the store.
    Subbed ponzu sauce for the fish sauce because I was out.
    Subbed rice noodles for the rice and it was tasty but a little tough to eat.
    Added a thinly sliced red bell pepper with the meatballs.
    Forgot to buy herbs at the store 🙈 but it was still delicious.
    Thanks for another yummy recipe, Deb!!

  107. tea

    I made this with turkey and it still turned out great, with bold flavours. Substituted lime with lemon as it was all I had, but it works! I used egg noodles instead of rice for speed, but recommend rice as it will absorb that yummy rich broth. I’m so smitten.

  108. Louise

    This recipe is SO GOOD. I’ve made it several times and it’s delicious, crowd-pleasing, and super adaptable. We make it with ground turkey and/or chicken and it works great. The meatballs are so flavorful. The recipe is fabulous as-is, but it’s also good with other veggies, like mushrooms, other greens (like baby bok choy), and broccolini. I’ve also thrown a couple diced Persian cucumbers in with the chilies and vinegar and it was delicious, too. I used sad stale whole wheat breadcrumbs when I ran out of panko and it didn’t hurt the recipe at all. It also freezes really well — I froze the broth and baked meatballs separately, then heated the broth and added thawed meatballs and fresh veggies and it worked great. Don’t skip the herbs and lime at the end, they add a lot to the dish.

  109. This is now my go-to for dinner parties. So tasty! The first time I made it, I felt we didn’t have enough broth. I doubled the broth yesterday (but left the amount of meatballs the same), and I think it was perfect. The broth is so tasty, though, that I might even triple it next time, just to have as a light lunch with rice but no meatballs. After all that gushing on the broth – the meatballs are the best I’ve ever made. I’ll likely use these as my go-to recipe for all meatballs, just leaving out the ginger as appropriate for the rest of whatever I’m making.

  110. Sara

    Made this last night and it was delicious! Since several people had remarked on the high meatball to broth ratio and I only had 1 lb of ground pork, I halved the meatballs but kept the full amount of broth. I think this is purely a matter of personal preference and whether you like a lot of broth vs. stuff in your soup but we would have been happy with the full quantity of meatballs and would have found this overly brothy if I hadn’t added a lot more veg. I added thinly sliced red bell pepper and summer squash at the same time as the meatballs went into the broth, and we really enjoyed that addition. Could definitely see carrots, mushrooms, and green beans all being nice in here as well.

    Also, I debated whether to skim out the garlic/ginger/chilis as per Deb’s suggestion but ultimately decided to leave them in and no one was bothered by them in the slightest and I was happy to avoid food waste.

    Definitely a keeper! Love how adaptable it is to adding whatever veggies you have on hand. I think it would also be lovely with rice noodles instead of rice.

  111. Heidi LaBate

    Do you think the broth and meatballs can be made in the instant pot – and then just cook noodles separated? Cross
    Country meet this afternoon and would love to come home to this almost done !

  112. Nathalie

    This is still my all-time comfort food recipe for chilly days. I love it so much. Can’t count how many times I’ve made it. It’s a close tie with the Blueberry Crumb Cake of my favorite recipes on your blog. Thank you Deb.

  113. Joy in DC

    This is so tasty! Reminds me of a Thai curry. I made a few adjustments for what I had on-hand: swapped turmeric for a few shakes of galangal powder, put in a few squeezes of siracha to the meatballs and broth, and used bok choy (instead of spinach) plus upped the amount to make it a bit more stew-y (Ok, ok…I was lazy and didn’t want to make a veggie side dish to go along with the meal!). Definitely would make this again. Would also consider making this with all chicken or all turkey if I didn’t want the fat of pork that day.

  114. Christina

    This is incredibly good. I steamed some sugar snap peas and broccoli separately to add to taste at the table and it was a big hit with the family.
    The only thing I’d do differently next time: I’d leave the ginger and garlic in the broth and maybe even puree it a bit for an extra kick.

  115. I made this with shrimp and it was delicious! I added frozen shrimp directly to the broth and simmered for 5 minutes. I also added a tablespoon of green curry paste. This is definitely going in my fast weeknight meal rotation.

  116. mxmo

    Made this for dinner tonight! I added quartered white mushrooms and julienned carrots to sneak in some extra veggies. I used one pepper in the broth and our toddler tolerated it just fine, and we added sambal oelek to ours for some extra heat (since I only bought one pepper). Thanks for such a lovely recipe; the weather has been dreadful this week and it was nice to have such a bright, fragrant, and comforting dinner. I’ll definitely make this again.

  117. Lara

    This is delicious! For our mixed vegetarian-carnivore family I make less meat but more broth. Before the meatballs are added to the broth, I split it and make a separate pot with some ready-bought vegetarian “meatballs”. You only have to leave out the fish sauce (I swap for soy sauce) from the broth and use vegetable broth instead of the chicken stock – my vegetarian husband loves it. Perfect for both worlds :)

  118. sharonhildahanna

    Yikes. Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian :-) but… many people talk about their husbands – either saying “you can cook that any time” or my husband doesn’t eat such and such. OMG. If husband doesn’t like it – too bad! He can eat something else, or make something else for himself. Up here in the frozen North, men frequently do the cooking and normally don’t whine about vegetables, refuse to eat cheese, or whatever. Just saying. Deb, I love your recipes; you are very brave. Or maybe you just don’t read the comments. In one of your recipes for mushrooms – (i.e. mushrooms are the main ingredient) – someone asked if you could use something else instead of mushrooms. OMG again. I must be getting old!!!! Having said all that, this recipe looks amazing and I will make it either tonight or very soon, along with the mushroom casserole posted today. I’m in Vancouver – saw you at the now-closed cookbook store a few years back.

    1. Lara

      Lol @Sharonhildahanna. Kinda judgy your comment. Just imagine the following: I’m a pretty strong feminist and we have excellent task division in our family. Incidentally, I love cooking and I love making food that is enjoyable for everyone. I don’t react to picky behaviour of our kids – if they don’t want to eat a dish I make, they have to try it and if they don’t like it, they don’t get anything else (they just eat the rice or whatever). I might consider their reaction next time when thinking about a dish to make, but I also make them eat veggies almost every day. I also have a husband who has several allergies and is a vegetarian by choice. He would eat sandwiches or pasta with cheese any day, but food makes us both happy, so why not make something in a way we both like it? Things are not always black and white and emancipation is about having a choice. Salutations to the cold North from greyish Germany.

  119. Diane

    I thought this was perfect for New Year’s Day, and I was right! I have barely finished making the dish and I’m already planning the next time–like tomorrow. Incredibly tasty, incredibly easy to make. Everyone, happy new year 2020.

  120. Hannah

    Just made this and it was delicious and so easy! Had a pound of ground pork that I didn’t know what to do with, stumbled upon this and had everything else in the pantry. Will definitely add to the rotation!

  121. I made this last night and it was probably the best thing I’ve made in ages. I used turkey and soy sauce instead of pork and fish sauce and left out the breadcrumbs b/c we didn’t have any. I thought it wasn’t going to be enough broth but it was perfect.

    So good. Definitely going into the rotation.

  122. Minh-Hai

    I wanted to stretch the leftovers out and served it over rice noodles, with a drizzle of chile peanut oil and set out the toppings: generous amounts of very roughly chopped mint, cilantro and Thai basil; chopped peanuts; red chile slices in vinegar; and lime. Yum! Even better than the first day.

  123. Shoal

    This has become one of my favourite meals. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I often serve it over roasted cauliflower instead of rice. This time, I added a bag of frozen mixed asian vegetables and that went well. For the meatballs I make them gluten free by putting 100g of cooked and drained red lentils instead of breadcrumbs and I leave out the eggs, too. Lentils are cheaper than gluten free breadcrumbs.

  124. Terry Smitken

    When you say “Adapted from Food and Wine” you mean, you removed the lemongrass from the actual recipe and instructions and took out 1 tablespoon of ginger from the meatballs?

    It is phenomenally disingenuous to suggest that this is an evenly remotely original recipe, or that you did anything other than follow a recipe.

    This demands much more transparency of the sort “I made this recipe from another publication, that someone else created, and I followed exactly what they did, except for this one minor change, which may or may not have been intentional. I did nothing but follow their recipe. Wow, isn’t this other person great and deserving of accolades!”

    Posts like this should make readers suspicious of everything to be found on your site.

    For everyone else: The dish is great, and it absolutely benefits from the lemongrass in the original (shouldn’t be optional), and an extra tablespoon of ginger in the meatballs would have been nice.

    1. deb

      I disagree. Adapted doesn’t need to mean significant adaptations — it merely means that this is the not the same exact recipe. If you don’t like the small changes I make (adjusted cooking times, ingredients, etc.) , the original recipe is not to be blamed. Smitten Kitchen has always and will always link to the sources of recipes; this has been consistent from day one on this site. When researching this recipe in particularly, I was shocked by the number of copies of it across the web with absolutely no credited source. I personally find this far more outrageous than sites following recipe credit protocol with full transparency.

      1. sharonhildahanna

        Oh Deb. Thanks for posting this – but I do feel badly for you. That seemed like a vicious attack more than a comment. Not sure if I”m ‘allowed’ to say that….

    2. Pierre

      Terry, just so you know, the main reason that I love this site and have made so many recipes is for the very reason that Deb culls and sorts through many chefs recipes and seems to make the best selection and best suggestions. You clearly do not understand the concept presented in this blog/posts. Throw your anger somewhere else please. As someone who understand copyright rather throughly (and clearly you don’t) the fact that Deb always links the original recipes and gives credit to the chef is beyond the pale of what most sites do. Now, I’m going to go forward and make this dish. AND thank you Deb :)) You keep doing you.

      1. sharonhildahanna

        Thanks Pierre for writing this. I wanted to reply to the same person but chickened out as my response would have furthered the negativity.

  125. Darcie Kileen

    In the mood for something warming (6″ of snow today!), I tried this recipe for the first time tonight. Delicious!! Just the thing for a cold winter day! I made a few subs out of necessity, but will make the recipe as written someday soon. No turmeric, so in went a bit of saffron instead. We are gluten avoiders, so I used quick-cooking oats (my usual go-to for meatballs). Also, the meatballs wouldn’t fit in the largest saucepan I had, so I dumped everything into a large skillet with high sides and that worked just fine.
    Great recipe! This is going in my “home run dinners” file!

  126. Heather

    Can i just say “this was delicious!” Made it all according to the directions but i minced the cilantro stems and added them to the meatballs rather than waste the flavor. I also added sliced mushrooms and shallots to the broth before the spinach because i had them in the fridge. One thai chile for my family was perfect! I would make this any time! Thank you deb for another delicious meal!

  127. Erica

    Made this tonight and loved it. I agree that the 2 tsp salt may be a little much for the meatballs but otherwise I wouldn’t change anything. We did add lemongrass and found the broth to be very flavorful. Will definitely make it again.

  128. Lindsay

    Scrap whatever dinner plans you had and make this!!!
    Omg I can’t believe I didn’t make this sooner – it is phenomenal. It comes together so quickly, and is blow your mind flavourful. I stuck to the recipe but kept mine on the mild side to appeal to everyone at the table and honestly think it was perfect. Will be in my regular rotation from here on out.

  129. Made this last night. So, so, so good. I love how it uses ingredients that we typically have on hand or aren’t difficult to source, but looks and tastes different than anything else we make. It’s definitely going into our regular repertoire.

    I couldn’t find fresh red chiles when I was grocery shopping, so I added some dried red chile flakes to the broth as it simmered. I also used a combination of ground chicken and ground pork for the meatballs.

  130. etamny

    Both the first time I had these, when someone else made them (they were great), and the second time I had them, last night, when I made them (they were great), the insides of these meatballs stayed really pink, almost red, even after a lot of cooking. The outsides look done, but it’s only the very outsides.

    I definitely cooked these enough—they weren’t underdone. Overcooked, arguably. I cooked them for longer than recommended, at a higher temp, in the oven, and they cooked at higher than a simmer in the broth for longer than recommended. When I split leftover meatballs in half and sear them to heat them up the pink finally goes away, but only then.

    Anyone else had this experience? I’m guessing this wouldn’t happen with turkey or chicken, or even beef, although I wouldn’t intentionally overcook them either.

    My eyes can’t believe the meatballs are actually cooked! They *look* so underdone, even though they’re not. Am I missing something about how ground pork works?


  131. Erin Fortney

    I made this last night for when Patrick got home late from a business trip and we both loved it – such a nice and easy reprieve from a dreary, cold winter week. My only modification for next time will be to double the broth so that it’s truly a soup.

    Do you think I could put all the aromatics in cheesecloth next time to avoid the annoyance of fishing them all out of the broth (and inevitably missing some)?

  132. valentina

    wonderful dish! i used half the amount of pork because it’s all i had. I made the full amount of broth -the result was nice and soupy. I added carrots, baby bok choy, silken tofu and fresh shitake mushrooms for an Asian flair. I had lemongrass too and added that with the other aromatics. I used red and green chilies and served on rice. Given some comments, i slightly under-baked the meatballs to ensure moistness. i served over jasmine rice and will try rice noodles next time. Cilantro sprinkled on top.

    This dish will be in my regular rotation given how easy, delicious and flexible it is!

    this is a very versatile dish and oh so easy to make!

  133. rhannah

    Thank goodness for the toaster oven heating up quickly because I initially didn’t read the recipe carefully enough to see that the meatballs have to be par-baked (oops!). Dinner was only slightly delayed! Used leftover chopped spinach – whole leaf would be better, but it worked. Used all ground chicken and added a tbsp or so extra panko, since the meatball mixture was kinda soft. Recipe is great; love the flavors!

  134. Frederique

    Another great recipe, even if I made significant tweaks to make it suit my tastes. I made the broth as written and did not like it at all (nothing wrong with the recipe, i think i just don’t like the coconut/lime/fish sauce combo). So i remade it omitting the fish sauce and the lime, and using lemongrass and a bit of curry powder and liked it way better. I made 1.5 time the broth to make the dish more soup-like. The meatballs were just fantastic even just on their own, and SO easy to make in the food processor. What I really liked about this dish is its versatility, you can serve it over rice like a sauce/curry thing, or serve it as is like a soup. As I have gestational diabetes I really appreciated being able to entertain and make something that I could be made low carb if needed. Plus it was so quick to make I was able to entertain on a weeknight without having made anything in advance. Thank you!!

  135. Erin

    I finally made this and we loved it! The only thing I might do differently next time is double the broth – it’s that good. Also made this 100% from pantry (including freezer) supplies so it’s perfect for self-quarantine times!

  136. BK23

    Late to the party here but this was the best thing I’ve made in as long as I can remember. Definitely a perfect recipe for these weird times – comforting, pretty healthy and so delicious.

  137. Nicole

    I’ve made this several times. Each time we lick the platter clean. I add lime juice to taste, as I like that lime kick (but not so it is overpowering!). And I also add a dash of white pepper to the meatball mix. Thanks for a lovely recipe that is easy to make and hearty (and heart warming) to eat!

  138. France

    Hi there! Is there a way to replace eggs in the meatballs? Since my daughter is allergic, we are searching a way to replace it in all our recipe. Thanks!

  139. Beth

    Fantastic! Did this with noodles instead of rice, and added slices of avocado as a garnish because I had to use them. I made enough for two nights, and my family can’t wait to have it again.

  140. Sooz

    I’m making this recipe for my family but my oldest daughter does not eat meat. Do you think I could set aside some of the broth and drop in some eggs? Does anyone have other ideas how to jazz up the broth for a non-meat eater?

    1. Ro

      Maybe try to pan fry (or bake til crispy) some seasoned tofu. That would be a good replacement for the meatballs. Maybe add a bell pepper in along with the greens for some bulking of the veggie components.

  141. Judy

    I found this recipe at the bottom of the post about making flatbreads. I had a pound of delicious, grass-fed beef to work with; I made 1/2 recipe of the meatballs, adding some finely chopped cilantro stems and a little sesame oil to the mixture. After reading the comments about the sauce, I made the full recipe and I’m not sure it was enough! It was sooooo good!! I added some slivered lime leaves that I had on hand in my freezer, and, in place of the spinach, I have a nice supply of ramp (wild leek) leaves to slice and wilt in the sauce right before serving. I can see using the sauce recipe for more meatballs, or for shrimp or fish. I always love your writing, and there are several of your recipes that are “go to” in our household. Many thanks!

  142. Leah

    Quarantine night 6,300 (seemingly). This was aces. Used some homemade turkey stock from the freezer, ground turkey and a package of chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed. I doubled the broth mixture and could basically just drink that. Meatballs were tender and perfect. This is going in my regular rotation. Excellent

  143. Deborah

    Hello Deb, I made this 6 months ago and froze half of the sauce. Today I thawed it out, boiled up some big shrimp and quartered them, heated them in the sauce and put it on some Udon noodles.
    It was phenomenal.

    Best from us to you,

  144. Grace

    I’ve made this before and it was delicious. This time around, I am all ready to make it again, but I have been unable to find coconut milk in the stores for over two months. Do you think either evaporated milk or cream could be used as a substitute? With or without coconut oil? Thank you!

  145. Ellen

    Delicious! My family is very afraid of spice, so I removed the seeds from both red chiles and only put 1 in the broth and left the other out as topping. The cilantro and mint were lovely, the whole dish got rave reviews! I will say that I needed 2 sheet pans to bake all the meatballs. Would definitely make again!

  146. Steph

    Delicious! I made a half recipe of the broth because I had an odd amount of coconut milk leftover from another recipe that I needed to use up. I did not make the meatballs but I am sure they are great for meat eaters! For anyone looking to make the rest of this vegetarian, I steamed some cauliflower and warmed some chickpeas through with the broth to create a heartier meal over jasmine rice. So good! Wish I had more broth, but I will definitely make again, perhaps with some tofu!

  147. Mary-Helen in Chicago

    I made this tonight for dinner, and it was fantastic! The flavors in the broth and in the meatballs were really delicious. It’s on the definitely make-again list. The only change I would make would be to make double the broth— it was so good, I wanted more, more, more so the meatballs and vegetables were floating in more deliciousness, since it thickened up and cooked down while it was simmering. But it was a winner!!

  148. Katie

    This has become a favorite go-to dinner at our house! I need to make it early today and I’m wondering if anyone has let sit in a slow cooker for a few hours?

  149. Sarah

    This was amazing. Made the meatballs with parmesan instead of bread crumbs and had steamed cauliflower instead of rice. It is going into the rotation immediately. Highly recommend.

  150. Sonali

    Could I use green curry paste instead of making the curry from scratch? I have most of the ingredients, but cannot seem to find fresh red chilis anywhere!

  151. Lisa

    Made this with 3x the broth + 2 bags of frozen veggies & froze portions for easy meals later… it is always so good and with the extra veg it feels like a healthy+easy meal to have on hand in the freezer!

  152. Anna K

    I made these with lean lamb mince as it was all I had and it was inhaled – I mean inhaled- by my small children (I omitted the chili and lemongrass). I really appreciated that it was a one bowl then straight into oven job. Browning meatballs might be my least favourite cooking task. These were so so so easy to make (I made them after work on a Friday with small people demanding food by my feet) and tastes incredible. Thank you once again, Deb, you help us eat well every week.

  153. Rachel T

    I made this tonight- it was a hit! Kid and grown-up approved. I served it with shredded carrot and shredded cabbage since I didn’t have any leafy greens on hand, delicious! (Also I made it with vegan ground-meat replacement, formbarfärs for those in Sweden, worked like a charm!)

  154. EK

    Fair to say this is the best thing I have cooked in 2020!!!!!! Definitely double the broth, it’s by far the best part and I needed all of it to simmer the meatballs. I simmered them in my 7 QT le creuset and they fit perfectly. Also, buying a cookie scoop was also a huge game-changer. Making the meatballs took two seconds — so easy!

  155. Ray

    Made this last night and it was amazing. Added the lemongrass and pickled red chilies- 10/10! Feel like it could be equally amazing with fried tofu as a vegetarian option.

  156. Dee

    I was just reading your article about how you stock your pantry and saw the link to this recipe, which my family and I LOVE. I could eat this 3 times a week. Thanks for the reminder!

  157. Anna

    This was so delicious that even my husband, who won’t come anywhere near anything with the word coconut, thought it was amazing and said he’d eat it again (yes, he knew there was coconut milk in it before trying). We altered the meatballs by using ground chicken instead and this recipe will definitely go into the rotation, at my husband’s request!

  158. Sadie

    OMG this was amazing! My partner and I tried this out tonight, for our quarantine “date night out, but in” dinner.

    The broth is so rich and flavorful, and the meatballs are like floating flavor-bombs!

    We’ll definitely be making this again and again.

  159. Zahava+Bogner

    I just made these (though as I keep kosher, I substituted lean ground beef for the pork!) and am KICKING myself for waiting so long to try this recipe which appealed to me when you originally posted!

    My new favorite go-to meal. YUM!

  160. Kim

    I have made this often since it was first posted. It is so very good, and I never tire of it. I have made all pork and all chicken meatballs, but my fave is the half and half combo. I have used lemon grass when I can get it, but it’s still delicious without. I always add spinach, and I never serve with rice, because it’s just me, and I don’t need it. My scoop makes exactly 40 meatballs. I usually eat 4 when they come out of the oven as a chef’s treat. That leaves me with 6 meals (I find 6 meatballs is plenty for me for a serving) so I package up the rest in containers (with broth) and freeze. Easy to defrost in microwave for a quick lunch. if I have spinach in the fridge, I will add more when I heat it up. (Oh, a tip I discovered accidentally during covid: I started keeping fresh ginger in the freezer so I would always have it…it is so easy to peel when frozen. I then grate it (still frozen) on a microplane…takes no time at all — much faster than chopping!)

  161. Maxine S.

    After reviewing your Everyday Meatballs cooking proces, would there be any downsides to doing the same here? Despite the heat here in So Cal we still crave cold weather fare like meatballs, stews, hot soups, etc and any alternatives to using the oven are welcome. Thank you for your wonderful website.

  162. Melissa

    Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! I used half ground chicken and half ground pork and would use that combo again. I also happened to have fresh Thai basil and added some of that with the herbs – definitely recommend that addition if you have it available.

  163. Rachel

    I cannot believe it took me so long to make this. I used ground turkey for the meatballs and added in bell pepper and mushrooms to the broth, served over brown rice noodles. It’s absolutely delicious and I can definitely see myself switching this up with different seasonal vegetables. Thank you for the recipe!

  164. Steph

    I made this tonight using local limes and local pork and it was DIVINE. I’m so glad I randomly came across your recipe, it was such a great dinner that I immediately started texting to all my friends saying that I’d make it for them.


  165. Christine

    Frigid cold day in Maine today, and this soup was perfect! I used half pork and ground chicken to mix. Thank you bunches for sharing.

  166. Kathryn

    This broth is amazing! It is so flavorful and so easy to make. I cannot wait to make it again, even though I still have leftovers in the fridge. I ended up adding a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots with the meatballs to simmer instead of spinach and it was a great addition.

    Highly recommend this!

  167. Shannon

    My sweet daughter has a terrible fish allergy. I know I can omit the fish sauce, but do you know of anything that I could use to deepen the flavor in the place of fish sauce?

  168. KAHogan

    Quick question, could I substitute Lemongrass paste (from the produce section, sold in tubes) for fresh lemongrass? If so, how much? thanks!

  169. Claire Dowell

    Just made this with chicken. So, So Flavorful!! Really delicious. Thank you for this recipe. You knocked it out of the park once again!!

  170. Charlotte

    This was delicious and very easy to make! Used the lemongrass which was a great addition. Added some broccoli in and served over brown rice. Def will be making it again!

  171. awads

    I made this a few weeks ago, exactly as written and it was perfect. I didn’t use all the meatballs, though, because there were just three of us. I froze half of them (before putting them into the broth) and now i’m excited that I only have to prepare the broth (and rice) this evening! can’t wait to eat it again!

  172. M-C

    Thank you, thank you! We were heartbroken that our favorite, and only, Vietnamese restaurant was felled by the pandemic. And now I have made a Vietnamese thing, a good one! Whew, that was close..

  173. Kelly

    Delicious flavors but proportion of meatball to broth is off, so I always double the broth. It’s also significantly better on the second day (or after freezing). A staple recipe in this house; thanks, Deb!

  174. Amy

    I love this dish so much! But, I’m surprised there aren’t more comments on the saltiness. Both times I’ve made this my family has commented on it being a bit too salty and I agree. I know 1 tsp of salt per pound of meat is standard, but I think the tablespoon of fish sauce puts it over the edge. Maybe it’s bc I use Morton kosher salt and not diamond crystal. Just a note for others if you are using Morton kosher I’d cut back the salt in the meatballs to 1.5 tsp. Otherwise so so good!

  175. Jill

    I made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious and a big hit! I used one Serrano chili instead of the Thai pepper. Gave it a nice amount of heat! I think it would be great with wide rice noodles instead of rice.

  176. This is a great recipe. It developed a deeper flavor throughout the day. I made it in the morning and let it sit until dinner. We love everything about good food, and we all thought it was a winner. We have enjoyed so many of your recipes. Thank you!

  177. Laura

    Anyone make these as appetizers? I want to bring them to a cookout and curious if cooking down to reduce the sauce would work? Or just make half the amount so it’s more like the meatballs sitting in some concentrated sauce as opposed to a more brothy sauce.

  178. Poetry lover

    This is one of the greatest things I have ever tasted. I wizzed the chicken meatballs up in the food process (with whole, boneless chicken breasts) all at once and put them in the marvelous broth. OH, thank you for this.

  179. Colleen Wright

    I really love your recipes and make your dishes frequently. I’m really shocked though that you’ve repeated a recipe from Jenn Louis here without giving her any credit, the only difference is she used some lemongrass in her broth. Otherwise, the ingredients, proportions, and instructions are identical and her recipe was clearly published before this one. She’s a great chef and a good person. I hope this was just an oversight.

  180. Leah

    Is it possible to make these meatballs and serve with vegetables etc and not simmer them in sauce? I love this recipe and want to use the meatballs in other ways too! Will they be cooked enough after 12-14 min without the additional 10 min simmering?

  181. Kate Stephenson

    I agree that cutting the amount of meatballs in half makes sense. I used 1 lb of pork and it was enough for four generous servings. Added pak choi and shiitake mushrooms to the broth along with the meatballs, and it was great.

  182. Kari

    I’m vegetarian and use plant-based meatballs (and no chicken Better Than Bullion for the broth). Last night I diced a sweet potato per a suggestion in the comments and added some sliced water chestnuts with the spinach at the end, and it really took it over the top.

  183. Sheila

    I made this and I see this being on the menu on a regular basis. The entire dish is SO flavorful and the meatballs alone are incredible.

  184. Leah C Lotto

    I absolutely love this recipe and have made it several times – I make it with one of the newish vegetarian ground meat substitutes and it’s delicious – one of the recipes I was eager to try when they first came on the market. I usually make half the meatball recipe (but keep the ginger and garlic amounts the same) and add a ton of baby spinach to the broth at the end. It’s so flavorful and healthy, and I love that the prep is one bowl for the meatballs, one pot for the soup, and you can chop and add ingredients to each as so many of them overlap. I never bother skimming the broth. A lovely weeknight meal that feels extra special, and warming on these long winter nights.

  185. Stephanie

    Just made this tonight and it was absolutely *amazing*. We are (mostly) vegetarian so I substituted two pounds of Beyond Beef for the pork. Beyond hasn’t held up well in braises in the past, so I baked it in the oven a full 25 minutes instead of braising, and then kept the meatballs separate from the broth until serving. We also used serrano peppers and a baby spinach/arugula mix, and threw a chopped leek in too (it’s what we had available). No other substitutions. Above and beyond delicious! Definitely putting this on regular dinner rotation.

  186. Carol

    Hi Deb! Would you recommend freezing the meatballs cooked, or uncooked? If cooked, do you think freezing the broth with them would work? Making freezer meals for upcoming baby :) Thank you so much!

    1. Gail

      I have frozen these after they were cooked including the broth. They freeze well and are every bit as great once thawed and heated.

  187. Suzi

    This looks so divine. I’m just wondering, though, how the broth got that beautiful lime green color? Is it the mix of turmeric and spinach? I’ve never had spinach change the color of my creamy soups before, but the color in your photos is so attractive!

  188. This is going into rotation immediately. It’s one of the best things I have ever made. I substituted soy sauce for the fish sauce (I really dislike fish sauce immensely) and used jalapenos IPO of the chiles because that’s what I had at home.
    It’s a real winner.

  189. Sheila

    This is SO good and I am very happy I made it last month. It is a bit labor intensive but well worth your time.
    I just had some that I had frozen and it is still so delicious!
    I didn’t add anything to the defrosted version; just heated up the meatball broth mixture on the stove top.

  190. Sean Huck

    I have a couple of questions about this recipe:
    1. I found the pork meatballs too fatty and therefore they made us gassy. Can a 100% swap of ground chicken or turkey work here?
    2. Why no onion in this recipe? I was surprised it was omitted; can I add it, or will that somehow upset the dish?
    Overall, it was super tasty, just want to control the level of fat/gas. Thanks!

  191. Sarah Graham

    What an amazing recipe this is! I used all turkey mince & subbed coconut flour for panko breadcrumbs, as someone suggested, to make it gluten free, & we didn’t have fresh chili but I used chipotle flakes instead. I also inadvertently added in the zest & juice of a whole lime, rather than a half, but it was not overly sharp or liquid, so I’ll keep that tweak.
    I used my Instant Pot Duo Crisp for the meatballs, arranged on a multi-layer rack, on the bake setting, at slightly lower temp & less time than suggested. I kept opening up to check, but could only see the top layer, so I removed them all & put them back into a metal bowl, top ones first, & gave them another few minutes, so that the bottom ones were thoroughly cooked. The multi-level metal stacking thing was a huge pain to clean, & next time I’ll oil it, or invest in some silicone liners, but it worked well & the liquid at the bottom of the pan went straight back into the broth.
    I misread the instructions & put frozen spinach in at the beginning of making the broth, but it didn’t matter, & the ginger & garlic were so tender they just got eaten anyway.
    I’m slightly ashamed to admit that we ate the whole lot – without carbs or additional veg, admittedly – between two of us.
    This was honestly one of my favourite things to eat ever!! Thank you, Deb.

  192. Penny Lamping

    I’m wondering about the timing? In 2 places it says “cook until heated and cooked through” or something similar. So do you cook them through in the oven and then just reheat in the broth? Mine are in the oven right now and smell soooo good! Can’t wait!

  193. nmemo

    I modified the meatballs by adding chopped mushrooms, onions, green onions, and some of the chili. We make extra broth, lemon grass definitely adds to it, and we add broccoli, belly pepper, and carrot. The modifications add a fair amount of time to this otherwise quick recipe, but they’re worth it especially for the meatballs.

  194. Tea

    I have made this many times, and loved it. What might you use instead of panko flakes for someone who has gluten/dairy/soy allergies? Huge fan, and still want to marry you.

    1. Sarah Graham

      I used coconut flour instead of the panko, same quantity, following another suggestion in here. I’d never made it with panko, so can’t compare, but it was wonderful!

  195. Colleen Reisenbichler

    Oh my goodness this was delicious! I used half ground turkey and half ground sausage, worked great. It was a big hit with my fiancé and I will be making it for us again!

  196. Eilish

    This is a fabulous recipe! I make this for my 12m old child with the following changes:

    Omit hot peppers
    Omit salt

    Add 1c of red lentils to the broth (instead of rice)

    Mince the cooked meatballs and add them to the soup when the lentils are mostly cooked, and simmer with spinach for a few additional minutes. Portion and freeze for easy lunches or suppers.

    *I’ve made the adult version of this many times and its always a real hit!

  197. Chelsea Dietrich

    We’ve made this three times, and my picky kids have come to love it. We always step up new recipes. Just one single meatball the first time, three meatballs and a little sauce the second time. Now they’re eating the whole recipe with relish. They started calling it “radioactive meatballs”, and my seven year old declared it her favorite meal ever!

  198. Annie

    I’ve made this twice as an entertaining dish with a spiral cucumber salad on the side. Superb and gets rave reviews every time! I use less chicken broth than called for and let it reduce a lot to have a little bit thicker sauce.

  199. Ramona

    This is our family’s “were sick of everything mom cooks” meal, and it always hits the spot. Freezes amazingly too!!

  200. Fran

    This is on my regular rotation and we all love it. Served with a vegetable side, it’s the perfect amount for 2 adults, 3 kids and a leftover adult lunch. Thank you!

  201. Alyssa Sable

    This is a staple in my household. I use all ground chicken for the meatballs and add a little extra panko for binding. They are always tender little clouds. There are just two of us so I half the meatball ingredients and leave the broth as is because we are broth people. If I can’t get red chiles I use Thai or serrano and it all works great. Wonderful, easy, fast, comforting, yet elegant dinner!

  202. Katharine Dougherty Suri

    This was delicious. I used pork and Beyond burger because that is what I had on hand. I left all the ‘bits’ in, and it was yummy!!

  203. J. Goldberg

    This was delicious! We used ground chicken and it was a hit. One question- how does the broth get so green? Ours was more yellow from the tumeric.