Red Thai meatball curry

Red Thai meatball curry

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
A colourful, zingy curry that the whole family will enjoy

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal371
  • fat26g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein31g
  • salt0.79g
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  • 500g pack lean beef mince (10% fat)



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 2 red chillies, 1 chopped, 1 sliced
  • thumb-size piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1-1½ tbsp Thai red curry paste, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 225g can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 140g fine green beans, trimmed
  • juice 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 20g pack basil



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • basmati rice or rice noodles, to serve


  1. Put the mince into a large bowl with the chopped chilli, ginger and egg, then season generously. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 20 meatballs. Can be made and chilled up to a day ahead.

  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then brown the meatballs for 5 mins. Tip onto a plate. Add the curry paste, fry for 1 min, then pour in the coconut milk and half a can of water. Bring back to the boil and stir to make a smooth sauce.

  3. Return the meatballs to the pan with the bamboo shoots and beans. Simmer for 5 mins until the beans are just tender and meatballs cooked through. To serve, season the sauce with salt, pepper and lime juice, then tear in the basil leaves. Scatter with sliced chilli and serve with rice or noodles and more lime wedges for squeezing over.

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Comments (43)

samosa28's picture

We all loved this recipe. Went down very well with 2 adults and 2 teenagers on a Saturday night :)

tmreynolds's picture

Disappointed. Rate as 3 star. Meatballs need more chilli to give it more "bit". I added baby corn and left out the bamboo shouts. It looks good but does not deliver. Will not be cooking again.

lurvlyloz's picture

Very tasty. Didn't add the water so was perfect sauce

lurvlyloz's picture

Did again and used chicken meatballs and added spinach and was delicious

cwebster24's picture

Made this for dinner for friends and I tonight and we loved it. I will definitely make this again.
I used turkey mince for the meatballs as it's leaner (and that was what I had in the fridge). Initially when shaping the meatballs they were very wet and I wasn't sure if I should have added some breadcrumbs to them but on cooking they stayed solid (they did go a little flat/squashed when I turned them but that's ok) and tasted lovely.
I added full fat coconut milk as I couldn't get low fat.
Instead of bamboo shoots and green beans I added some red and yellow peppers, mangetout, baby corn and chopped spring onion. Instead of basil I used coriander.
The lime juice really added to the depth of flavour.
I served mine with thai jasmine rice which soaked up the lovely sauce as it was originally a bit runny.
All in all a simple, relatively quick (took about 35 mins) and delicious meal :)

alisoncrabb's picture

Really tasty, I added a bit of corn flour to thicken but otherwise followed recipe. Would definitely make again.

joricho's picture

Really simple and tasty. I've also made with turkey mince to make it a bit healthier and it worked well.

dysphoria's picture

even better the next day, cold!

dysphoria's picture

Not sure why anyone is complaining about it being watery, they might be severely disappointed when they come to eating authentic thai currys, they are almost like broth! I added coriander, salt, pepper and crushed dried chillies to the meat balls. Also was using tinned sweetcorn so added the water from that, a little fish sauce, a lot of paste, some extra chilli and a dash of salt and pepper chinese seasoning, as I like my curry hot :) Very good indeed!

marjorie55's picture

I am going to try this tonight - have read all reviews so will adapt as I go along, the picture makes it look delicious! Will post tomorrow to let you know how I got on! Fingers crossed !!

lou2012's picture

I saw the reviews for this but thought I would give it a try anyway.... I felt exactly the same as most of the people who reviewed it... I was lacking something. The second time I tried it, instead of just the half can of water, I added half a beef stock cube and a big hand full of cherry tomatoes. It was delicious... The cherry tomatoes were the thing that was missing for me!

keithchef's picture

Curry being my most loved dish this one sounds fab & i cant wait to try it also thai is my favoured place of food makes it even better!

susannahgrammar's picture

This is a fantastic combination and dead easy to make (when using store-bought meatballs that is!). Still, following the number of comments from other readers, I simply made this according to the fool-proof, basic Thai red curry recipe elsewhere on this site, rather than following the steps suggested here. We enjoyed it and I would definitely make it again, but not following the recipe as suggested here.

welshleo's picture

This is basically a good recipe but a dash of fish sauce and a pinch of sugar really lifts the taste. I know 'cos I lived in the Far East for years!

bluemeanie's picture

Very bland I'm afraid. Took the advice of a couple of the posters here; sweated some onion and garlic first, added stock rather than water, used pork and veal instead of beef, but it wasn't enough to save it.

And by the way, it does say 1-1½ tablespoons of curry paste, not teaspoons as some are suggesting.

liezeldutoit's picture

I was surprised to see so many negative comments on this recipe. I did not fry the meatballs, rather just dropped them into the broth to let them cook. Made it for my hubby to cure his hangover and this is a keeper!

janemariebrown's picture

I added a clove of crushed garlic to the meatballs. When I came to fry the meatballs, I added two bruised stems of lemon grass. I couldn't buy any basil so I used coriander leaves. It was very tasty and very easy. Great for a weeknight.

narmstr1's picture

no no no to the pre made meatballs, hand made meatballs made this dish. Add plenty of ginger and add diced ginger with chillis to the oil when browning the meatballs. agree with others and added 3 very generous tea spoons of paste. take ginger out before you get it confused with the bamboo shoots though! and add cumin to meat when frying, to the sauce when adding final touches and also a generous handful of coriander. It had a real kick to it, but served with rice, it lost the pang of the chilli but retained the flavour. Good base, BUT not a complete recipe, you must tweek to your taste!

pumpykin's picture

this sounds yummy..............although I will use Pataks extra hot curry paste instead of the Thai red, which I have done for other recipes and gives it the wow! factor.


Questions (2)

janice88's picture

This looks and sounds like a great recipe. I have recently bought a slow cooker and am wondering how it would be cooked in that. Would give all the lovely flavours plenty of time to meld together. Any opinions or has anyone tried it in a slow cooker?

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question. We haven’t tried it, but we don’t see why not. Try 6-8 hours on the low setting. 

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