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)

potatosue1's picture

This is a great recipe, all the family enjoyed it, and it looks great too. Instead of low fat coconut milk I used full fat and it was lovely and creamy, a good balance for the chilli.
Making again this Friday night much to the families delight !

emilysenior's picture

A really delicious curry, though it needs quite a lot of red thai paste to give it the colour in the picture. I've made this several times, usually with chicken and it's really yummy.

thetemple's picture

Fantastic. Just made this swapping the bamboo shoots for baby sweetcorn cut in half length ways and the basil for coriander. Delicious and a doodle to prepare. Will definitely be enjoying this again

mich_mkp's picture

I thought this was lovely! Very nice delicate flavours, and the lime juice really lifts it. I'd be tempted to use a teeny bit more ginger next time but that's honestly all I'd change. Definitely doing this again. Bf also enjoyed it and he's a real chilli freak.

jweg1210's picture

If only I'd read the comments on here before making this!
Yup, it manages to combine spicy and bland, which is something of an achievement.
Unfortunately I've got the other half of the meatballs in the freezer to use. Perhaps with a satay sauce?

rachthecook's picture

I couldn't be bothered with making the meatballs from scratch so I used ready-made swedish meatballs. It was absolutely delicious! Im usally up for doing things from scratch but looking at the comments above I think ready made meatballs are the best option- tastier and easier!

rachelsmachel's picture

I had ready made meatballs so I put the ginger in with the sauce, YUM!

lizzypolly's picture

ps. as comments said was watery didnt add water just the coconut milk.

lizzypolly's picture

was abit worried that i wasnt going to enjoy this after reading the comments but had already bought ingredients so went ahead with a few addaptions. Used fish sauce as recommended and spiced up the meatballs a bit really enjoyed it which as i was cooking for 1 and had to freeze the other portions was glad about. mine was quite hot, however i never seed my chillies as the seed is the hottest part enjoyed it and wasnt at all bland.

bethocallaghan's picture

My husband enjoyed this more than me. I also thought it was bland and uninteresting. Very disappointed.

susannam's picture

Enjoyed this one, but I think I put in too much chilli as it came out very hot! It had a good taste, but I'd make sure you taste as you go along to adjust the heat.

jponter's picture

Also found this a little bland and watery, meatballs were tasty though! Will up the curry paste and reduce the liquid next time!

jorourke's picture

Like some of the others here, my husband and I both found this a little bland. It was really disappointing as the smell was fantastic and seemed to suggest it would be super flavourful but unfortunately. I did like the meatballs (although husband wasn't so sure) but overall the lack of flavour let it down.

vaguegirl's picture

I made this using green curry paste as that is what we had in the cupboard, I used over double the amount of curry paste and threw in some lemongrass. It was ok- I didn't have any basil so it was a little lacking there but I still didn't really rate it. My partner and friend liked it though.

fleeeur's picture

I was very tempted to try this recipe because I love Thai food and in the picture it looks really nice. However, I was a bit hesitant after reading all the comments. Still, I tried it with a few amendments and it was a huge success! I doubled the amount of Thai red curry and fried the meatballs with some onions as suggested by 'cupcake maker' above. Also, I added some leftover ginger to the coconut milk. Instead of beans I used sweet peppers and asparagus. Will try it again next time I'll have guests around :)

midshipman's picture

Followed tips by Belkey, 2 tbsp of paste and added some stock instead of the water to give a little extra flavour. Result? An instant favourite! My girlfriend loves it and cant wait for me to make it for her again

hollyeblack1984's picture

When I read this in the magazine I thought it looked great but then I had read these comments and was very unsure. Nevertheless, as i had already bought most of the ingredients I went ahead and made it but changed the recipe using other peoples feedback.

For the meatballs I used 250g sausagemeat 250g mince beef.
In addition I added dried cumin, corriander, chilli powder and fresh basil to the mix

Once these had browned I then added to the pan with the oil, 1 chopped onion half a chilli, cumin, corrinader (fresh and dried) and a knob of butter to the pan and browned before adding the curry paste and then follwed the rest of the recipe.

I served with noodles in big bowls and it tasted really good.

brmks1's picture

We followed the recipe (apart from the bamboo shoots, as I don't like them), and we really enjoyed it - it's gone into our book to do again!

eleanormayo's picture

I was planning on making this before I read the comments, so was a little unsure! We were cheating and used readymade meatballs so I browned these off initially and then sweated an onion and the chilli and ginger in a pan before adding the curry paste and a spoonful of flour to act as a thickener. I then added the coconut milk and water as stated and carried on with the recipe as suggested, only other addition was baby corn as well as green beans. Contrary to others, we all enjoyed it.

stephanie_landymore's picture

Not sure about using salt and pepper in it either! Very disappointing recipe, I felt there was very little genuine flavour in it, far too watery and the western seasoning made it even worse. Feeling very stupid for not going with my insticts on this one but these recipes are supposed to be trustworthy. Gutted that I've got 3 more portions to rescue flavour-wise.


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