Red Thai meatball curry

Red Thai meatball curry

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(59 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 choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • 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
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 225g can bamboo shoots, drained
    Bamboo shoots

    Bamboo shoots

    bam-boo shoo-tz

    As expected, these are the very young shoots of many types of

  • 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, questions and tips

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dysphoria's picture
7th Sep, 2012
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
12th May, 2012
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 !!
30th Apr, 2012
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!
25th Apr, 2012
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
2nd Feb, 2012
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.
18th Apr, 2011
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!
17th Apr, 2011
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.
17th Apr, 2011
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!
BoonieB's picture
1st Mar, 2011
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.
28th Feb, 2011
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!


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