Friday, November 14, 2014

At Home: Thai Chicken Meatballs & Rice Noodles

For my third Blue Apron experiment...At Home, I made a Thai version of spaghetti and meatballs. Instead of spaghetti, I used wide, flat rice noodles. And instead of a tomato-based red sauce, I used coconut milk and red curry for a smooth, rich sauce with a kick. This warm dish of Thai Chicken Meatballs & Rice Noodles is flavored with classic Southeast Asian ingredients. The meatballs are cooked just to the verge of golden-brown perfection before finishing them in the curry, along with crunchy baby bok choy.

Thai Chicken Meatballs (Adapted from Blue Apron - Makes 2 servings)
with Red Coconut Curry, Bok Choy, & Rice Noodles
  • 10 oz. ground chicken
  • 7 oz. wide rice noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 2 scallions  (I used only 1 scallion)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • ½ lb. baby bok choy
  • 1 large bunch cilantro  (I used only ½ bunch)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger
  • ½ cup coconut milk powder
- Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.
- Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops.  (I used only 1 scallion)
- Cut off and discard the ends of the lemongrass stalk. Peel away and discard the fibrous outer layers until you reach the white, pliable core; mince the core.
- Cut off and discard the root ends of the bok choy; separate the leaves.
- Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems, keeping them separate; mince the stems. Keep the leaves whole.   (I used only ½ bunch)
- Zest the lime; then juice the lime and set aside.
- Add the coconut milk powder and 1½ cups warm water to a small bowl; stir until well combined.
- In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the white parts of the scallions, lemongrass, cilantro stems, half the garlic and half the ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Image via Blue Apron
- Transfer to a plate and spread into a single, even layer to cool slightly. Wipe out the pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs and cooled aromatics; season with salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 12 equal-sized balls.
- In the same pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside, leaving any drippings (or fond) in the pan. Drain off as much of the fond as you’d like, leaving some in the pan.

Image via Blue Apron
- Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium until hot. Add the remaining garlic and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add as much of the curry paste as you’d like (depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be); cook, stirring frequently, 20 to 30 seconds, or until toasted and fragrant.
- Add the lime zest and coconut milk mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly reduced.
- Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.
- Add the meatballs and bok choy; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the bok choy is wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the meatballs finish cooking, add the rice noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender; drain thoroughly.
- To plate your dish, divide the cooked noodles and coconut curry and meatballs between 2 dishes.
- Garnish with the cilantro leaves and green parts of the scallions. Enjoy!

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