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Coconut Milk Pork and Shrimp Meatballs

Coconut milk pork and shrimp meatballs sound a little weird but once you try this you will be completely satisfied with the results.  You’ll want to make this again and again because the meatballs are so delectable and this recipe is so easy, quick and forgiving.  

In the middle of the covid-19 crisis we have been stretched so thin as a family.  There is little time to do the things we enjoyed doing such as cooking, exercising, and taking care of ourselves.  As one without a spouse and children could only guess, we are spending most of our time working from home AND making sure our children are keeping busy with the right activities, doubling as teachers who don’t get paid.  

We discovered this amazing recipe while watching a Gordon Ramsay cooking show on TV.  We were amazed at how quick this recipe could be prepped, cooked and served.  We were even more satisfied when we tried it!  It’s now a go-to recipe for our tool chest! While there is a step involving cooling off the meatballs in the refrigerator for some time, your total time prepping and cooking should only be about 30-40 minutes. 

The Kitchen Essentials

Coconut Milk Pork and Shrimp Meatballs

To cater to the ingredients we had available and what we were craving, we did tweak the recipe a little, and found it to be absolute perfection.  We were craving some Thai food, but didn’t have the time or motivation to go shopping for all the ingredients we needed.  Luckily we do have lemongrass growing in our yard which came in handy for this recipe. Keep scrolling for the recipe and to find out how you can grow lemongrass at home too!

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 12 oz raw shrimp (deveined, peeled, tail off)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or more for garlic lovers)
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (olive oil will do)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Broth

  • 14 oz can organic coconut milk
  • 14 oz organic chicken broth (we use Better than Bullion)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (pounded and cut into batons)
  • 4 inch piece of ginger (sliced thin)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Alternatives/Substitutions

  • Add red pepper flakes or Sriracha sauce to the meatball mixture to give it a spicy Thai kick.  
  • Instead of fish sauce, try Worcestershire sauce.
  • Instead of lemon grass, try a squeeze of lemon juice in the broth as well as some lemon zest.
  • Instead of fresh ginger, try using a tsp of ginger powder.  
  • Instead of wild rice, try jasmine rice.
  • Skip the shrimp, use any kind of ground meat (meatless meat) you have!  – halve the complementary meatball ingredients if so.

Instant Pot Wild Rice

  • Equal parts wild rice and water 
  • 1 tbsp butter

We use our Instant Pot for making rice, always! It is so quick and easy and the texture always turns out perfect. While rice recipes usually call for more water than rice, this is different for pressure cooked rice.

Always use equal parts liquid and rice. You can substitute the water for broth or coconut milk or any other liquid you like to use along with any spices. For this recipe, we just added a spoonful of butter and water knowing the meatballs were going to be full of flavor with leftover sauce.

Add the rice and liquid to the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 6 minutes with a natural release.

Directions:

  1. Mince shrimp in a food processor.  If you are pressed for time, just chop up with a knife.
  2. Put ground pork and all other meatball ingredients into a bowl with the shrimp.
  3. Use wet hands to form the meat mixture into balls about 2 to 2.5 inches thick.  
  4. Place the meatballs on lightly greased plate or cookie sheet and let rest in refrigerator for thirty minutes.
  5. Heat up a large skillet to medium high heat and heat one (or two) tablespoons of olive oil.  Place meatballs around the edges of the skillet to brown on the bottom for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Once browned, turn the meatballs over, then place coconut milk, chicken broth, coriander, turmeric ginger and lemongrass into the center of the skillet.  Stir the broth and turn the stove down to a simmer; 8-12 minutes more.  The broth will start to look like a golden, creamy curry.
  7. The meatballs will start to plump up.  They will be noticeably done when they are springy with a bit of resistance to the touch.
  8. Place a bed of rice in a bowl, top with a few meatballs, and ladle on as much broth as you would like. 
  9. Serve with lime zest and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

This dish is so comforting, healthy and delicious.  It has as much Thai flavor as any Thai dish without having to go too much out of your way.  No Thai curry paste, no tamarind sauce, kaffir lime leaves needed.  The best part of this recipe is that you can double or triple it and freeze everything for future quick meals. 

How to Grow Your Own Lemongrass at Home

Take a stalk or two of store-bought lemongrass.  Place in a tall glass with only about an inch of water.  Replace the water every day. 

Within about a week you should start to see roots growing out of the bottom of every stalk.  It is now ready to pot in potting mix. 

Cut each stalk so it is only about 3-4 inches long.  Water daily for about a week and place it in direct sunlight.  In ideal conditions, the stalk will grow new shoots, and will be ready to harvest in about 4-6 months. 

After having planted our store bought lemongrass stalk, we’ve never had to buy lemongrass ever again!  The plant itself lends a beautiful aroma, is a natural pest deterrent and looks beautiful in the yard!  

We also found Gordon Ramsay’s video so helpful. Check it out:

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