Ginger-Braised Pork Meatballs in Coconut Broth

IMG_3818This recipe is from a F&W Magazine book called Chefs’ Easy Weeknight Dinners. The dish immediately appealed to me visually – turmeric luscious coconut broth with delicious pork meatballs – but the ingredient list seems exotic enough to stand out without being too hard to procure. And it is made in a jiffy. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

2 lb ground pork
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp panko
3 Tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
1 13 1/2 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (light)
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 fresh red Thai chiles, slit but kept intact, plus thinly sliced chiles for serving (optional)
1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, outer leaves removed and stalk cut into 1-inch lengths
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tsp ground turmeric
Thinly sliced mint and cilantro leaves, lime wedges and steamed jasmine race, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and form approximately 40 1 1/2-inch meatballs arranging them on a large rimmed baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
Bake until meatballs are golden brown and just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the broth in a large sauce pan, combining the coconut milk, stock, ginger, garlic, slit chiles (if using), lemongrass, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and turmeric.
Add 1 Tbsp sugar and season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so the broth is simmering. Discard lemongrass.
Add the meatballs to the broth and simmer until cooked through and tender, approximately 15 minutes.
Season broth with more sugar, salt and lime juice, if necessary.
Serve with sliced herbs and Thai chiles, lime wedges over rice.