Panaeng Curry Meatballs


September 11, 2013

Author: KatieChin

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I came up with this recipe for my new cookbook, “Everyday Thai Cooking” and I’m so excited to share it with you here.  I posted this a while back while I was in heavy testing mode for my book but can’t resist posting it again (this time with turkey) because it’s so easy to make and is so delicious!  The combination of tender balls of your favorite ground meat and a wonderfully aromatic and tasty broth of curry, coconut milk and my personal favorite, kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves then throw in some lime peel.  It’s a great substitute.  Let this simmer in your kitchen for a few minutes and watch the crowd gather.   This dish fills your home with the most exotic and sublime aroma.  I have never once heard anyone in my family say “We’re having that…again?!” when they walk in and take of whiff of its amazingness!   It’s also great to bring to parties because it travels really well.


1 ½ cups coconut milk

1 lb ground turkey

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 large egg

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil

2 tablespoons panaeng curry paste or red curry paste

1⁄2 cup water

1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)

1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar

4-6 kaffir lime leaves (optional), torn in half

¼ cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, drained

Two small handfuls of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves (about ½ cup), finely chopped


  • Mix the ground turkey with ginger, salt and egg. Place approximately 1 teaspoon of the mixture and shape it into a meatball. Continue shaping and transfer them onto a platter.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  • Add the coconut milk to the frying pan and let come a gentle simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the curry paste to the pan and cook about 3 minutes, stirring to dissolve the paste into the coconut milk. Return the meatballs and cook, turning gently to coat, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a gentle boil, and add the water, fish sauce, palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves and bamboo shoots. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring gently until the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.