In my previous life when I didn’t pay attention to things like calories and suitable portion sizes, I had a recipe for a delicious green chicken curry. I love curry sauce with rice and I used to make this curry with so much curry sauce made from coconut milk that it was more like a coconut soup with some chicken. As part of my losing weight, I cut this recipe from my diet. I loved this recipe so much that I wasn’t willing to compromise to make a low calorie version. I think there are some favourites that the low fat version is just never going to cut it. I figured I would just save this recipe for special occasions – I don’t think you should always be counting calories, you have to give yourself days off to truly enjoy food. This recipe would be kept aside for those days.
But then I saw this recipe for Thai curry turkey meatballs that had the ingredients of my original curry but in much healthier proportions. Given my love of meatballs and my original recipe, I thought it was worth giving it a try. And I am so glad I did. This recipe incorporates the flavours I love from my original recipe but in a much lower calorie version. I should qualify this a bit and say it is still about 390 calories a serve. But compared to my original recipe that is positively slimifying.
Since making the recipe the first time, I have made some adjustments to the recipe. The original recipe effectively poached the meatballs and while this tasted delicious, the meatballs looked very insipid. In my version of the recipe, I have browned the meatballs first – you don’t need to do this but I think the meatballs look nicer and so much of eating is with your eyes.
I also used this recipe to try out replacing eggs with chia seeds, something I have been meaning to do since making these pork meatballs that use chia seeds as a binder. I followed the instructions at Food Renegade to make an egg substitute but I used 1 tsp of chia seeds to 3 tsp of water rather than the tablespoons. I was impressed with how well this turned out and was great in acting as a binder for the meatballs. They also take probably 20 calories at least out of the recipe. How good is that! I am now a chia seed convert.
This is now one of my favourite recipes. I love the saltiness of the fish sauce, combined with the clean flavours of the lime juice and the creaminess of the coconut milk. The meatballs are lovely and tender. I served my meatballs with basmati rice and I love the way the rice soaks up the flavours in the sauce. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Sweet peas and saffron recommend avoiding light coconut milk and I would have to agree. The creaminess is one of the charms of this dish and I don’t think you would get that with light coconut milk.
There are some good recipes out there for green curry paste but I bought mine. I used to use a great curry paste by John West but for some reason they stopped making it, something a friend and I often lament. Curry pastes can vary so if you find the first one is a bit bland, there may be a better one out there for you. I use the Valcom brand. It isn’t as good as the John West one was but it is pretty good.
I suspect the recipe would also work well with pork or chicken mince.
- 150g minced (ground) turkey breast
- 1/3 tsp of fish sauce
- 1/3 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of chia seeds (you can use any colour but white probably looks better)
- 3 tsp of water
- 1 tbs and 1 tsp of bread crumbs
- 1 tsp green curry paste (or use red if that is what is your cupboard - either will taste great)
- 130ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of lime juice
- 1/2 tbs coriander (cilantro), chopped
- Ground the chia seeds using a mortar and pestle.
- Mix the ground chia seeds with the water and let sit for 5 minutes - it won't look appetizing but will be a good binder. It will thicken to a paste like consistency.
- Once the chia seed mix is ready, mix it in a bowl with all the other meatball ingredients.
- Roll the meatball mixture in to golf ball sized balls.
- Heat a small frying pan on medium heat.
- Pop the meatballs in to the pan and brown them off - about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the pan.
- Put the curry paste in the pan and give it a quick fry until it is fragrant.
- Mix in all the other sauce ingredients and stir until well combined and the curry paste is fully mixed in.
- Add the meatballs and bring the boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until the meatballs are fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with the coriander.
- Serve with steamed rice.