Recipe by Vino Girl
From Food & Wine, June 2006 (recipe credited to Jennifer Joyce)
Top Review by mianbao
Very good! I love the combination of flavors. The fish sauce and sugar coating say authentic to me. I had to substitute dried mint for fresh in the meatballs, and skip it in the wraps, and also used green onion instead of shallots. I mixed up the meat mixture (using pre-ground chicken) the day before, shaped it into meatballs, and refrigerated it. The next morning, I coated the meatballs with sugar (only needed about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the finely ground white sugar I get here), and baked them. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe with us.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons asian fish sauce
- 3 small shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulb only, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus
- 1⁄3 cup cilantro leaf, for serving
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, plus
- 1⁄3 cup fresh mint leaves, for serving
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 head boston lettuce or 1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 small seedless cucumber, peeled halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
- Asian chili sauce, for serving
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Position a rack in the top third of the oven.
- In a food processor, pulse the chicken until coarsely ground; transfer to a bowl.
- Add the fish sauce, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chopped cilantro and mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix with your hands.
- Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the sugar on a plate.
- Using slightly moistened hands, roll the chicken mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.
- Roll the meatballs in the sugar until they are evenly coated.
- Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce, cilantro and mint leaves, cucumber and onion on a platter.
- Transfer the meatballs to the platter and serve with chili sauce.