Thai Me Up Meatball Sub

by Katie Chin, Tastemaker in Residence

2 cups coconut milk
1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
1 ½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 large egg
¾ tsp salt
2 Tbsp high-heat cooking oil
3 Tbsp panaeng curry paste or red curry paste
¾ cup water
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp brown sugar
4-6 kaffir lime leaves (optional), torn in half
4 12-inch soft baguettes
shredded carrots
fresh cilantro leaves
fresh Thai basil leaves
sliced fresh Jalapeno or Serrano chilies
crushed roasted peanuts

  1. Mix the ground beef with ginger, salt and egg. Shape mixture into 20 meatballs. Transfer meatballs onto a platter.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a gentle boil, and add the water, fish sauce, brown sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring gently until the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Slice baguettes open with serrated knife. Place cilantro leaves, basil leaves and shredded carrots in the bottom and sides of each baguette. Using a slotted spoon, place 5 meatballs in each baguette. Drizzle curry sauce on top of the meatballs. Place chilies on top and garnish with crushed peanuts. Serve immediately with a bowl of curry sauce on the side.