Thai Shrimp & Pork Meatballs on Lemongrass Skewers

08/21/2013

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My lemongrass is going gangbusters in our yard now, so I decided to use it in this Thai dish as both an ingredient and as skewers. Lemongrass grows extremely well in temperate Florida; our patch that started out as a few small stalks is now two feet wide and over six feet tall. The aromatic herb has more uses than just flavor; Mexican folk claim its medicinal qualities include aiding digestion and calming nervous disorders.

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For this dish, I used lemongrass and ginger from my yard, and local Gulf shrimp.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. peeled and deveined raw shrimp
2 egg whites
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 c fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c grated carrot
1 T chopped lemongrass
2 t minced ginger
1 t minced garlic
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 tsp red chile paste

Instructions:

Peel the shrimp, and place in a food processor with the egg whites until mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients. For the lemongrass, if you’re using fresh stalks, use only the bottom bulb and remove the tough outer leaves. Lemongrass is really fibery, so if you don’t chop it small enough, the stringy threads can be a nuisance when eating. Mix all ingredients, and shape into oblong meatballs on the lemongrass skewers. (It doesn’t matter which part of the stalk you use here, since the skewer is only for flavor; it is not to be eaten.) Place meatballs on the grill at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side.

For the sauce, I like just plan sriracha. For a less spicy dipping sauce, add:

1 c sweet chili sauce
Juice of 2 limes
Dash of soy sauce, if needed

I served this dish with grilled vegetables and polenta. This meal makes enough for 6-8 people, if you want it as a main dish, or you could make the meatballs smaller and serve them as appetizers.

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