Tod man mu, or spicy Thai pork meatballs

Food & drink
Fiery, chili flavoured Thai pork meatballs

It’s strange that most cuisines have some sort of variation on the humble meatball, and I think it’s a little sad that we Brits don’t think more highly of them.  There’s a world of things that can be done with this method.

This is the Thai version. Tod man mu are heavily spiced little pork meatballs, with a fiery chili kick and a rich seam of citrus flavours.

They’re utterly delicious.

This recipe came via Twitter, from @joolscyprien, who recommends eating them with a beer, mainly to quench the vicious chili , I suppose.

They’re very easy to make – more of an assembly job than anything else – and if you’ve ever made an Italian meatball, you’ll know what you’re doing.

Start with about half a kilo of the best quality minced pork you can find, then add a good handful each of of dried coconut and cooked jasmine rice, half a tin of coconut milk, two and a half to three generous tablespoons of Thai red curry paste, the juice and zest of a lime, four or five finely chopped kaffir lime leaves, a big splash of nam pla, or fish sauce and as much chilli powder as you think you can stomach.

You may or may not need to add an egg to bind the mixture together.

Mix everything together and let it rest in the fridge for a while.

Red curry paste is widely available these days and it’s a great ingredient to have around.  You could make your own – it’s just a case of blending ingredients together in a blender, but the commercial versions are normally very good indeed and perfectly suited for making tod man with.

As for the rest of the ingredients, there’s nothing there that a decent supermarket won’t be able to0 supply.

Fry a small piece of the mixture and try it to test the seasoning.  If it needs more salt, add more fish sauce.

Shape teaspoons of the mixture into balls and fry in shallow oil until crisp.  You can keep each batch warm in the oven whilst the rest are cooking.

Serve with more jasmine and hot chili sauce over the top.

Beer is mandatory.