SOUTHFIELD, MICH (WXYZ) — Slow Cooker Thai Turkey Meatballs
(Yield: 8 Appetizer Servings)
* These meatballs can also be served with Bibb lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps or with French baguette for Banh Mi style sandwiches.
3 medium shallots, roughly chopped
6 medium cloves garlic
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup Thai chili sauce (Mae Ploy)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion, white and light green parts only, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lime
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the shallot, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, curry paste, and fish sauce. Process until the mixture forms a paste.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet (or in a slow cooker with a sauté function) over medium heat. Add half of the aromatic paste, reserving the rest for the meatballs. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in Thai chili sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and cook for 1 minute.
3. Stir in water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, cover, and set on low for at least 5 and up to 8 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. In a large bowl, combine reserved aromatic paste with ground turkey or chicken, panko, egg, and half of the sliced scallion. Season with salt and pepper. Using wet hands to prevent sticking, roll the ground chicken into golf ball–sized balls. If the mixture is too wet to form meatballs, add 1 tablespoon of additional panko at a time until it is easier to shape.
5. Bake meatballs until lightly browned on top, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use; pour any juices from baking sheet into sauce in slow cooker.
6. Add meatballs to slow cooker for last 30 minutes of cooking, stirring to coat.
7. In a small bowl, combine remaining scallion, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and lime juice.
8. Once the cooking time is up, switch the slow cooker to the “warm” setting. Right before serving, sprinkle approximately 3/4 of the peanut mixture over the meatballs and stir. Top with the remaining peanut mixture and serve.
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