Yellow Curry Meatballs and Kale

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.


The response to yesterday’s post has me…wowed.  🙂  I will respond to each and every comment a bit later today, but let me just say thank you.  So very much.  If nothing else, it is encouraging that I’m not alone in my experiences and frustration.  One commenter suggested some sort of repository of knowledge here, and I’m inclined to agree; again, I’ll respond to all of the comments here in a bit, but if I were to do such a thing, what form should it take?  A bulletin board?  A wiki?  Merely a better-organized blog?

I appreciate any and all suggestions.

But for today, I have another Whole30 recipe (see?  I told you they weren’t going to go away).

I think I’ve spoken a time or three about my love of Asian cuisine, particularly Thai.  If I were going to just leap off the wagon, it would be face first into a huge plate of pad kee mao, followed by sticky rice with mangoes.  Unfortunately (or maybe not), there aren’t any good Thai restaurants anywhere near us and while I could make it myself, bringing rice noodles into our house is rather dangerous for me, so I simply don’t do it.

Thai curries, however, are a completely different story.  They don’t really require rice, something else I try not to bring into the house, are low in sugar and huge in the flavor department, as well as being replete with healthy fat from the coconut milk.  (Note:  If I never ate pizza or ice cream again I wouldn’t care; rice and rice noodles are huge binge foods for me, so I try to stay away from them.  I know – I’m weird.)

While most curry recipes call for small amounts of sugar, it really won’t hurt the dish to leave it out, and without the sugar and rice, Thai curries are pretty Whole30 compliant, if you’re careful about the curry paste and chicken stock.  I buy my curry pastes at a tiny little Asian market here in Podunk – they contain nothing but chilies and spices, and I haven’t used a commercial stock, chicken or beef, in years.

This recipe combines yellow curry with ground pork and Thai basil we’re growing in our herb garden this year, as well as kale from our CSA share.  Served as a soup, it is delicious, nutritious and filling.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but this ranks high on the “comfort food” scale with me.

Note:  You can use any type of curry paste you like – yellow, red or green; yellow is just what I had on hand.  If you don’t eat pork, ground turkey would work well too.

Yellow Curry Meatballs and Kale
Yellow Curry Meatballs and Kale
Yellow Curry Meatballs and Kale
Serves: 8
  • Meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon lard or ghee
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
  • Curry
  • 1 tablespoon lard or ghee
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the lard or butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Using your hands, gently mix the ground pork, onion/garlic mixture, salt, pepper, Thai basil, and ginger in a large bowl until well-blended. Form into 2-ounce meatballs and place on a shallow, foil-lined baking dish; bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, or just until cooked through. Place the meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate and
  4. set aside.
  5. Melt the lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and yellow curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Whisk in the chicken stock and coconut milk until well-blended, then stir in the fish sauce.
  6. Add the kale and meatballs to the sauce in the skillet, increase the heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until the kale is tender.
  7. Nutrition (per serving): 499 calories, 40.4g total fat, 86.5mg cholesterol, 1006.6mg sodium, 790.2mg potassium, 11.4g carbohydrates, 1.6g fiber, 2.1g sugar, 24.1g protein


17 thoughts on “Yellow Curry Meatballs and Kale”

  1. Curry is THE BOMB! I would always get weird looks when I’d go out and order just curry, no rice. One time I went to a restaurant and ordered a combo that came with rice, and I asked for no rice, they actually gave me a discount for not taking the rice, AND gave me a larger portion of curry. It was like, “Finally, someone understands me!!”
    This looks yummy! We have a lot of swiss chard from our farm, and that would be great way to use it in place of the kale.

    1. +1 on extra curry and a discount for no rice! I wanna eat at a place like that!

      This would be great with Swiss chard. Or collards. Or mustard greens.

  2. Yep, rice is a huge temptation problem for me. I don’t react to it the way I react to wheat products, so it’s technically “safe,” but any amount of rice (and if I indulge, it NEVER seems to be a small amount) will knock my blood sugar through the roof.

    Too many years of being broken…

      1. It really is a nice dish; it takes a little time, but it’s not at all difficult, and it tastes really, really good.

    1. “…and if I indulge, it NEVER seems to be a small amount…”

      Boy, I hear you on that one. The only time I’m able to rein in the consumption of rice is if we’re doing Japanese and ala carte everthing – crab or seaweed salad, sashimi and maki, and then it costs an arm and a leg. LOL

  3. THat sounds most excellent! I have been dabbling in coconut because of you. I got a jar of coconut oil from the Trader Joe’s (really good price, btw) and we’re loving it. Do you have any recipe suggestions for me? Or can I just search “coconut oil” on your site? Also, I bought a can of coconut milk and used it in my coffee. I like it a lot. Is it supposed to be really thick? I like the thickness, but it’s kind of hard to get used to. I got it from TJ’s too, but seemed to be the right thing. I have yet to actually cook with the coconut milk yet though. Ideas?

    1. I love coconut milk in my coffee. Yup, it’s going to be really thick – sometimes when you open the can, all of the coconut “cream” will be a solid block on top of the liquid portion; just stir it all together. Sometimes, after you refrigerate, it will become almost solid again, but that’s okay, too.

      Just do a search for “coconut milk” and “coconut oil” (using the quotes, so you don’t get a return for every post that includes coconut or milk or oil; I’ve got a ton of recipes that use either, or both.

  4. MMMMmmmmm! That sounds so good. If I could actually, you know, eat FOOD.
    Today I began taking probiotics.
    I’m imagining weird live things having a battle inside of me.
    What do you think?? Who will WIN?? : )

    1. Are you taking the probiotic in pill form, or are you incorporating fermented foods into your diet? All of my research tells me the latter is better, because there’s more of the different kinds of beneficial bacteria in fermented foods, and only one or two in the pills.

  5. This is on the menu for tonight. I really need to start growing thai basil so I don’t have to go across town to the little international market just to find some. I will be making this with ground beef as we just picked up our half side of beef so I have more ground beef than I know what to do with. I think I’ll be “ricing” some cauliflower to soak up that delicious looking sauce!

  6. I added some Italian sausage to the pork. This dish was a hit and the sauce was amazing! !

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