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This is a famous dish along the Yangtze, with regional variations. In Shanghai, the sauce will be sweet and sour. In Chongqing, it will be hot and spicy. And in Wuhan…well, it will depend on the season and the mood of the chef.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2007


Recipe Summary

45 mins

Nutrition Profile:



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine coconut milk, soy sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Set aside.

  • Place pork (or beef), scallions, leek, cornstarch, flour, sesame oil, ginger, chile, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead by hand until combined and the mixture becomes sticky. Divide into 10 equal portions, about 1/4 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball.

  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

  • Bring the coconut-milk mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.

  • Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves. Arrange the meatballs on top. Garnish with basil and lemon zest. Serve hot with the coconut-milk sauce drizzled over the top or on the side for dipping.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the meatball mixture (Step 2) for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts

1 meatball
116 calories; protein 10.1g; carbohydrates 5.1g; dietary fiber 0.9g; sugars 0.4g; fat 6.5g; saturated fat 2.6g; cholesterol 26.3mg; vitamin a iu 687.2IU; vitamin c 3.3mg; folate 17.8mcg; calcium 23mg; iron 0.9mg; magnesium 13.7mg; potassium 168.8mg; sodium 296.8mg.

1 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 vegetable