Thai Meatballs w/ Herb Salad

Despite the name, this recipe is about two things: 1) a pungent, assertive Thai-inspired dressing, and 2) herbs. The meatballs are great and all, but when I get an irrational craving for basil, I make this. If you can find Thai or Holy Basil, even better (though regular basil will work just fine).

Liver is for lovers.

I’ve made this a few times now, and I can confirm that you can successfully sneak in some offal here. The assertive flavors in the salad really help offset any ick factor. The last batch I made had about 1/2 pound of lamb livers added in to a pound of meat, and while the flavor was awesome (no metallic twinge on the tongue at all), the texture was definitely altered. Next time I might go for more like 1/4 pound. This is totally optional, of course, but to sell you on the idea, my 2 1/2-year-old daughter couldn’t get enough of these meatballs. Which gives us parenting lesson #3: What They Don’t Know is Good for Them.

If you’re making a big batch of these (great for company!), you can bake them in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes. For some reason, that’s too high maintenance for me, so I tend to cook them in my biggest sauté pan on the stove, turning them to get nice browned surfaces all around.

Thai Meatballs w/ Herb Salad


1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tsp. honey

zest and juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

dash of red chile flakes (or more to taste)

2 tsp. rice vinegar


1/4 -1/2 pound liver, optional (chicken, lamb, beef)

2 pounds ground pork (pastured if you can get it)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


8 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup basil leaves, torn

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly

Veggies like tomatoes and/or cucumber and/or red pepper

1) Make dressing by throwing all ingredients in a food processor. Whirl it around until combined then put it in a large bowl. Set aside.

2) Make yer meatballs. If using liver, put in the food processor until puréed (YUM!), then place in another large bowl along with the rest of the meatball ingredients. Get your clean hands in there and mix together. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat (or opt for baking in oven at 400°F for 20 minutes) and add meatballs as you form them. By the time you get the pan filled, it will probably be time to start flipping the ones you started with. When two sides are nice and browned, reduce heat to medium and continue turning until cooked through, a total of about 20 minutes.

3) Add all salad ingredients to large bowl with dressing in it and toss. Plate a few handfuls of salad and top with several meatballs. Now that’s good.

Serves 4.








3 Responses to “Thai Meatballs w/ Herb Salad”

  1. Wonderful recipe!! This is the first time bread crumb free meatballs have worked out well for me. I substituted cucumber slaw (using your dressing recipe) for the salad.

  2. Hi there!
    This is James from, the paleo recipe sharing site. I am really happy I found your blog, and wondered if you might want to share some of your paleo recipes on I link back to your blog, and shout you out on our Facebook page to help you build traffic in return. It’s been a great way to help everyone and to grow the paleo community.
    Hope to hear from you!
    FastPaleo recipe upload:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: