Even though my mom won’t let me call these “meatballs” because they’re made with chicken and not her classic trio of beef, pork, and veal, she does confess to liking them. These are not your average meatballs, I admit, but they are loaded with incredible umami-rich flavor thanks to the addition of tamari and fish sauce. The creamy peanut sauce puts them over the top, but I occasionally omit the sauce and serve the meatballs on top of a simple green salad for a lighter weeknight meal.
1 pound ground chicken
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Peanut Cilantro Sauce
¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and small stems
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lime wedges, for serving
1 Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2 Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, scallions, garlic, ginger, coriander, fish sauce, tamari, mint, and cilantro and stir to mix. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and roll into meatballs about the size of a golf ball.
3 Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat to shimmering, then add the meatballs. Cook until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
4 Make the peanut cilantro sauce: In a blender or food processor, pulse the peanuts, garlic, and cilantro until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until just combined. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper.
5 Transfer the meatballs to a plate, top with peanut sauce, spritz with fresh lime juice, and serve.