Our neighbor is the gardening queen.
She has a collection of plants, flowers, and trees that rivals many homes. Homes that have actual yards and ground to plant in. Her garden is all potted indoors or on the roof of our apartment building.
She inspired my attempt to be an urban gardener. But while Peter and I have adopted a few of her plants and are taking care of a few more of our own (we’ve picked 2 lemons from our tree so far!) we certainly rely on her help watering the plants when we’re away traveling or when a plant is looking sad or droopy.
We also take advantage of her herb garden and chili plants.
Luckily, she has very generously given us free access to both since she doesn’t use them in her cooking. I snag chilis for curries or stir fries and the fresh mint is perfect for cocktails.
Recently I walked by her rooftop garden and caught a whiff of her fragrant and lush thai basil plant and knew I needed to make use of it.
Today’s thai basil meatballs are delicious and aromatic. They don’t require much seasoning because the fresh thai basil adds so much flavor and spice. Unlike the more commonly used sweet basil, thai basil definitely adds a warm kick to your cooking.
I roughly shredded the thai basil by hand before tossing it in with the other ingredients. This means there was no knife or chopping board needed for the recipe — just one mixing bowl and a baking sheet (I love easy clean-ups).
For extra spice I served my meatballs up with a drizzle of chili sauce. You can bake a big batch of these meatballs (leave them slightly undercooked before freezing) and freeze them for later (bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes until cooked through).
I’m hoping to make these for our next dinner party, but they are easy enough to roll up for a quick weeknight dinner.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 handful of Thai basil, shredded
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- Chili sauce, optional, for serving
- Heat oven to 400 F (~204 C)
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
- Using hands, shape into 1.5 inch diameter balls
- Place meatballs onto greased baking sheet
- Bake for ~15-20 minutes until meatballs are cooked through
- Serve warm with chili sauce