When my Thai Hubby would get off the little school van that took him and his friends to school, the first thing he would do is walk down the dusty street to the Thai Meatball (luk chin) vendor and order meatballs on a stick with a Thai spicy sweet tamarind sauce. Whoa! Best after school snack ever! I’m a little jealous!
Thai Hubby even told me most of the Thai meatball street vendors in Thailand don’t even make their own meatballs! They just buy a bag of frozen pre-made meatballs from the store, and then grill or deep fry them, and put them on sticks in a bag with some sweet and spicy sauce!
So if you make these, you would be better at making Thai meatballs than a Thai street vendor!
You are amazing!!!
My kids love almost anything on a stick and anything with a sauce. Maybe that’s part of the reason why these amazing Thai street food meatballs are so good and everyone from kids to adults adore them?
You put them on a stick AND you dip them in a sauce! Perfect combo!
Look chin is one of those so delicious Thai street food snacks, that I at first didn’t even want to try making because how would it be possible to replicate such a classic Thai snack? I didn’t want to mess it up!
But I tried, and tried and tried again. Then I made this version and hours after eating the Thai meatballs, Thai Hubby said to me, “Wow, Im still thinking of how amazing those meatballs were and how they reminded of when I was a kid! So good!”
If you’ve never had these in Thailand, just so you know, the texture is quite different from a meatball you would have in America. It’s this cool springy, texture when you bite into it, which we love, but it’s not going to taste like a meatball you’ve ever had before.
Have you had these in Thailand before? Anyone else a fan like we are? If you have had them or not, try out the recipe, and let us know what you think! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram when you make them @thaifoodie! We want to see!Print
Thai meatballs complete with a Spicy Sweet Tamarind dipping sauce, similar to what you might find at a Thai street vendor’s, but you know what goes in them, and can make as many as you want!!
- 1 lb ground meat of choice (chicken, beef, turkey or pork)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp water
Thai Meatball Sweet and Spicy Tamarind Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste
- 3–6 Thai chiles, finely chopped, depending on spice preference
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
- Add the meat and all other meatball ingredients to a food processor. Process on high until it’s a smooth paste.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- As the meatballs are resting, you can make the sauce.
- Add the sugar and tamarind paste to a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pound the garlic and chilies in a mortar and pestle to a paste, or put them in a food processor.
- Add the garlic and chilies to the tamarind and sugar.
- Mix the water and corn starch and add to the mixture, bringing it back to a simmer until it thickens. Adjust to the flavor to your liking. And add a little water if you like it a thinner consistency.
- And now back to the meatballs!
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil.
- Roll the meat mixture into small balls, about 2 inches wide, and drop into the water.
- Bring the water to a simmer, and let the meatballs simmer for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
- Strain the meatballs.
- Put on a kebab stick. (You don’t have to, but it’s more fun!)
- Drizzle some sauce on top, or put the sauce in a container to dip the meatballs in.
If you’ve had Thai meatballs in Thailand, you might have seen them grilled. If you want to get that grilled look, like shown in these pics, after you boil them, put them on a baking sheet, and broil them in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they look browned on the outside. My Thai Hubby loved that I took it that step further, but if you don’t care if they looked grilled, don’t worry about it. They will still taste amazing!
- Serving Size: 4