Thai Peanut Noodles with Turkey Meatballs is an irresistible combination of quick cooking soba noodles with peanut sauce topped with turkey meatballs seasoned with thai flavors.
Meatballs aren’t just for spaghetti and red sauce.
Lately I’ve been testing all kinds of meatball making methods and flavor combinations – including meat-free versions. SeriousEats has a great round-up of all the different meatball varietals from around the world. Using tips from their guide to the most tender and juicy meatballs, I’ve been creating some of my own.
How to Make Tender, Juicy Meatballs
The technique that I like most to keep meatballs crispy on the outside and tender on the inside utilizes bread soaked in milk. Adding dry breadcrumbs to meatballs will make them dense., but this method keeps them bouncy and light – full of tender, juicy flavor.
Here are the secrets to this method:
Soaked bread cubes.
Mix the bread cubes with buttermilk.
- Mix together by hand.
Gently mixing by hand prevents over-mixing.
Brown meatballs first.
Searing locks in the juice.
- Bake in the oven.
Finishing the meatballs means you can start the noodles!
How to Make Thai Peanut Noodles
This thai-inspired soba noodle bowl is coated with a yummy peanut sauce. The sauce gets a spicy lift from Sriracha, salty umami from soy sauce, lime and a splash of fish sauce.
Step 1: Boil Noodles.
Make sure to reserve some of the pasta water to loosen the peanut sauce.
Step 2: Combine Sauce.
In a sauté pan over low or medium-low heat, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, and fish sauce. Cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in peanut butter to form a paste. Loosen the sauce with reserved pasta water until you reach desired consistency.
Step 3: Toss with noodles + serve!
A little chiffonade of fresh greens is the perfect accent.
Golden turkey meatballs sit on top of creamy + spicy peanut butter noodles. Who can resist a bowl of Thai noodles!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp dried ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- Zest of one lime
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
- 3/4 cup day old bread (without crust) cubed
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (or almond milk) added a tablespoon at a time
- 2 tsp Sesame oil to brown the meatballs
It is easiest to make the turkey meatballs first and prepare the remainder while they cook. Keep them warm in the oven until you're ready with the rest.
Place the ground turkey in a small bowl.
In another bowl, mix the bread cubes with the buttermilk - add just enough buttermilk that it coats all the bread cubes and has a little to absorb. Let that sit for about 5 minutes until all of the bread is soft and wet.
Add the bread and all of the dry spices, salt, sugar, cilantro, fish sauce, and zest to the bowl of a Cuisinart or mixer. Blend everything together, then add 1/4 of the ground turkey. Blend again until incorporated.
Add the blended mixture to the rest of the ground turkey and mix together by hand.
Start shaping the meatballs: Grab a baking sheet to place them on and some water to dab on your palms to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands!
Once you have nice evenly formed balls ready to cook, heat the oven to 350F and add a couple tablespoons of sesame oil to an oven proof pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, sear the meatballs until nicely browned on a couple sides, turning as you go. This will take about 5 minutes.
Once browned, place the pan in the heated oven and finish cooking the meatballs - about another 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to eat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Boil noodles according to package instructions - 3 to 4 minutes. RESERVE 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen peanut sauce.
For the sauce: In a sauté pan over low or medium-low heat, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, lime juice and fish sauce. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Add peanut butter, whisk to combine, then turn off heat. The mixture will develop into a paste.
Add reserved pasta water, whisking as you go, a couple tablespoons at a time until the sauce loosens and you reach a desired consistency. Usually about 1/4 cup pasta water will be all you need. If you find the sauce too spicy for your liking, you can dilute the sauce with more pasta water or mix the sauce with extra noodles.
Add cooked noodles and mix to combine.
Top with turkey meatballs, sesame seeds and additional cilantro.
Serve with a side of greens or veggies of choice.
inspired by Cravingsinamsterdam.com + Food52.com
Vegetarian? Just make these delicious noodles and top with tofu or steamed veggies!
OTHER SUGGESTED MEATBALL COMBOS:
Mediterranean Eggplant Meatballs: Roasted Eggplant + Zatar + Parsley + Walnuts + Lemon Zest (recipe here) – Serve over roasted spaghetti squash with pesto!
Italian Turkey Meatballs (same process as noted above with cubed bread): Turkey + dried Oregano + handful of fresh Parsley +2 cloves Garlic + handful of Pine Nuts + Lemon Zest, Salt, Pepper – Serve over spaghetti (or squash pictured) with red sauce!
Next on the list – Sicilian Tuna Meatballs