Pork and Shrimp Meatballs

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Serving a mixture of pork and shrimp on lemongrass “sticks,” like savory Popsicles, is typical of both Bali and Thailand. The combination of ground pork and shrimp is quite sticky and does not need egg or flour to hold it together. It’s best to grind the meat and shrimp yourself using a meat grinder. You can also use a food processor, although the pork and shrimp mixture has a tendency to become quite mushy in the processor. These are also excellent grilled. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Serves4 as a starter, 8 as a canapé

Cooking Methodgrilling, sauteeing


Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCocktail Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor, grill


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, spiced


  • 8 ounces peeled shrimp, minced
  • 4 ounces freshly ground pork, preferably pork belly
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, green parts removed, crushed and finely chopped, plus 1 thick stalks lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons light sesame oil
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped if fresh, crumbled If dried
  • Oil for panfrying, such as canola


  1. 1 In a rood bowl, combine the shrimp, pork, chopped lemongrass, chiles, ginger, sesame oil, and lime leaf. Run the mixture through a meat grinder and return to the bowl. (Or, if using a food processor, pulse to mix. It is better with a rather coarse mixture than a mushy one.)

  2. 2 Using a sharp knife, quarter the whole lemongrass stalks lengthwise, making sure that each “skewer” holds together at the bottom. Divide the shrimp mixture into 8 portions. Rub each lemongrass skewer between your palms until it gives off a fresh smell, but not so much as to disintegrate. Wrap one portion of the meat mixture around each piece of lemongrass.

  3. 3 Heat a little oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the skewers and and cook for 6 to a minutes, turning several times, until golden brown and cooked through.

  4. Variation:

  5. If you want more sesame flavor, roll the patties in sesame seeds before frying. This is not recommended if you are grilling, as the sesame seeds have a tendency to pop when exposed to high heat, but frying over medium heat works fine. They will then need a slightly longer cooking time.


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