Walking through the streets of Bangkok, one is pleasantly overwhelmed by the exotic fragrances and mouth-watering odours characteristic of Thai cooking. The essences of that cuisine emanate from the many small restaurants and street stall kitchens that line the thoroughfare.
Street vendors sell an assortment of fish cakes, snacks, and meatballs and I first tasted this dish at one of those stalls. What makes them so savoury are the spices blending so nicely into the succulent beef and pork. The egg whites give the meatballs a delicate, light texture.
The meatballs are very easy to prepare, and they are excellent party snacks with drinks.
Mix the beef and pork in a food processor for a few seconds. Slowly add the egg whites and cold water and mix them for a few more seconds until they are fully incorporated into the meat. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix for about a minute until the meat mixture has become a light paste.
Using your hands, form the mixture into 4cm (1 1/2″) balls – about the size of a golf ball. (This recipe makes about 10 balls.) Dust them evenly with the flour, shaking off any excess. The meatballs will be quite fragile and soft.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, gently drop in as many meatballs as will fit easily in on layer. Carefully fry them for about 4 minutes until the meatballs are crispy and browned. Adjust the heat as necessary. Take the meatballs out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. (You may have to do this in several batches.) Serve them at once.