Thai Garlic Meatball and Pork-Filled Cucumber Soup

Geng Djud Teng Gwa Jad Sei Mu Sab(?)
I think that’s Thai for “Can’t handle the fish sauce? Eat this!”
A while back we attended an evening of Indian cooking instruction at our local Volkshochschule. The next installment was last week, and we moved a little further East, culinarily speaking, to Thailand. Given Sarah’s rules about fish (it better be canned tuna or beer-battered cod) and derivative products, I was flying solo on this one. But I brought home a winner of a recipe that met with her approval this evening at home, too.

I like that the only thing this recipe calls for which was a bit out of the ordinary for us is the tapioca flour (Hey Tammy, it’s gluten-free!). All the other ingredients are pretty run-of-the-mill for us (although the cilantro must count as exotic, compared to local cuisine, since it gets flown to our favorite local China Laden in once a week from Thailand), but this is our first use of the cilantro root. I’m thinking about experimenting with that stuff and making some beef meatballs with it — perhaps over rice with a peanut sauce…lots of good options there!

4 cucumbers, cut into 5-7cm pieces
150g ground pork
2-3 cilantro roots, finely mashed
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbsp soy sauce (3 light, one dark)
1 tsp salt
1-2 green onions, sliced
1 small bunch cilantro
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 cups water
2 tsp tapioca flour
3 tbsp neutral oil for sautéeing your garlic

There are no lemons in this recipe, but I like this picture of me from that evening in the VHS kitchen. And yeah, that’s my new Flint Hills apron. Thanks P+S!
Mix up the ground pork, mashed cilantro root, half of the garlic, pepper, 2 tbsp light soy sauce and the tapioca flour well in a bowl.

Sautée the remaining garlic until nice and yellow, then set aside in a small bowl to cool. Don’t let it burn!

Seed the cucumbers (you will need a very narrow knife, or an apple corer worked great for us) and fill the hole with the ground pork mixture.

Put the water in a large pot, add the 1 tbsp light soy and 1 tbsp dark soy, and the salt and bring it to a boil.

Add the stuffed cukes and the rest of the ground pork mixture (formed into little meatballs). Cover and let boil 15-20 minutes until the cucumber flesh yields to gentle pressure with a spoon.

Add the green onion, cilantro, and celery to the pot and stir briefly. Serve in bowls sprinkled with the sautéed garlic.

5 thoughts on “Thai Garlic Meatball and Pork-Filled Cucumber Soup”

  1. tqe | Adam

    The food looks good, almost as good as that man in the photo.

  2. Mom

    Are the cilantro roots like what I’m thinking of? Teeny little slender roots with maybe one inch length? Sometimes we buy the bunch of cilantro with the roots still on and that is the only way I’ve seen them, even in my own garden.


    1. cliff1976

      That sounds different from the cilantro roots we used. These were tan in color, two or three inches in length, and at least as thick as the green stems at the point where the roots and stems connected, tapering off down toward the bottom of the root. I’ll try to take some pictures of the whole plant the next time we buy cilantro.

  3. Anne

    Yum! Looks great!

  4. diplush

    The lemons look really good! :P

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