Spaghetti with lion's head meatballs

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
240ml light coconut milk
2 tbsps reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp curry powder
500g lean minced pork or beef
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup minced leek, white and pale green part only
2 tbsps cornflour
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsps seeded, minced fresh chilli
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
350g spaghetti or spaghettini
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1) Combine the coconut milk, soy sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Set aside.

2) Place the meat, spring onions, leek, cornflour, flour, sesame oil, ginger, chilli, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead by hand until thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes sticky. The meatball mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.

3) Divide the meatball mixture into ten equal portions, about 55g each. Roll each portion into a ball.

4) Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

5) Bring the coconut milk mixture to the boil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.

6) In a large saucepan, cook the spaghetti in boiling water following the directions on the packet. Drain and keep warm.

7) Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti. Garnish with basil and lemon zest. Serve hot.

Please note this contestant had an almost identical recipe published in Cooking Light Magazine in 2002. It is reprinted online at; however, it is her recipe. Permission might legally have to be obtained from the magazine.

Other recipes with beef

Shows on discovery+ Discovery+

Stream on discovery+ Discovery+