appetizers and snacks, cheese/meat appetizers, sauces, sides

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce: Little pork or lamb appetizers with an Asian twist and a sweet-tart sauce for dipping!
I am going to divulge a secret that, until now, has been kept hidden away from (almost) the whole world. Before I divulge, a bit of background: I have a lifelong friend, Laura, who is an amazing cook. Her mom is also an incredible cook! I’ve been the recipient of many extraordinary meals from both Laura and her lovely mom, Nettie, and I love them both! Well, back when our kids were little, Laura and I had a deep, dark secret that we didn’t share with anyone….until now.

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce: Little pork or lamb appetizers with an Asian twist and a sweet-tart sauce for dipping!
Every couple months, Laura and I left the kids and husbands at home, and the two of us attended cooking classes taught by a beautiful lady named Billie Ann. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, these weren’t regular cooking classes. We kept the extent of them a secret, not wanting anyone to know of our wanton behavior.

 These were four-hour, eight-course, cream and butter, food coma-inducing, decadent-beyond-belief, don’t eat for three days before and after food experiences that I’m pretty sure should be outlawed due to their decadence. We had secret pep talks for weeks before a class just to psyche ourselves out for what we knew was coming. And we suffered miserably for three days of after-effects from overindulging. But oh, were they worth it!

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce: Little pork or lamb appetizers with an Asian twist and a sweet-tart sauce for dipping!
These Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce are one of Billie Ann’s simpler dishes, and make the perfect appetizer for a party or buffet. But just to give you an idea of one of these sinfully amazing classes, here’s the menu from our “April in Paris” class: Curried Chicken Brochettes, Grilled Scallops with Thyme, Pumpkin Cream and Bacon “Frivolity,” Fresh Mushroom Salad with Parmesan Shavings, Free-Range Chicken Breasts with Cucumber and Orange Zest, Creamy Celery Root and Haricot Vert Salad, Trio of Souffles: Wild Mushroom, Apricot and Pistachio, and a Chocolate Meringue Mousse Cake. Phew! I’m getting a stomachache just thinking about it. Billie Ann has since passed away, and Laura and I are busy doing “life.” But I smile every time I think of our decadent, secret food outings!

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce: Little pork or lamb appetizers with an Asian twist and a sweet-tart sauce for dipping!

Spicy Thai Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 25-30 meatballs


  • 1 lb. ground lamb or pork
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp, fresh mint
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Asian chili sauce (Use more or less to desired level of heat)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1 13-oz. jar apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger


  1. Place ground lamb or pork in mixing bowl.
  2. Finely chop green onions, cilantro and mint. Mince garlic and grate orange zest.
  3. Add all ingredients together in bowl and mix well with hands.
  4. Form into 1 1/2 - 2" balls.
  5. Heat coconut oil in large frying pan. Add meatballs and cook five minutes on medium-low. Turn over and cook another five minutes, until fully cooked. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
  6. Dipping Sauce
  7. Add all ingredients together in small saucepan.
  8. Heat over medium until simmering. Cook another five minutes on low.


*Dipping sauce keeps for months in the fridge. Serve with eggs, poultry or fish, or use to flavor stir fry or other Asian-inspired dishes.

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  • Reply Laura Pinnock March 20, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Such great memories with you, Elizabeth! Here’s to a life-long love of good food… Love your superb culinary website.

    • Reply Elizabeth March 21, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Ahhh, thanks, Laura! Here’s to many more years of cooking and eating! XO

  • Reply Amy March 11, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hey! Would love to make this recipe, but very unsure what you mean by Asian Chili sauce. I get that you were trying to make it generic, but that’s a pretty wide category! Appreciate knowing what exactly you used!
    P.S. not afraid of spice!

    • Reply Sarah March 11, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Amy! We typically use something like Sriracha or this sweet chili sauce. We kept it very generic in the recipe because any Asian chili sauce will work great! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions about the recipe, and hope you enjoy it 🙂

      • Reply Amy March 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        Thank you Sarah! I made another version of Thai meatballs tonight (I messed up and didn’t have the mint and orange to follow your recipe) but made your dipping sauce with Extra Spicy Siracha. Amazing and soooo easy. Thank you!

  • Reply Carrie August 8, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I’m wondering about baking these instead of pan frying. What temperature and time period would you recommend?

    • Reply Sarah August 18, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      I would try baking at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Just check them every so often because I haven’t tried it myself, so that may not be the exact time. Hope it works well for you!

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