Wish Upon A Dish: Grand Prize Winning Salmon Meatballs in a Coconut Broth - Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water Recipe Contest Entry #3

April 13, 2013

Grand Prize Winning Salmon Meatballs in a Coconut Broth - Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water Recipe Contest Entry #3

Yes, I made salmon meatballs. No, I have never cooked a salmon meatball before, nor have I eaten one.

Well, let me tell you. These babies are delicious! They are light, not overly salmon-y (you know what I mean), spicy, flavorful and this whole dish takes less than an hour to prepare.

Refreshing, nutrient rich coconut water continues to be the fastest growing beverage in the United
States, and Vita Coco is the market leader. Packed in a Tetra Pak to maximum freshness and flavor, Vita
Coco already has a reputation as an outstanding natural beverage choice, but is also an excellent
cooking ingredient. In this Recipe Redux challenge, we were encouraged to use our imagination and create wholly new recipes, or update classic ones.

Now, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. I created this recipe using both coconut water and milk and I choose to make my own homemade coconut milk. I used Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water and dried flaked coconut. I don't think I will ever buy a can again but you can certainly use a can of light coconut milk. The homemade is so easy, so fast and so much better (and inexpensive), once you make your own, you will totally agree with me.

When presented with this contest, I had no idea where to start. I don't use canned coconut milk all that often because of the bad rap it has gotten about saturated fat, but the homemade milk is uber healthy and so far, I adore coconut water and everything about it. The more I read, the more I want to play with it. I have an idea for a dessert but that's another post.
For those of you who are interested in coconut water but would like ot know more, I can tell you this.....
  • Vita Coco Pure coconut water contains 45 calories per 8 oz serving (note flavored varieties have up to 60 calories per serving but only unflavored was used for this contest)
Other good qualities of coconut water are:
  • Vita Coco Pure coconut water contains key electrolytes and nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium
  • One serving of Vita Coco Pure coconut water has more potassium per serving than a banana
  • Vita Coco coconut water is ‘never from concentrate’, offering the natural refreshment of electrolyte-rich water from younger coconuts
  • Vita Coco is a nutrient rich, yet calorie poor beverage

Knowing how to make your own coconut milk is a good thing but it's not needed for this recipe. A drop of whole milk (or any nut milk) will give the flavored coconut water broth that mouth feel it needed and tame the heat a bit. For us, we loved the spice.

If salmon is not your thing, you can substitute duck, pork, poultry, and any firm fish (shrimp, scallops, monk, tilapia, catfish, tuna or swordfish), but I have to beg you to try these at least once.
If you have a meat grinder or attachment, you could use that, but I used my food processor. Worked well, just make sure not to make a puree, you want the consistency of chop meat. A few larger pieces would be fine but too large will make it hard for the mixture to bind together.

I showed two excellent ways to serve this dish. Broth and vegetables topped with the meatballs either in Chinese soup spoons or in a bowl.

Salmon Meatballs in a Coconut Broth
makes approximately a dozen meatballs

* 1 pound salmon (I prefer wild caught) or, pork, poultry and any firm fish
* 3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 2 1/2 ounce (1 1/2 cups or 75g) fresh bread crumbs
* 2-4 tablespoons coconut milk
* 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon coconut date honey

* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, smashed and cut into batons
* 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
* 1 cup stock (fish, chicken or vegetable)
* 1 1/2 cups coconut water
* 1 lime, zested and juiced
* 1 zucchini & carrot, julienned
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

To make the meatballs:
1. Cut salmon into 1/2" pieces and freeze for 10 minutes. Place half in the bowl of a processor and pulse 10 times. If it does not look like ground meat, pulse 5 more time. Remove to a large work bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix and shape into a ball.
2. Using a medium scoop, scoop balls onto a plate. Using your hands, gently roll each mound into a meatball pressing just enough so the mixture stays together.
3. In a cast iron or heavy saute pan, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat till it starts to shimmer. Place the meatballs into the pan and saute on all sides until they brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
4. In the same pan with the meatballs, add the spices, the lemongrass and the ginger and saute for 1 minute until you can smell the spices. Add the stock and the coconut water and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove the meatballs so they don't over cook and simmer the broth until it reduces in half. Add the zucchini and carrot julienne, a drop of coconut milk or whole milk and stir to combine. The residual heat from the pan will cook the vegetables to perfection. Add the lime zest, lime juice and meatballs to the pan, turn off the heat and serve immediately with the hot broth.

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Vita Coco and am eligible to win
prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”


Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice said...

I've never made salmon meatballs either but you can be sure I'm going to after reading this post and seeing your glorious photos! So glad you dove into this contest - loved all of your entries and I'm so inspired by all the ways you used coconut water in the kitchen.

Serena said...

WOW! WHat a great idea to make your own coconut milk using coconut water! The Salmon balls look so yummy too!

Jenna Braddock said...

These look tasty! Great idea.

Rachel dickens said...

Oh wow looks amazing!! What a nice light tasty looking broth. Can't wait to try!! Rachel

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious said...

These look amazing! Congrats on winning the contest. I am going to have to try these!