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Low Carb Thai Chicken Meatballs using a Bamboo Steamer

February 5, 2021
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These Low Carb Thai Chicken Meatballs are the most tender flavorful meatballs I've ever made. If you love dumplings you will love this recipe. The bamboo steamer is super easy to use and I'm using it to cook so many things since I bought it. Soon you will be too!!

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How to make Thai Chicken Meatballs From Scratch

You can certainly use ground chicken for this recipe to save some time but I prefer using boneless skinless chicken thighs and chopping them up in my Ninja Food Processor much better. It only takes a second and I can control the texture of the grind.

To grind up the chicken thighs simply trim off any large hunks of fat and cut into quarters then place into the food processor and pulse until you have a coarse grind. Be sure to not fill the food processor more then half way so the chicken doesn't clump up. Work in batches for best results.

After I grind the chicken I do the same thing with my cabbage, carrots, ginger and garlic. Place the veggies in the food processor and chop until they are about the same size as the ground chicken. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and you're ready to start mixing.

How do you make ground chicken moist?

Using chicken thighs instead of chicken breast goes a long way as far as keeping your ground chicken moist. Thighs also have a higher fat content and a lot more flavor.

Are Breadcrumbs Necessary for Meatballs?

Yes and no, since we are making low carb meatballs we obviously won't be using traditional breadcrumbs to form our meatballs. Instead I prefer to use Pork King Good Breadcrumbs made from crushed pork rinds. If you have never worked with Pork Breadcrumbs you should really give them a try.

Pork Breadcrumbs have zero carbs and can be used to bread chicken tenders, top casseroles or use them in any recipe that calls for traditional breadcrumbs.

low carb thai chicken meatballs served on a square black plate

How do you make meatballs more moist?

Its a balance of ingredients that make the perfect meatball. The moisture in the cabbage and other veggies help along with the coconut aminos and fish sauce used to flavor the meatballs. The eggs serve a dual purpose not only adding moisture but holding the meatball together providing structural integrate to these Thai chicken meatballs.

Why are my meatballs mushy?

Just like most things in life you can have too much of a good thing. If you add too many liquids and veggies to a meatball and not enough binder you will end up with a mushy meatball. When combining all of the ingredients you should form a test meatball. See how it holds up, if you set it on a plate and it doesn't hold its shape you may need to add more pork breadcrumbs to help bind everything together.

What flavors make this a "Thai" meatball recipe?

Thai cuisine is one of my favorites. If you're looking for more please checkout my Pork Carb Lettuce Cups,  Thai Egg Roll Bowl or Thai Veggie Salad. Thai flavors are light and crisp as opposed to heavy, thick, sweet sauces you would find in Chinesse Carrryout shops. Lime juice, ginger, garlic and fish sauce are the cornerstone ingredients of thai cuisine. Other flavors spicy chilis and sesame oil are also commonly used.

How to clean a bamboo steamer

before you use your bamboo steamer for the first time its important to clean it first. Place the bamboo steamer in the sink and soak it in hot soapy water lightly scrubbing with a soft scrubber or towel.Hand dry the steamer and let it dry out on a dish rack or towel. repeat process after each use and occasionally lightly rub the bamboo steamer down with a light coat of vegetable oil to keep the bamboo from drying out too much over time.

How to use a bamboo steamer

Now that your bamboo steamer is so fresh and so clean clean its time to get steaming. you can use a flat bottom wok or a large pot that your bamboo steamer will fit in and create a good seal. fill the water level up to just below the bottom of the steamer. Use hot water to fill the wok or pan so it heats up faster and bring to a light simmer instead of a rolling boil.

You should line each bamboo basket tier with a layer of cabbage leaves or parchment paper to make clean up easier. Cabbage is my favorite because you can roll up the meatballs into the cabbage and make mini keto dumplings.

What can I use in place of a bamboo steamer?

If you don't have a bamboo steamer you can create a steamer by forming 3 balls of aluminum foil about 2 inches in diameter and place them in the bottom of a wok or pan with a heat safe plate on top. place the meatballs on the plate and cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of foil with a few holes poked in the top.

How long do the thai chicken meatballs take to steam

These Thai chicken meatballs cook surprisingly fast in about 10-12 minutes. Make sure the chicken meatballs are fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Making the sauce to serve with the Thai chicken meatballs

these thai chicken meatballs are fantastic on their own but dipping them in this tasty dumpling sauce takes them to a whole new level. Using the same ingredients that are in the meatballs just fortifies the Thai flavors used in this recipe. I make no claim that this is an authentic Thai recipe but its tasty and that's all that matters to me

Are Thai Chicken Meatballs Healthy?

Sure they are, These meatballs are low in carbs, high in protein and loaded with veggies. Garlic, ginger and scallions are fantastic clean ingredients used in healthy cooking. Steaming the meatballs instead of sautéing in oil helps reduce the calories making them perfect for any way of eating.

Can I make Thai Chicken Meatballs in the oven

Sure, set the oven to 400 degrees and place your meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. bake for 15-20 minutes until Thai chicken meatballs are fully cooked. you can also use an air fryer and follow the same instructions as the oven baked method.

low carb thai chicken meatballs served on a square black plate

Low Carb Thai Chicken Meatballs

Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Thai
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Chicken, Meatballs, Thai food
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 288kcal
Author: Culinary Lion


  • Food Processor


Meatball Mixture

Dipping Sauce

Garnish (optional)


  • Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a food processer and pulse to combine. pour sauce into a container and set aside.
  • Trim any fat off the boneless skinless chicken thighs then slice into quarters and place in the same food processor (no need to clean out from the dipping sauce). Pulse until chicken is ground into small even pieces. Don't over fill the food processor so work in batches. Transfer the chicken to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Once all of the chicken is ground, chop the cabbage, garlic, peeled ginger and carrots into a fine dice using the food processor. Also work in batches and add to the mixing bowl as well.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food porcessor then pour in remaining ingredents of the meatball mixture and pulse just enough to combine into a paste. Fold that mixture into the veggies and chicken to complete the meatball mixture and let them chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to tighten up.
  • Add enough water to the wok so the bamboo steamer barely touches the water and bring to a simmer. Next line the bamboo baskets with sheets of parchment paper or green cabbage leaves.
  • Using a 2oz scoop portion the meatballs right into the steamer baskets leaving 1 inch of space in between each meatball for even air flow. Place the baskets over the wok and steam for 10-12 minutes until fully cooked (165 degrees F)
  • Serve Thai Chicken Meatballs with the dipping sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos, sesame seeds and chili threads (optional)


About 3 meatballs and 1 tbsp of dipping sauce per serving


Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1358mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1255IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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