As many Thai chiles (or similar) as you can handle, chopped
1tablespoonpalm sugar or brown sugar
1teaspoontamarind paste, dissolved in 1/4 cup water(optional)
2tablespoonscilantro or rau ram, minced
1 1/2poundsground meat(see above)
1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/2cupstems from a bunch of cilantro, minced
3tablespoonscilantro leaves or rau ram leaves, chopped
1cuprice flour or regular flour,for coating
Oil for frying
Heat the oil in a small pan and sauté the shallots and garlic until golden. Move them to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. If you are not using the tamarind, use 3 tablespoons of water in the sauce instead. Let this sit at room temperature.
Mix all the meatball ingredients together except the rice flour. Knead this well. If it's too wet, add some rice flour. Roll into balls and coat with more rice flour. You can either deep fry these, or fry them in about 1 inch of oil. You want the oil to be at least 325°F, and 350°F is better. Fry until nicely browned and keep in a warm oven until you've cooked them all. Serve with the dipping sauce.