These shittake mushroom and tofu meatballs are flavored with savory seasonings and drenched in a sticky ginger glaze. Serve them up as a fun party appetizer, or add some rice and veggies for a flavor-packed meal.
My thinking was a bit circular on this one. See, I post lots of veggie + rice based Asian-inspired dishes, and more often than not, I throw in some tofu for protein. I love tofu! (In case you haven’t noticed.) But I thought it was time to mix things up. Meatballs would be cool. I see all kinds of meatball Asian dishes on Pinterest and such. I should create a vegan one.
The question arose, what would I make these meatballs out of? I usually make my meatballs out of beans. Should I try something different? Is it weird to throw beans into Asian dishes like this? (More on this topic to come.) How about tofu? Tofu goes great in Asian dishes! And so, we ended up with tofu meatballs.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was going to work, but I loved them! These meatballs were just as tasty as any bean ball I’ve tried, but also had the lightness of tofu. They were perfect served in bowls with some roasted broccoli and rice. (Tip: make these a meal by roast some veggies in the oven while your meatballs are cooking.) They’d be just as perfect served up for snacking with some cute little toothpicks.
Ginger Glazed Tofu Meatballs
For the Tofu Meatballs
- about 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb. extra firm tofu, drained
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp. unflavored soy or almond milk
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- black pepper to taste
For the Ginger Glaze
- 1/4 cup chilled water
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- sesame seeds
- chopped scallions
- cooked rice optional
- cooked veggies optional
Make the Tofu Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 375°. Like a couple of baking sheets with parchment and brush lightly with oil.
- Place tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic, panko, milk, soy sauce, flaxseed, liquid smoke and pepper into food processor bowl. Pulse until well mixed and crumbly, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Roll into about 20 balls and arrange on baking sheet. Brush with oil.
- Bake 30 minutes, turning about halfway through.
Make the Ginger Glaze
- While meatballs bake, stir chilled water and cornstarch together in a small cup. Place soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil and ginger into a small pot. Bring just to a simmer, and stir in cornstarch mixture. Continue to simmer, stirring, just until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Pour glaze over meatballs and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with rice and/or veggies, if desired.
The meatballs firm up a bit as they cool. They were awesome right out of the oven, but I actually preferred eating the reheated leftovers a few hours later.
Nutritional information does not include accompaniments.