These tempeh meatballs are coated in a sweet and savory teriyaki glaze. Serve them up with veggies and rice for a hearty vegan main dish, or alone as a scrumptious party appetizer!
Oh, hey there! It’s been a while! Well, it’s been a while in my world. I don’t think there’s been an occasion in the last three years or so where I went a whole five days without sharing a recipe. Actually, if you look closely at my last post, you’ll even see that it’s a rerun (but with snazzy new photos and and some updates). So it’s actually been a week since I shared something totally new.
I attribute the lull to a combination of being busy with holiday stuff, being busy with other stuff, and just needing some good old time off like everybody else. I probably won’t have much else in the way of new material between now and the end of the year, but I promise, come January, I’ll be back with lots of new dishes to share.
For now, I’m just dropping in for a moment to share some tempeh meatballs. I made a batch of sweet and sour tempeh meatballs a couple years ago, and they were one of my all-time favorites. I decided it was time to do some more with that concept, so here I am with teriyaki tempeh meatballs.
If you’re planning a New Year’s celebration, these little guys make fantastic appetizers — just skewer them up and let everyone snack away. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a hearty winter dinner, serve them up with rice, veggies, or like I did: on a sandwich.
Teriyaki Tempeh Meatballs
For the Tempeh Meatballs
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 8 ounce package tempeh, broken into 1 to 2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
For the Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sake, optinal, but very nice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- dash white pepper
- 6 tablespoons cold water, divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 scallions, chopped
- toasted sesame seeds
Make the Tempeh Meatballs
Preheat oven to 400° and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Place all ingredients into a food processor bowl and pulse, just until ingredients are chopped and well mixed. Don't overdo it.
Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs begin to brown, flipping once or twice during baking.
Make the Teriyaki Sauce
While the meatballs bake, place soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sake, garlic, ginger, white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir a few times to mix the ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce simmers, place the remaining 4 tablespoons of water into a small bowl. Stir in the cornstarch until fully dissolved.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and allow to simmer until it thickens up, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Finish and Serve
When the meatballs are done baking, add them to the saucepan and gently stir to coat with the sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and scallions.