Friday, December 17, 2010

What's a Party Without Sesame-Soy Meatballs?

I meant to do some holiday appetizer posts this week, but work has kept me incredibly busy and I just haven't had the time to do much cooking. Then I remembered this recipe for Sesame-Soy Meatballs that I'd been wanting to veganize. The recipe is for a main dish, but stick some fancy toothpicks in them and you've got a perfect little holiday bite!

These meatballs are seriously garlicky and spicy and pack quite a punch. I'm talking warding off the vampires kind of garlicky. So just keep that in mind when you're serving them. Everybody needs to eat some in order to become immune to each others' garlic breath. That said, these were so savory and addictive. Garlicky, spicy, a little salty... we ate them with just some white rice and steamed green beans, because they were so boldly spiced we didn't need any other competing flavors. I found it hard to stop eating them.

Other than tweaking a few things to the original recipe to make these vegan, I just finished them off by drizzling a little sweet chili sauce mixed with a small amount of Braggs liquid aminos (you could also use soy sauce or tamari). The glaze gave it a nice touch of sweetness, but you could also put it in a small dish to use for dipping, if you are serving these appetizer-style. A spicy mustard dip would also be really good with these.

Vegan Sesame-Soy Meatballs
makes about 20 meatballs, or 4 servings

1/3 cup minced green onions
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Bragg's liquid aminos or tamari
2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp. chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 tsp. salt
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. vegan ground beef*
*I recommend using Match or Lightlife ground beef for this, because they will stick together better. Do not use the crumble-style ground beef for this recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef; mix gently to combine. With moist hands, shape beef mixture into 20 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.

3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs to pan; cook 4 minutes, turning to brown meatballs on all sides. Arrange browned meatballs in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining meatballs. Bake meatballs at 400 for 7 minutes or until done.


  1. Yum! Leinana, maybe I can find Match here in Houston and prepare something for Christmas eve dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Ooh they look delish!

    Question: We dont get any fake meats around here (India). Whats it made of? can I just use my silken tofu?

  3. @Raw_Girl: I don't think that silken tofu would stick together very well for this recipe. You could experiment with firm or extra firm tofu, but you would still need some kind of binder so the meatballs don't fall apart. If you have access to or can make your own seitan, that might be a better option than tofu.