Do you ever borrow from your own recipes to create new ones? That’s basically what’s happened here. Currently hooked as we are on the Panang curry flavours of our go-to tofu dish, I decided to amalgamate them with a plant-based take on Sweden’s most iconic husmanskost meal; meatballs! This incredibly snappy (20 minutes or so to make) and exceptionally tasty take on veggie balls may not win points on lightness (it’s hearty, to be sure!) but in the taste, comfort and prep categories, it’s bringing home medals.
While my husband is away on business, I am home alone with the 3 littles (and the extra responsibilities that entails). So let’s jump right to the recipe, shall we?
Love from increasingly summery Stockholm,
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VEGAN THAI-INSPIRED (NO)MEATBALLS
(quick & easy with gluten-free option)
Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: around 15 minutes
1 pound (450g) pea-, mushroom- or soy-based mince (see notes), defrosted if frozen
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp onion powder
1tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) aquafaba* whisked until lightly frothy
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut milk + more if needed
1/4 cup (60 ml) panko bread crumbs + more if needed (or bread crumbs of choice, inc. gluten-free)
*Drain a can of chickpeas and save the aquafaba liquid to use in this recipe. Put the chickpeas to the side… they can be dressed with lime juice and herbs to serve on the side of this dish, if you like.
1/4 cup (60 ml) peanut butter, at room temperature or warmed through slightly
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
A shake of ground cumin
A shake of ground coriander/cilantro
A shake of chilli flakes (optional)
1 small can (4 oz/115 g) vegan Panang red curry paste*. Add to taste, but 3/4 to a full can should be a good amount. (*many traditional versions contain shrimp paste so check the packaging, if that is an issue for you)
6 kaffir lime leaves, crushed and pounded (optional, but recommended to enhance flavour)
1 can (400 ml) organic unsweetened coconut milk, full-fat preferably
Around 2 tbsp tamari, divided (use or more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp coconut sugar or organic brown sugar
1/2 tsp finely shredded lemongrass (optional)
Chopped salted peanuts, lime wedges and a little Thai basil and fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro to serve
- Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a mixing bowl (ideally one with a lip for easy pouring), and whisk together to combine. Set to the side.
- Place the mince ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine and to help the breadcrumbs hydrate. Make sure the mix is a formable consistency by scooping up a heaped tablespoonful of mince and forming it into a ball with your hands. If the mix is too dry, try adding a little extra coconut milk. If required, for extra binding power, add a combination of extra breadcrumbs and coconut milk. Once your mince is rollable, repeat the rolling process until all balls are made.
- Remove the kaffir lime leaves from the sauce (or keep them in for extra flavour and remove when serving).
- Pour 1/3 of the sauce into an oven proof skillet.
- Place all of the (no)meatballs into the skillet and pour over the remaining sauce.
- Pop the skillet onto the centre rack of your oven. Bake for about 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling and thickening.
- Serve with rice, rice noodles, zoodles, cauliflower rice or whatever you fancy. Top with a sprinkle of chopped salted peanuts, a little Thai basil and fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro. Squeeze over some fresh lime juice too, if you like.
*I used Anamma Vegofärs. This post is not sponsored, it’s just what I had on hand.
You could use Naturli pea-based mince, Gardein’s Ultimate Beefless Ground or whatever textured vegetable protein you prefer. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid or breadcrumbs used for the meatballs depending upon the texture and moisture content of your protein choice. If using a dehydrated type of protein, make sure it is hydrated first before weighing.
*To make gluten-free, use gluten-free TVP, tamari and bread crumbs.
*To make peanut-free, substitute peanut butter for almond butter and peanuts for almonds.
*If you don’t have an oven, these could be made on a stovetop (on medium heat). Just turn them a couple of times and keep an eye on them during the cooking process… and test one to ensure it’s cooked through before removing the skillet from the heat.