These punchy little “meatballs” are so delicious. Sriracha is one of my all-time favourite sauces – the spicy tanginess it adds to this dish is just perfect. Make sure you get some nice charring on the grilled vegetables as it adds lots of flavour.
For the meatballs:
1 x 300-g (10-oz) firm block of tofu, water drained and excess water removed
3 spring onions, very finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
handful of coriander, chopped
1 tbsp Egg Replacement (see recipe below)
4 tbsp buckwheat flour
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil, for sauteing
For the egg replacement:
(makes about 1 heaped tbsp or the equivalent of 1 egg)
5 tbsp white chia seeds
For the sauce:
5 tbsp Sriracha sauce
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp water
300g rice noodles
vegetables (such as asparagus, pak choi, Tenderstem broccoli, radishes, carrots, sugarsnap peas) cucumber ribbons
mixed sesame seeds
First make the egg replacement. Blitz the chia seeds in a high-speed blender until ground. For every 1 tbsp ground seeds, add 3 tbsp filtered cold water and mix well. (I use 1 heaped tbsp of the mixture for 1 egg.)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. First up, make those meatballs. Mash the tofu with a potato masher in a large mixing bowl, until it’s broken up into small pieces. Add all the other meatball ingredients to the bowl and stir until well incorporated. If the mix is still slightly wet, add a couple of extra tbsp flour.
Now it’s time to form the mixture into balls. Take 1 large tablespoon of mixture and form into a ball with your hands. Repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture. Lightly flour your hands between each meatball to stop the mixture from sticking. Place the meatballs onto the lined baking tray as you go.
Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions and prepare your vegetables for grilling. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, add the coconut oil and saute the meatballs in small quantities, until golden. This should take approximately 3 minutes per batch. Place them back onto the tray, then into the oven to cook through for 10 minutes.
While the meatballs are in the oven, mix together the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until you’re ready to serve. Grill your vegetables on a hot griddle pan until charred. Once the meatballs are cooked, serve in a large bowl with the rice noodles, lots of the grilled vegetables, the cucumber ribbons and plenty of sauce. Sprinkle over mixed sesame seeds and chopped coriander just before serving.
VEGAN 100: Over 100 incredible recipes from Avant-Garde Vegan by Gaz Oakley (Quadrille, £20.00) Photography: Simon Smith