I love making vegan meatballs. ( Yes, I’m using the term meatballs as I like it). They can be made in advance and frozen, eaten in a sandwich, popped into a curry or stirred through a rice dish or spaghetti sauce.


I’d like to introduce you to two of my other loves: Mushroom sauce and chilli oil. I buy both at Asian supermarkets (I found a new one the other day in Moabit called Go Asia, I love it to bits). These condiments are great for lifting up a Asian dish, adding a wonderful umami flavour.


 To make meatballs:


  • 1 onion
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 1 2cm knob of ginger
  • 2 red chillies (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chillies in oil*
  • 1/4 cup chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetarian mushroom sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 1 cup soy crumble or TVP
  • 1 cup pre cooked quinoa as per this recipe
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 cup Gluten free bread crumbs


  1. Dice garlic, ginger and chillies.
  2. Fry in a pan with the chillies in oil. Once cooked, add the rice wine, tamari and mushroom sauces.
  3. Cook for 2 minutes then allow to cool.
  4. Soak soy crumbles in a bowl with 1-2 cups of hot water so that it is covered in water and can soften fully.
  5. When soft, add the cooled sauce, quinoa and grated carrot.
  6. Add enough bread crumbs to form small soft meat balls (you probably won’t need all of the bread crumbs but if the mixture if very soft, I find popping it in the fridge for 10 minutes helps the balls maintain their shape.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  8. Pop balls ontop and bake at 180 degrees celcius until golden brown (usually about 20 mins).
  9. Allow to cool on the paper, the balls with harden a little, making them easy to remove without sticking.


Asian tomato sauce:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 egg plants
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 litre tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup Chinese rice wine
  • Tamari sauce to taste


  1. Dice garlic, ginger, onion, eggplant and zucchini.
  2. Fry garlic, ginger and onion in chilli oil until soft.
  3. Add 5 spice, powder, eggplant and zucchini and cook until soft.
  4. Add Chinese rice wine and tomato puree and stir well,
  5. Cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, adding a little water if needed.
  6. Add tamari sauce to taste.

To serve:

Gently add ‘meat’ balls to the tomato sauce and warm through.┬áServe with rice, noodles, potato or salad.

Note: If you can’t find chilli oil, or you have a big influx of chillies growing in your garden, you can make your own as per this recipe.


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