April 28, 2009

Tofu "Meat" Balls

Some things I really miss from my old carnivore days are meatballs and sausage. I don't think it is so much the meat part that I miss, but the herbs and spices that went into them. There are more and more meat-free alternatives available in the grocery these days, but unfortunately most have wheat gluten in them. Therefore, I am constantly searching for the perfect vegetarian blend that holds up well under cooking/grilling and tastes great. Sausages made from black beans appeared in the Evolving Palate not long ago.

Those are pretty tasty, but here is another take; this time using tofu as the protein base instead of beans. These are gluten-free and they are baked, not fried, so they are low-fat. They originally called for barbecue sauce, but we never keep the stuff on hand, and I didn't want to buy some just for 3 tablespoons. The four ingredients starting with the soy sauce is my barbecue sauce substitute.

I find the mustard taste a tad too strong, so I have adjusted this recipe to decrease the mustard a bit. It could also use more herbs and pepper, but overall the texture is about right and the flavors are good, with some improvement possibilities. I don't think these meatballs are strong enough to hold up to being in a soup. I have some ideas of how to strengthen these guys up, but until then, here is a good start.

Tofu "Meat" Balls


1 pkg firm tofu, drained
1½ c gluten-free bread crumbs
½ c brown rice flour
1 t potato flour
1 T oat bran
1 t dried parsley
½ t dried basil
½ t chives
½ c green onions, chopped
½ t salt
pepper to taste
1 T soy sauce
2 T ketchup
½ t chili oil
1 t worcestershire sauce
1 T yellow mustard
2 T oil
2 garlic cloves, minced


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Crumble up the tofu and combine all ingredients into a large bowl.

3. Use your hands and blend all the ingredients well.

4. Using your hands, roll the mixture into golf-ball sized balls. Place them on a cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Turn them over and cook another 15 minutes, or until golden on the outside.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to have to try this soon. I've made "meat" balls using kidney beans, but I've never tried tofu.