Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bento Bites: Vegetarian Teriyaki Balls

A while ago we had an anime evening with friends and we served some Japanese themed warm snacks. Alongside the Daigaku Imo we made, we served these Vegetarian Teriyaki Balls. They were very easily adapted from a Teriyaki meatball recipe from Damn Delicious by replacing the minced meat with it's vegetarian counterpart. I made these one day ahead before the party so the flavours could develop before baking them. Please don't mind the quite horrible picture. Nick is often not about the details when he serves things, and I only got to the chance to take a quick snapshot before grabby hands gobbled them up. I kind of halved the recipe, because 900 gr of vegetarian mince is quite expensive, and we had other snacks too.

Vegetarian Teriyaki Balls: (serves a 8 as a snack)
- 450 gr vegetarian minced meat
- 1/4 cups panko or bread crumbs
- 2 large egg yolks (vegetarian mince needs more egg to stick, so I used 1 extra)
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 0.5 tsp white pepper

For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 0.25 cup soy sauce
- 0.25 cup brown sugar
- 0.5 tsp grated ginger
- 0.25 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp honey

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the balls. Mix well with clean hands. Roll small balls with your hands, about 40. This is when I covered them and placed them in the fridge overnight so the flavours can develop.

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees and start on the sauce,
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.

Place the balls on a baking sheet in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
But because our oven is small and we would have to work in too many batches, we just baked them in a frying pan in some oil. And served them with the teriyaki sauce.

I am aware that I used a full recipe of sauce and a half recipe for the balls, but to half the sauce recipe would leave us with 1/8 cups and that was too much hassle. Also I used more spices because (closer to the recipe for 900 gram) because vegetarian meat has a more neutral taste and needs more spices. They also taste great cold in a bento.

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