Sweet and Sour Tofu Meatless Balls

Think of the tofu as a mince that you add diced vegetables to, coat with a batter and fry or bake. Dip those into any sauce you like (here, Sweet & Sour) and you have a low fat, high-protein meal that freezes well.

There are three steps:

Prepare the tofu

Prepare a sauce

Combine

Ingredients

For the Meat-less Balls

  • 2 packages of extra firm or firm tofu
  • ½ – 1 cup of minced vegetables
    • (a mix of seasonal vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, turnip, onion, bell pepper, sweet potato, pumpkin)
  • ¼-½ cup of starch (corn or potato
  • Seasonings
    • ½ each teaspoon onion, garlic, chili powder, salt

For the crust

  • ½ cup of starch
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbs onion powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbs garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbs chili powder (to taste) (optional)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs/panko
  • 1 cup milk or plant based milk

For the sweet and sour sauce

base

  • ¼-⅓ cup sugar (brown or white)
  • ¼-⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs catsup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (light is preferred, but dark will do)

+

slurry

  • 1 cup liquid (water or pineapple juice or a blend)
  • 2 tablespoons of starch (corn or potato)

Directions

  1. Drain the water from the package of tofu.
  2. Place between a dish towel and place something heavy upon it.
  3. Let the tofu press for 30 – 60 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Prepare the crust

  1. Combine ½ cup of starch with the spices and sift. Set aside.
  2. Pour 1 cup of milk or plant based milk in a bowl and set next to the starch.
  3. Pour 1 cup of bread crumbs into a bowl and set that next to the milk.
Seasoned flour, a liquid, and the bread crumbs all neatly lined up.

Prepare the sweet and sour sauce

  1. Combine the sugar, vinegar, catsup and soy sauce in a bowl and stir to dissolve the catsup and sugar. If the sugar does not dissolve, you can heat it in a small sauce pan.
  2. Combine 1 cup liquid with the starch and stir to dissolve. (The starch will settle at the bottom. This is normal.)

For the meatless balls, fried

  1. Peel and mince your vegetables. The smaller the cut, the easier they are to incorporate into the mixture.
  2. When the tofu has pressed, crumble it in a bowl and mix in the vegetables. 
  3. Add ¼ cup of starch and mix. Squeeze a handful of the mixture in your hand. If it holds together, shape into balls. If not, add more starch until you can form balls. You can also press the mixture into shapes.
  4. Roll the balls in the spiced starch.
  5. Dip the balls into the milk.
  6. Coat the balls in the bread crumbs and set aside.
  7. Heat oil in a pan to fry.
  8. Fry the tofu balls in the hot oil until well browned. 
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. In a saucepan combine the sweet and sour sauce and the slurry. 
  11. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. It will thicken after the boil. 
  12. Dip the fried tofu balls into the sauce and serve over rice. 

For the tofu balls, baked

  1. You can either mist the tofu with oil or bake directly in a very hot 250C/400F oven for 30-40 minutes. The oil will give the tofu a very firm crunch.

Alternatively 

  1. After the tofu balls are fried, stir fry 2 – 3 cups of sliced vegetables in hot oil. 
  2. When done to your liking add ¼ of the sweet and sour base and bring to a boil. 
  3. Add the slurry. 
  4. Bring to a boil. The sauce will thicken. 
  5. Add the tofu. 
  6. Serve over rice. 

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. As I’m learning how to blog, if you have any suggestions on how I can improve, please write them in the comments below. Also, let me know what you think of my recipe.

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