Hello! Welcome to a new favourite meal of mine. Why is it a new favourite, you ask? Well, it combines the much-loved but perhaps over-done chickpea-based falafel ball with my love for tofu. Enter: tofu balls. What is even better is the Spicy Tomato Sauce that they are served with. You may know I love my Sriracha and most meals I post on social media usually are topped off this spicy chili sauce before eating even if it isn’t featured in the photo. I just cannot stop. In fact, I may be addicted and regularly tell myself to reel it back and that XYZ can be enjoyed sans Sriracha. Well, this isn’t one of them.
I haven’t ventured so far as to call these Spicy Thai Style Tofu Balls ‘meatballs’ because the texture isn’t too ‘meaty’ – which is how I like them. That isn’t to say that the texture isn’t firm or hearty enough, because it definitely is. But, I don’t want you to expect a real ‘meaty’ taste, because it isn’t. Instead I have used really fresh flavours inspired by Thai cuisine: fresh ginger, garlic and chili flakes. This makes a really nice change to the other meat substitute products in the shops and takes it as far from falafel flavours as possible (not that there is anything wrong with falafel <3 )
I’d love to hear your thoughts on falafels. Are there too many falafel recipes out there? Are you sick of the only vegan option being falafels with hummus? When they are done well, then – my oh my – I am the biggest falafel fan out there. What do you think?
I’ve kept the rest of this bowl quite simple, and feel free to swap the quinoa for brown rice, buckwheat or even some noodles would be amazing.
One thing though: Miso Caramelised Onions. It’s a game changer. Cooked for long enough, we all know how gorgeously sweet and sticky onions can become. Add some brown rice miso into the mix and you’ve got that extra depth of umami flavour. I highly recommend.
Let’s get Tofu Balling!
Spicy Thai Style Tofu Balls with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Miso Caramelised Onions
Serves 2 – you will only use ½ of the Tofu Balls
Tofu Balls (makes 20):
1 x block extra firm tofu (300g), patted dry
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece ginger, peeled
1 tsp brown rice miso
2 tbsp tomato puree
½ – 1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp flaxseed
4 tbsp coconut flour
Coconut oil, if frying
Spicy Tomato Sauce:
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp coconut nectar honey (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)
2 tbsp water
For the bowls:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp brown rice miso
2 handfuls kale, torn
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 courgette, in thin strips
To serve: fresh coriander, seeds
If you are baking the balls then preheat the oven to 170Fan/190*C and line 2 baking trays with parchment.
In a food processor, place all the ingredients for the Tofu Balls and blitz until really smooth, the mix should stick together and not leave your hands too wet. If not, add a splash more flour. Using roughly 1 tbsp per ball, roll the mix into balls and either place on the lined baking trays or onto a plate. Continue until all the mix is used up.
If baking: place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until turning golden and crisp on the outside.
If frying: heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan and sauté the Tofu Balls a few at a time until golden and crisp, this will take a few minutes. Repeat until all the balls are cooked.
To make the Spicy Tomato Sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and season to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, drain and leave to one side. Fluff with a fork after 10 minutes.
If you have a griddle pan, cook the courgette strips until there are nicely charred. If you do not have a griddle pan then add to the pepper and onions after the first 5 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the yellow pepper and onion for 5 minutes and then add the miso and continue to sauté for 10 minutes until caramelised.
Remove the vegetables from the frying pan and add the kale, do not wash the pan. Return to the heat with a splash of water, the chilli flakes then cover and allow to steam fry for 3 minutes.
To serve, divide the kale between two bowls, top with the quinoa, the tofu’s balls, the Miso Caramelised Onions and Peppers, the raw carrot, the courgette, the avocado, seeds and coriander and pour over the dressing. Best served straight away. Allow leftover Tofu Balls to cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
I’d love to see if you make these Spicy Thai Tofu Balls with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Miso Caramelised Onions, so please do tag me in your creations on social media. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and Twitter and please use the hashtag #nourishingamy.