Korean food is some of my favorite food! I used to kill some bibimbap when I lived in New York City. These vegan sweet and spicy Korean meatballs remind me of those flavors. There was an amazing fast Korean food restaurant right next to where my Brother-in-law worked at the time. Unfortunately, it is closed now, however they made some killer vegan bibimbap, as well as a bunch of other insanely delicious dishes.
I have been thinking a lot about making a dish like this, to highlight the flavors I love, so I started to research what flavors were absolutely necessary to have in my meatballs. I discovered that black bean paste is used frequently, and decided that black beans and tofu combined would have great flavor and that the actual “meat” part of the balls would be a nod to that tradition. I also am pretty sure these meatballs have a great deal of protein in them with an entire can of black beans and an entire block of tofu. Then I just needed to figure out how much of each spice would work best, and ta da. These are super addictive and so delicious!
I served them with fried rice, I was thinking that there are so many possibilities though. Kimchi, noodles, and I found many other great Korean side dishes! This is a really easy recipe, you just need to throw everything in a food processor and bake. Then the glaze is just whisked together and brush on. Pretty easy! I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did (even the meat eaters).
1 Block extra firm tofu
1 Can black beans (drained and rinsed)
3 tsp. Ginger (ground)
4 Green onions
3 Cloves of garlic
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1 C. Apricot jam
3 Tbsp. Tamari or Soy sauce
4 Tbsp. Red chili paste
4 Tbsp. water
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Put all meatball ingredients into a food processor, and process until everything is combined and starts to form a ball and is a pretty fine texture. The tofu and black beans will look a bit mushy. It will take a few minutes depending on your machine.
- Using a small ice cream or cookie scoop, form balls. You can make them more spherical by rolling them in your hand.
- Place in baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- While they are in the oven, make the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- When the balls are firm, pull them out and brush pretty heavily with glaze(reserve about half, you will brush again)
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Pull out and brush again. They are ready to eat!! You can pour some more sauce on top if you want (it is pretty delicious)
- Top with green onion and enjoy!
Tools I used:
Hamilton Beach 70730 Bowl Scraper Food Processor
OXO Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop
Zicome Set of 4 Silicone Pastry Basting Grill Barbecue Brush – Solid Core and Hygienic Solid Coating – 4 Bright Colored Red, Blue, Orange, Green – 8-3/4 Inch Long