Tempeh Meatballs

September 19, 2006 at 5:54 am (C, My brain, Tempeh)


A long time ago, when Soba (in Pittsburgh) was still doing Vegetarian nights once a week, Derek had a dish with tempeh meatballs that he adored. He’s wanted me to try to recreate them and here was my first attempt.

1.5 cups onion
16 ounces tempeh
1 Tbs. olive oil
6 Tbs. yogurt
2 Tbs. water
2 pieces bran for life bread
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1.5 Tbs. soy sauce
fresh pepper to taste
4 Tbs chopped parsley, fresh
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. thyme, dried
1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
2 Tbs. shallots, dried
1 egg

I sauted the onion and tempeh togther, then added them and the rest of the ingredients to the food processor. Actually, I started out with fewer ingredients and seasonings and tasted the batter and it just tasted overwhelmingly of tempeh. I kept adding more ingredients in an attempt to make it taste more complex, but no matter what I added it seemed the tempeh flavor dominated entirely. Derek tasted the batter and said it tasted good to him though. The batter was extremely thick, and I was worried that when I cooked the balls in the oven they would end up very dried out. That didn’t happen exactly. I baked them on an oil cookie sheet, and the texture remained exactly the same in the inside, with the outside getting just a tiny bit crisp. I think in the future I shouldn’t puree all the ingredients–the batter should be a bit more varied and rough, and that way not so dense.

I really wasn’t that fond of this recipe, but Derek enjoyed it with the tofu balls over pasta with tomato sauce. Later, in a desperate fit of hunger, I crumbled up some of the batter I had cooked into “burgers” into my leftover pasta primavera, and I actually thought it added a nice flavor. But maybe I was just starving. In any case, I’m still looking for a really good tempeh meatball recipe for Derek.

Rating: C
Derek: B

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