Picnic Soy Meatballs

After reading Kittee’s vegan meatball recipe, I was hungering for something similar. We hadn’t made anything resembling meatballs since the Lion’s heads way back in October. Also, because we were going to go on a picnic on May Day, we thought it would be nice to have them there. May Day, among other things, is a picnic day in Finland, if the weather is even remotely agreeable. But I digress. So, on with the recipe. I decided to combine textured soy protein granules with gluten flour for a firm texture, and we were quite happy with the results. Tastewise, were we to make a second batch now, we’d add a bit more chili, and maybe herbs as well, but I guess that depends on how spicy you like your vegan meatballs.

This batch makes 22 small meatballs, and the recipe was inspired by the one on Cake Maker to the Stars.

Here’s what we used:

  • 2 dl granulated TSP (in Finnish: tumma soijarouhe)
  • 2 dl vegetable stock
  • 1 dl diced leek
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste, depending on the stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fried onion
  • ½ dl gluten flour
  • ½ dl water

I started by setting the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

To start with the dough, I combined the stock and the soy granules in a bowl, and set aside. I chopped the leek into small bits, sautéed it in olive oil for a couple of minutes, added the chili, marjoram, and thyme, and stirred to mix. By now the soy granules had absorbed all the vegetable stock, so I added them into the frying pan, and sautéed the mixture for a few more minutes. Then I added the sesame seed oil and the soy sauce to the pan. I removed the frying pan from heat, and added the crushed garlic and the store-bought fried onion, stirred them in, and let the mixture cool down a bit.

When the soy granule mixture wasn’t too hot to touch anymore, I added the water and the gluten flour, and kneaded the dough for a couple of minutes. At this point, I tried rolling a meatball in my palm, testing the consistency of the dough. It was still quite soft, but firm enough to roll into balls – just what I was aiming at.

I rolled the dough into 22 small meatballs, which I put on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. I sprayed them with olive oil on all sides, and put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Then I flipped them over one by one, and baked for another 10 minutes. By then they were nicely browned, and a little crunchy on the surface.

Usually on May Day the weather is still quite cold, so the picnic is more of a symbolic start of the summer, but this year the weather was really nice and warm, in Finnish terms at least. We enjoyed the soy meatballs together with potato salad and smokey tofu spread seasoned with sage, of which we’ll blog about later!

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