Finally I did it! I did it the Japanese way! I am not sure why I waited that long, but better late than never – I tried different approach to (chicken) meatballs – I added tofu. And I am happy to report that they we were well loved! The tofu adds a lighter, softer texture to it all.
And no, you do not have to be a tofu lover to appreciate this dish. The tofu used here is rather tasteless, it is really about the texture ~ nice and fluffy.
Having said that, eating tofu now and then isn’t too bad, after all it is said that tofu is not only a good source protein and essential amino acids but as well a good source of vitamins and minerals.
So don’t fear the tofu, instead embrace the lightness it adds and try this dish!
I found this recipe under Just One Cookbook (justonecookbook.com). It has a great Teriyaki sauce with it, but the meatballs are nice without and kids enjoy the sauce free leftovers (if they leave any) in wraps the next day for a school lunch. I might have to make double batches in future if I want to have an easy school lunch!
And as usual this one is quick and easy, you get around 20 meatball served served up within 30min!
But now, here we go:
Chicken Meatballs with Teriyaki Sauce
400gr ground chicken
140gr firm tofu
1 1/2 sweet bell peppers
1 green onion / scallion
about 1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 large egg
ground black pepper
neutral flavour oil
Start with the tofu – make sure to set it aside, wrapped in a paper towel to drain for around 15 min. Omitting this (yes I tried to do it the quick way) leads to a very soggy mixture. Also, if you want to add the Teriyaki sauce see below first!
Now once that is out of the way, start to clean, de-seed and finally chop the sweet bell peppers, chop the onion and grate the ginger.
Use a large bowl to combine the ground chicken, peppers, onions. Break the tofu into small pieces, add the egg and mix it all together by hand.
Lastly add the ginger, salt and pepper and make sure to combine it all well.
Use two spoons (I prefer to use an ice-cream scoop) to make small balls.
Heat a large pan, and fry the meatballs until one side is brown, then turn over. Make sure they are cooked all the way through (no pinkish meat colour in the middle!). You may want to reduce the heat to avoid burning.
If you don’t add the sauce you are done and ready to serve. If you prefer to “spice” it up then go one step further and add the Teriyaki sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon potato or corn starch
Do this before you even start with the meatballs! Mix all ingredients and set aside. Then once the meatballs are all done, add the sauce and reduce the heat until the sauce thickens. Turn the meatballs for an even glaze.
PS: This dish is for chicken meatballs / hamburgers but I meanwhile added firm tofu to standard beef-meatballs and hamburgers and it works well, too. Try it, and see what appeals to you.
I hope you will enjoy your light and fluffy chicken meatballs, and if you have a recipe that includes Tofu and is easy to do I would love to hear from you!