Tofu-Pork Meatballs with Sticky Sauce

Tofu-Pork Meatballs

While browsing the photos of recipes I have yet to blogged, I saw this meatballs recipe and realised that it fulfills the Little Thumbs Up theme this month – soy (which includes tofu!)

Tofu is a food that I really love – there’s silken tofu that is like a blank canvas, ready to go with all kinds of sauces and provides this really silky, soft and melt-in-the-mouth texture. The firm tofu is also great when stir-fried with garlic, pork and soy sauce. There’s also the egg tofu that comes in cylindrical tubes – my mom will deep fry them first before stir-frying them with pork and other vegetables.

Tofu-Pork Meatballs

This meatballs recipes is adapted from a Chinese recipe app that I’ve downloaded on my phone. Most meatballs I’ve had are made with a combination of pork, beef or chicken. I’ve never thought that tofu can be used as well! The recipe uses firm tofu and recommended mashing over a cheesecloth then squeezing out the excess water – as I don’t have a cheesecloth, I mashed it, in batches, over coffee filters, and that’s not a very good idea! The coffee filters kept breaking because of the moisture and I had to keep replace with new coffee filters. So I guess it’s time to add cheesecloth into my shopping list ;)

Tofu-Pork Meatballs

The squeezing of the tofu should be the hardest and most time-consuming. The rest is just mix, fry then make the sauce. The sauce is a simple Asian concoction made using sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce (both light and dark), black vinegar and wine. It is then thickened with a little corn starch dissolved in water. Black vinegar and wine can be omitted if you don’t have them on hand, but double the rest of the ingredients so you have enough sauce to coat the meatballs.

sauces

The seasonings used

The resulting meatballs? The tofu lent a tender bite and made the meatballs a lot lighter than other 100%-meat meatballs I’ve ever eaten. I can keep eating them without feeling as guilty! After all tofu is an excellent source of protein and is low in fat! The sauce is also very addictive as X and I are both black vinegar lovers. We mopped up all the sauce till the end ;)

Here are the step-by-step photos for the recipe!

Step-by-step Photos

 
mashmix
1) Mash the firm tofu.2) Combine with other meatball ingredients.
shapefry
3) Roll into small mounds.4) Fry them well!
drainsauce
5) Drain on kitchen towel - nice and golden!6) Make the sauce!
thickencoat
7) Thicken it eventually...8) Add the meatballs to coat.

Tofu-Pork Meatballs

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!

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I’m going to submit this to Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. This month’s theme is Soy – hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake. The recipes are all linked at this post!

Tofu-Pork Meatballs with Sticky Sauce
 
Makes about 40 meatballs
Author:
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 300 grams firm tofu
  • 300 grams ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ thumb-sized ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Oil for frying

Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons black vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Chinese wine
  • 8 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Assembly
  • Toasted sesame seeds
Method
Meatballs
  1. Break the firm tofu into pieces and place on a cheesecloth. Mash the tofu with a fork then squeeze out the excess water. Transfer into a large, clean bowl.
  2. Add in the pork, egg, grated ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, corn starch and white pepper and mix together well. Form into meatballs and set aside.
  3. Heat a small pot with oil (1/2 to 1-inch in height) over medium heat until hot. Fry the meatballs until cooked thoroughly and golden-brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.
Sauce
  1. Heat a new, clean frying pan over medium heat. Add in sugar, sesame oil, light and dark soy sauces, black vinegar, Chinese wine and 6 tablespoons water. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat. Dissolve the corn starch in the remaining 2 tablespoons water. While the sauce is simmering, add in ½ the corn starch mixture, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Add in more corn starch mixture to get the consistency desired.
Assembly
  1. Add the meatballs into the sauce and toss until they are evenly coated. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve.

Super NaggyUse a small pot and fry the meatballs in batches so you will use less oil. I go light on the seasoning for the meatballs as ultimately they will be coated with the sticky sauce. You can play around with the ratio of tofu to pork and can even substitute pork with other types of meat.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Jasline,
    I heard of adding tofu in making meatball but never try it.
    Your tofu meatballs tempted me :p I love the sauce very much as it have black vinegar in it which I love.
    Thanks for sharing this to LTU.
    mui

  2. says

    Yeah , always the same pork/beef combo ( I’ve made meatballs as well ,sadly no tofu in it ) :D You can’t tell the difference actually by just looking at those tofu meatballs ! Love it !

    • says

      Hi Anne, yes, mine had always been the pork and beef combo (it was soooo good, isn’t it!) but tofu is a great change once in a while – it’s always good to be on the healthy side occasionally, right? ;)

  3. says

    Hi Jasline,

    These tofu-pork meatballs can be so versatile to serve…. with rice for a satisfying meal or on its own for entertaining! Great recipe!

    Zoe

  4. says

    These meatballs look delicious, Jasline, and to think they’re part tofu. Fantastic! Your sticky sauce sounds great, too, and I hope I can find the ingredients. :)

    • says

      Hi John, I hope you do too! I know it can be quite hard to get all these Asian ingredients, but even if you can’t find them, I’m sure you’ll be able to substitute with whatever you have, afterall you are a much more experienced cook than me! :)

  5. says

    What a great idea to prepare these metballs with Tofu.
    It”s so much lighter and healthier. What I love with Tofu as well is that you can give it the flavor you want to, it’ s just so versatile.
    I imagine that this recipe can result addictive:)

  6. says

    Great little recipe! Tofu takes on the flavours of all of the delicious ingredients you have added. Hey have you noticed that the usual Shao Xing wine has either changed their logo and bottle cover or they are no longer making it. Are you having this problem too?

    • says

      Thank you Bobbi! Actually I’m not so sure about the Shao Xing wine as this is actually the first time I bought them! My mom hardly uses Shao Xing so she doesn’t stock them at home. Do you still remember what is the Company that manufactures it? Maybe they changed their design! The sesame oil that I used to buy changed their design too, I almost thought the supermarket didn’t stock it until I saw the company’s name!

Thank you for your reply!