Japanese Eggplant No-Meatballs
- *for the eggplant meatballs*
- 1 large eggplant (~14oz), cut into cubes
- 1 cup (160g) cooked rice
- ¼ cup (20g) old fashioned oats
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp (10mL) tamari or soy sauce
- 10oz (300gr) extra firm tofu, pressed and finely crumbled
- 2 scallions/green onion, whites finely sliced
- 1 8-oz (227g) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- ¼ – ½ cup (13-25g) panko breadcrumbs, as needed
- 2-3 tbsp (30-45mL) sunflower or peanut oil, to fry
- *for the teriyaki sauce*
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- ¼ cup (60mL) mirin
- ¼ cup (60mL) tamari or soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp (12-20g) raw sugar
- ¼ cup (60mL) water
- *to serve*
- cooked quinoa
- thinly sliced red cabbage
- thinly sliced carrots
- green onion
- sesame seeds
- First, prepare the no-meatballs.
- To steam the eggplant, add 3 inches of water to a saucepan and place eggplant cubes in a steamer. Place the steamer on top of the saucepan, making sure the water doesn’t touch the underside, and bring the water to a simmer over high heat.
- Reduce heat and steam the eggplant for about 10 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- When the eggplant is cooled off, transfer to a food processor and add in the cooked rice, old fashioned oats, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and tamari/soy sauce. Pulse until the mixture comes together but is still slightly textured.
- Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and add in the crumbled tofu, sliced scallions, diced water chestnuts, and panko breadcrumbs. Use a large spoon to combine the mixture; test it out to make sure it will hold together and add more breadcrumbs as needed.
- Line a large tray with wax paper and roll the mixture into golf-ball sized balls. Place on prepared tray and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the teriyaki sauce. Combine the grated ginger, miring, tamari/soy sauce, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the no-meatballs in batches of 6-8 for around 6 minutes each.
- Place the cooked no-meatballs in a warm oven (200F/95C) while you cook the rest.
- Serve with the prepared teriyaki sauce over quinoa with red cabbage, carrots, green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!