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Japanese-style Vegan Meatballs

They are crispy on the outside, tender and savory on the inside. Coat them in a sweet and sour sticky sauce, and you have the perfect Japanese-style meatballs These Japanese-style meatballs are a popular comfort food in Japanese cuisine.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 10 meatballs


sticky sauce

  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/3 tsp garlic grated
  • 1/4 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

potato starch slurry

  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 2 tsp water


  • 50 grams silken tofu no need to press
  • 3 tbsp panko
  • 200 grams vegan mince
  • 1/2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 tsp kelp stock powder or veg stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Make the sticky sauce

  • Add all the ingredients for the sticky sauce in a pan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add potato starch slurry and simmer for 2~3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

Make the meatballs

  • Add tofu and panko in a food processor and blend into a paste. Add the paste and the rest of the meatball ingredients in a bowl. Mix until ingredients are evenly combined.
  • Shape the mixture into balls, and fry them. I usually deep fry meatballs, but you could pan fry or air fry them as well.
  • Add the fried meatballs in the pan with the sticky sauce. On medium-low heat, warm up the sauce and stir to coat evenly.
  • Serve warm with some rice, or steamed veggies. Enjoy!
    Japanese-style meatballs