Vegan Saucy Asian Meatballs

Updated: Jan 13

These vegan saucy asian meatballs can either be baked or fried! I fry a lot of my food because deep drying them just really creates this nice crust and also yield juicer bits, but since this recipe has a rich sauce, baking or frying them creates almost the same delicious goodness.

So what are in the meatballs? A blend of cauliflower, red rice, and some oats. Funny thing is, eating this is like already eating a full meal but I still love to enjoy them topped over rice because yes, I really love rice.

Feel free to form these into whatever shape you’d like, but I stuck to the meatball shapes. I then deep fried these in some canola oil, which I love to use for its very neutral flavour but you can also opt to use other types of oil that's good for frying.

You can also opt to bake these. Though of course they won't turn as crisp and juicy as those that were fried, but since they're cooked with the sauce you'll barely notice! Check out the full recipe below. Enjoy! :)

Saucy Asian Meatballs (Baked or Fried)

Makes 45 meatballs

2 large heads cauliflower, cooked (around 6 cups of florets)

1/2 cup whole rolled oats

2 cloves garlic

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp sliced spring onions

1 1/2 cup cooked red rice

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp room temp. water)

1 cup bread crumbs

4 tbsp all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

Canola oil, for frying

Sauce (Feel free to double the recipe if you want it extra saucy!)

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

6 tbsp distilled white vinegar

6 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tsp sesame oil

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp cornstarch + 4 tbsp water, mixed together


  1. Steam or boil the cauliflower florets, until cooked. Ensure that they are not overcooked since they can turn mushy when processed.

  2. Mix the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl. Leave to thicken for 5-10 minutes.

  3. In a food processor, add in the cauliflower and quickly process until they are in small bits (around the size of rice grains). Feel free to leave some larger chunks. Transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl.

  4. Process the oats with the rice, garlic, and red onion until the oats are in small pieces (the same size as the cauliflower) and the rice has turned into a sticky-paste-like consistency. Add to the bowl with the cauliflower.

  5. Mix everything together with the flax egg, spring onions, bread crumbs, and flour then season with some salt. Ensure that everything is mixed evenly.

  6. Once the everything is well mixed together, heat some canola oil in a frying pan (if frying) or heat the oven to 350C (if baking).

  7. Wet your hands with some water, then roll around 1.5 tbsp of the mixture into balls. Repeat for the remaining mixture.

  8. If baking, place on a baking tray lined with some parchment paper or a silicon mat. Brush the surface with a little oil. Place the balls and ensure they do not stick to one another. Spray the balls with a little oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes on 350C, or until brown and crisp. Flip on the other side halfway through cooking.

  9. If frying, place a few balls at a time (this will depend on the size of your pan) and fry until golden brown. Once cooked, let cool on a strainer or on a plate with some paper towels to drain excess oil.

  10. To prepare the sauce, add all the ingredients except the cornstarch mixture into a pan and then mix well. Let simmer over medium heat until it boils. Add in the cornstarch and water mixture then mix until it thickens.

  11. Add in the cooked meatballs. Mix well and let cook for 2-3 minutes then turn of the heat. Enjoy!*

*Note: You can also enjoy the meatballs by simply frying/baking them then just dipping them in the sauce.

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