Last week I was lucky enough to come across a buy one get one free deal at Publix for Gardein products. Normally I don’t buy a lot of imitation meat products, because they are expensive and highly processed, but I decided to splurge since they were such a good deal. I ended up buying 6 different bags of their meatless products and I’ve been trying to think of creative ways to use them. For the meatballs, I thought it would be delicious to cook them in a sweet and spicy Thai inspired sauce. I was right; they were fantastic.
The meatballs themselves are spiced with Italian-ish seasonings, so I was nervous that they wouldn’t taste right combined with the Thai sauce. But in the end, they tasted exactly as I was hoping they would; sweet and spicy with the fresh flavors of Thai basil, cilantro and lime punching through. I served them over some fragrant coconut rice and I received unanimously positive reviews from everyone in my family. If you try this recipe, let us know how it turns out in the comments on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Sticky, spicy and sweet Thai inspired vegan meatballs served over a bed of fragrant cilantro-coconut rice with a splash of lime juice.
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 jalapeños (depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be)
- 1 knob ginger (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 cup Thai chili sauce
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp Thai basil, chopped
- 1 package vegan meatballs
- Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer and add to a pot with the water, coconut milk and salt.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, cover the pot and lower heat. Cook rice for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
- Once the rice is done, add in the cilantro and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, combine the shallots, garlic, jalapenos and ginger to a food processor and blend until it forms a paste.
- Add the paste to a saucepan over low-medium heat and cook for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Then stir in the Thai chili sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and lime juice.
- Cook the sauce for 10-15 minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Add the cilantro, basil and meatballs and continue to cook for 10-15 more minutes. The sauce will gradually thicken as the liquids evaporate from the pan, but be careful not to thicken it too much. It should be something like a gravy.
- Remove the meatballs and sauce and serve over coconut rice.
- Garnish with slices of lime and green onions.
I used the Gardein brand of meatballs and they worked out really well for this recipe, but I imagine any other brand of meatballs would work well too. If your sauce is too thick, you can just add a little bit of water to smooth it out.