Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Maple Sriracha Tempeh Balls

When I first tried Sriracha sauce I absolutely hated it. I thought it was vile, offensive, and that it ruined everything it touched. Fast forward 10 years, and I can’t live without it!  I put it on almost everything. Oh my, how my palate has changed.  I always find myself reaching for that green-tipped bottle while cooking.  Sriracha can be mixed with Vegenaise or silken tofu for a creamy hot sauce, added to a savory bread batter, or sautéed with tofu and vegetables. The possibilities are endless. So, I was overjoyed to come across the Sriracha Cookbook. The recipes are super creative and beautifully photographed.  Although it's not a vegan cookbook, most of the recipes are easily veganizable.  And even better, a follow-up vegan Sriracha cookbook is due out in July!  Awesomesauce.  In the meantime, I veganized these tempeh balls based on the maple Sriracha sausage patties from the original cookbook. Maple + Sriracha? Yes, please!

Makes about a dozen
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons water
1 8 oz. package of tempeh (I used Lightlife)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil, for frying 
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seeds and water.  Set aside.
  2. Mash the tempeh in a medium bowl with a fork.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture, bread crumbs, maple syrup, Sriracha sauce, green onions, and thyme. Combine well.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Using your hands, form the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and set aside.
  5. Frying Option: Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tempeh balls, gently turning every few minutes, until crispy and browned on all sides. Baking Option: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place the tempeh balls on a parchment-lined baking pan and mist them with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes or so, until well browned on all sides.
You can omit the bread crumbs if you'd like to make these gluten-free (and don't have any gluten-free bread crumbs).  And of course, you can increase or decrease the amount of Sriracha sauce to your liking.  It’s not in the picture above, but I actually ended up eating these with more Sriracha sauce on top. They’re fabulous on their own, but I’ll take all the heat I can get!  :)