Everyone asks me how I don’t eat meat. Well, it’s pretty easy when I haven’t eaten meat my whole life, and when I can make delicious eggplant meatless balls like these! I found this recipe over at Dash of East and I was inspired. I didn’t use Japanese eggplant since normal eggplant was on sale, but I did use Asian flavorings so I stuck with the Asian theme. These were amazing, and super easy to pull together. I like the fact that they’re baked, which means I don’t have to stand over a hot stove, yay! Although the oven does heat up the house a little… Oh well, you win some you lose some. But these vegetarian meatballs are definitely a win! They’re super flavorful, savory with a touch of sweet, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Pure vegetarian goodness. I served them over a healthified coleslaw, (something like this, except without the sugar) and the combination was simply delicious. My meat loving friends enjoyed them as well, so that says something! Here’s the recipe!
Vegetarian Eggplant “Meatballs”
adapted from Dash of East
1 eggplant, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes to draw out water. While the eggplant is resting, chop the garlic, ginger, and onions. Once the eggplant is done resting, dice it into 1/2 inch cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and eggplant and saute until the eggplant is tender.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the eggplant, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, green onions, eggs and breadcrumbs. Stir until the mixture becomes sticky and holds together. Drop spoonfuls, about 2 tbsp each (I used a large cookie scoop) of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the outsides are well-browned and crispy and the insides are tender. I sacrificed one by cutting it open to test for doneness. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve over coleslaw. Enjoy!