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RECIPE
18 INGREDIENTS10 STEPS1hr

Tempeh Meatballs with Thai Curry Sauce

4.9
11 Ratings
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Tempeh, traditional Javanese food made of soybeans, can be challenging to cook with, but this Tempeh Meatballs with Thai Curry Sauce recipe makes it so simple! The rich, creamy, and spicy Thai curry sauce will light up your pan and leave you plant-empowered while bringing a ton of flavor to your plate. And it is also full of protein and fiber!
Tempeh Meatballs with Thai Curry Sauce Recipe | SideChef
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Tempeh, traditional Javanese food made of soybeans, can be challenging to cook with, but this Tempeh Meatballs with Thai Curry Sauce recipe makes it so simple! The rich, creamy, and spicy Thai curry sauce will light up your pan and leave you plant-empowered while bringing a ton of flavor to your plate. And it is also full of protein and fiber!

How To Make Tempeh Meatballs with Thai Curry Sauce

How To Prepare Shallot Mixture

In a medium-hot pan, saute the finely chopped shallots, minced garlic, and diced rehydrated shiitake mushrooms together. Cook for about 2 minutes and set aside to cool down.

How To Make Tempeh Meatballs

Using a food processor or a blender, process the cubed tempeh until you get a crumbly consistency. Add in the dry ingredients and Thai red curry paste. Process until fully combined. Using a spatula or spoon, combine the tempeh mixture, shallot mixture, and cornstarch together. Shape your meatballs to a ping pong ball size or around 2 inches in diameter. Using a non-stick frying pan, put some vegetable oil and fry your tempeh meatballs until both sides are golden brown. Set aside until ready to use.

How To Prepare Thai Red Curry Sauce

In a medium heated pan, stir continuously the Thai red curry paste for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add in the coconut milk and coconut sugar and cook for 5-7 minutes. Don’t forget to taste to make sure the sauce has a good balance of spiciness, sweetness, and saltiness. 

How To Assemble Tempeh Meatballs With Thai Red Curry Sauce

Add in your cooked tempeh meatballs to the same pan of your prepared Thai red curry sauce. Turn the meatballs until fully coated with the sauce. When ready to serve, you can garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, some chopped fresh basil or fresh parsley, sesame seeds, and sliced fresh red chilies. 



Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Tempeh -  If you are not sure what tempeh really is, you should look into it immediately.   Tempeh is a traditional Javanese food made of fermented soybeans. It’s a powerhouse plant-based protein, loaded with fiber and probiotics. Tempeh has more nutritional benefits compared to its soybean cousin tofu and is also way lower in sodium.  If you are looking for a protein-packed meal that will also improve your gut health tempeh should be on your menu! 
  • Given the meaty texture of tempeh, it’s the perfect meat substitute for this vegan meatball recipe.
  • Shallots - a sweeter variety of the onion family with a hint of sharpness. If shallot is not available in your pantry, you can easily substitute it with yellow onions
  • Shiitake Mushrooms - we chose shiitake mushrooms for their strong flavor and intoxicating aroma. Portobello or porcini mushrooms can be great substitutes if shiitake mushrooms are unavailable.
  • Ground Coriander - an aromatic spice with an earthy, slightly sweet, spicy, and citrusy flavor. A perfect spice for curry dishes, it can intensify the flavors and add a bit of tart.
  •  
  • Dried Basil - although we love the fresh basil, we recommend using the dried version for this recipe. Dried basil has a more intense and concentrated flavor and is mintier than its fresh version.
  •  
  • Thai Red Curry Paste - contrary to common belief, red curry paste is not the spiciest in the Thai curry section but it has a richer and deeper flavor. You can also make your own Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste and adjust the heat to your liking. We’ll be using this paste for both tempeh meatballs and curry sauce.
  • Coconut Sugar - tasting similar to brown sugar,  coconut sugar has a hint of caramel to it. This is a great option for any vegan or plant-based diet recipe. However, if you’re not following a certain diet, you can substitute this with regular granulated sugar. We’ll need coconut sugar for both our meatballs and sauce.
  • Coconut Milk - if you’re familiar with Asian curries and Caribbean flavors, surely you’re not new to the rich, sweet, and nutty coconut milk flavor. A staple ingredient in curry recipes to create a thicker texture and deeper flavor. Make sure to leave some for the garnish.
  • Cornstarch - usually used as a thickening agent, cornstarch will be used as a binder in forming the tempeh meatballs.


Tips & Suggestions

  • Serving styles - with the rich, creamy, and spicy flavor of this curry dish, it’s quite a challenge not to pair it with some pita bread or rice. You can make your own vegan-friendly Psyllium Flatbread or opt for low-carb DIY Cauliflower Rice to serve with this tempeh curry dish.
  • Taste your curry - we recommend tasting your curry paste first to check its spice and saltiness level.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Tempeh Meatballs Ahead?

Yes, absolutely! You can refrigerate tempeh meatballs for up to 3 days, or freeze and store them for up to a month. Keep it in a sealed airtight container or freezer bag.

What Else Can You Do With Tempeh Meatballs?

Knowing the basics for making tempeh meatballs, you can experiment with different flavors.  Replace the curry flavor with tomato sauce and Italian herbs and you will have vegan Italian meatballs. Try making your next meatless meatball sub with these.  Or take them as a base for vegan Swedish meatballs and adjust the flavors.



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SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
https://www.SideChef.com
1hr
Total Time
$3.08
Cost Per Serving

Ingredients

US / METRIC
Servings:
4
Serves 4

Meatballs

1 2/3 cups
Tempeh
cut into small cubes
3
Shallots , finely chopped
4 cloves
Minced Garlic
6
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms , diced
soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
1 tsp
Ground Coriander
1/4 cup
Thai Red Curry Paste
1 tsp
or Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp
to taste
2 Tbsp
Vegetable Oil
divided

Curry Sauce

1/3 cup
Thai Red Curry Paste
1 1/2 cups
Coconut Milk
1 1/2 Tbsp

For Garnish

to taste
Fresh Parsley , chopped
or Thai Basil or Cilantro
to taste
Coconut Milk
to drizzle
to taste
Red Chili Peppers
thinly sliced lengthwise
to taste
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Nutrition Per Serving

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CALORIES
508
FAT
34.0 g
PROTEIN
25.2 g
CARBS
31.5 g

Author's Notes

Pay attention to the spice level of the curry paste you use - or your curry could end up really spicy!

Cooking Instructions

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Step 1
Add the Vegetable Oil (1 Tbsp) to a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the Shallots (3) , Garlic (4 cloves) , and Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (6) for about 2 minutes, then set aside to cool down.
Step 2
In the food processor, process the Tempeh (1 2/3 cups) until broken down and crumbly.
Step 3
Season with Coconut Sugar (1 tsp) , Ground Coriander (1 tsp) , Dried Basil (1 tsp) , Salt (to taste) , and Thai Red Curry Paste (1/4 cup) . Process again until well combined.
Step 4
In a bowl combine tempeh mixture, shallot mixture, and Corn Starch (1 Tbsp) together.
Step 5
Shape meatballs into ping pong ball sized balls and place on a tray.
Step 6
In a nonstick pan on medium-high heat add Vegetable Oil (1 Tbsp) . Once hot, pan-fry the tempeh meatballs for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Step 7
In a new pan over medium-high heat, add Thai Red Curry Paste (1/3 cup) and stir until fragrant about, 2 minutes.
Step 8
Add Coconut Milk (1 1/2 cups) and Coconut Sugar (1 1/2 Tbsp) to the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes. You can add more coconut sugar as needed - some curry paste brands are quite salty and you need to find the balance of the saltiness and sweetness.
Step 9
Add the cooked tempeh meatballs back in the pan, and coat the meatballs with sauce.
Step 10
Garnish with chopped a drizzle of Coconut Milk (to taste) , Fresh Parsley (to taste) , Sesame Seeds (to taste) and Red Chili Peppers (to taste) before serving.
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Nutrition Per Serving
Calories
508
% Daily Value*
Fat
34.0 g
44%
Saturated Fat
24.6 g
123%
Trans Fat
0.0 g
--
Cholesterol
0.0 mg
0%
Carbohydrates
31.5 g
11%
Fiber
8.9 g
32%
Sugars
14.1 g
--
Protein
25.2 g
50%
Sodium
2005.7 mg
87%
Vitamin D
0.1 µg
0%
Calcium
123.2 mg
9%
Iron
7.0 mg
39%
Potassium
676.9 mg
14%
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