Vegan Tempeh “Meat” Balls

Vegan Tempeh “Meat” Balls are good as appetizers or made into burgers. Lentil purée and brown rice helps hold “meat” balls together. Tempeh balls can be baked or rolled in cornmeal and pan fried.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 8 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1⁄4 cup shoyu
  • 1 slice (2 inches) ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 8 oz. tempeh, cut into 1⁄4-inch strips
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1⁄4 cup grated carrot
  • 1⁄4 cup minced celery
  • 1⁄4 tsp. coriander
  • 1⁄2 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1⁄4 cup safflower oil


  • Combine apple juice, shoyu, ginger, 2 garlic cloves, vinegar, and cumin in a medium bowl. Add tempeh and marinate overnight. Remove tempeh from marinade and reserve marinade.
  • In a small skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Sauté tempeh until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add marinade and cover skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove tempeh from skillet and drain on paper towels.
  • In a large skillet, sauté onion, crushed garlic, carrot, celery, and coriander until cooked. Crumble tempeh and add to the skillet with lentils and rice. Sauté 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly. Form tempeh mixture into balls.
  • Heat safflower oil in a large skillet. Fry balls until browned, about 10 minutes.