We’re an almost exclusively vegetarian household. My girlfriend is vegetarian you see (or actually a recent convert to Pescetarianism, so fish if back on the menu, yeiij!). This has led me to develop a lot of vegetarian alternatives through the years, which has been really great. I’m not especially fond of the concept of mimicking meat. Soy meat, quorn, oumph, pulled oats, beyond meat… I mean, I get it. If people like it: cool. I’m just sayin’ that the best of that kinda thing I’ve ever had has never been anywhere close to the meat equivalent. Often, they just feel like attempts to create a vessel for heavy spicing.
I like when you try to use unprocessed stuff and make something different but equally great. Like portabello hamburger, or black been tacos, or carrot and parsnip burgers. Or: almond balls. So let me get the irony out of the way. Yes, they look a lot like meatballs. Yes, they kinda taste a bit like meatballs. But they’re not meatballs. And they’re made from scratch.
The challenge when making vegetarian alternatives to burgers or ball-shaped things is consistency. It’s real easy to make something that sticks together if you’re fine with the end result being dry and dense and boring. It’s equally easy to make something juicy that’ll fall apart. I think this recipe strikes a real good balance, but it can take a while to get a hang of the nuances. I got the gist of this recipe from my girlfriends mother (something akin to this Swedish recipe I think), but I’ve tinkered with it quite a lot through the years.
Some of the ingredients are cooked before going into the batter and the balls are boiled in broth before being fried in the pan. All this adds up to a really juicy and rich end result. The consistency can be tricky however. But practice makes perfect so let’s practice!