Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

‘Neatballs’ with Spinach Coriander Sauce

‘Neatballs’ with Spinach Coriander Sauce

Meatballs remind me of sickness – not in a bad way!

Whenever any of the siblings got ill, Mummy would be in the kitchen rolling up balls of minced pork, which she would serve with rice porridge.

While developing this recipe, rolling the balls, I looked at the bean mash and was surprised. It looked SO MUCH like Mummy’s pork mince! It was uncanny, and I needed a quick moment to convince myself that I had vegan mince in my hands!

The sauce was something I came up with on the spot, and perfectly complements the balls as a tantalizing appetizer.

Just to let you know, this is not meant to taste like real meatballs! If anything, this is just another fun way to eat your beans AND your greens!

To cook the white beans, soak overnight and cook in a pot of water for 90 minutes until tender. You can cook a 3-inch strip of kombu seaweed together with the beans to reduce their ‘gasiness’. I advise that you do this step a day in advance, should you wish to save on prep time.

The time in the recipe below shows how long it would take, should you do the steps one by one. However, it is easy to multitask for this recipe and cut down your total time.

The ball-making is a great activity to do with kids!

I know what you’re wondering. Yes, you can make this a meal. This very combination over pasta is divine.

This recipe has no ratings just yet.

'Neatballs' with Spinach Coriander Sauce

July 30, 2017
: 3-4
: 25 min
: 30 min
: Moderate

A delicious plant-based alternative to meatballs, accompanied by a succulent garlicky green sauce.


  • BALLS:
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • Dash of pepper
  • SAUCE:
  • 250 g Spinach
  • 5-6 stalks of coriander
  • 1/2 Bulb garlic
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  • Step 2 Mash ball ingredients together with a fork or mashing instrument. The texture can be left chunky.
  • Step 3 Take a tablespoonful of mash and roll into balls between your palms.
  • Step 4 Place balls (evenly spaced) on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 With a fork, rotate balls to rest on another side to allow for even cooking, and bake for another 10 minutes. Once they are evenly brown, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Step 6 Place all sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until desired consistency: chunky or smooth.
  • Step 7 Pour sauce into wok and cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
  • Step 8 Once done, pour sauce over balls and serve immediately.

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