Grouping handfuls of vegetables into balls is one of the most interesting ways I can think of to enjoy vegetable. Rather than frying or baking in oven, I am sharing with you a light way to cook it: by steaming! This is a dish that generates zero kitchen fume and allows us to enjoy the original flavors of the vegetables to the maximum! Needless to say that this is a perfect dish for those who are into low carbs diet!
YOUR CHOICES OF VEGETABLES
The beauty of this dish is that there is no fixed rules for the ingredients. You can decide which vegetables to use. Just make sure the vegetable chosen are either in small size (such as corn, pea, etc) or without hard stern. Otherwise it may be hard to shape them into balls.
I have tried to make my veggie balls as colorful as I could using: carrots, shiitake mushrooms, corn, zucchini, spinach and flat beans.
But the back-up candidates for this dish are countless! Here are some of my top recommendations: agretti (a Mediterranean spring vegetable, extremely healthy but available for short period), cabbage, eggplant, onion, pumpkin and daikon.
I have added some scrambled eggs to bring some protein on board. You could replace it with Tofu or cooked lentils to make it vegan!
A DISH AGAINST FOOD WASTE
This dish is allied with the team against food waste because you can add leftover or remaining ingredients into the filling, from meat to vegetables, which saves us from throwing away food!
Check out my collection of recipes AVANZA TUTTI to get inspiration to give second life to our leftovers!
CORNMEAL FOR COATING
Unlike the Italian meat/ veggie balls, which use bread crumbs for coating, here we are using cornmeal (a finely grated corn flour, which can be used for many bread and dessert preparations).
STEAMED VEGGIE BALLS (玉米面菜团子)Course: AVANZI TUTTA, FIRST COURSECuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Low
Veggie ball is one of the most interesting ways to enjoy vegetable. Rather than frying or baking in oven, I am sharing with you a light way to cook it: by steaming! This is a dish that generates zero kitchen fume and allows us to enjoy the original flavors of the vegetables to the maximum!
- The vegetables
Carrot: 1 (around 100g)
Dried shiitake mushrooms: 3-4
Flat bean: 150g
Spinach (boiled in water): 80g
Corn (boiled): 80g
- Condiments + Coating
Sesame oil: 2 tbsp
Dashi powder: 1-1.5 tbsp
Sesamo seed: 2 tsp
Chopped scallion: 1
Table salt: q.b
Sugar: 1 tsp
Soy sauce: q.b (note)
Oyster sauce: q.b (note)
Corn starch: 2 tbsp
Sunflower oil: q.b
- Prepare the vegetables
- Finely slice the carrot.
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the water and finely slice them.
- Finely slice the flat beans.
- Shred the zucchini. Add 1-2 tsp of salt and mix well. Leave it for 15 minutes to let the zucchini juice come out.
- Prepare the filling
- Heat up a wok with 2 tbsp of sunflower oil. Add the carrots and shiitake mushrooms, stir fry them for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp oyster sauce. Continue stir fry for another minute. Take the ingredients out of the wok and leave it to cool.
- In the same wok make a scramble egg and break it into small pieces.
- Boil some water in a pot. Add in the flat beans and cook it for 2-3 minutes until they become soft. Take out the flat beans and soak them in cold water.
- Prepare a big salad bowl, put in the carrot, shiitake mushroom, scramble egg and corn. Squeeze out the excess water from the shredded zucchine, spinach and cooked flat beans. Put them into the bowl.
- Add sesame oil and mix evenly with the vegetables. Add in: dashi powder, sesame seeds, scallion, salt (1 tsp), sugar, soy sauce (2 tbsp) and oyster sauce (1 tbsp). Mix everything well.
- At the end add the corn starch and mix well. The filling is ready.
- Assemble and cook the veggie balls
- Take a handful of the filling. Shape it into a ball between the palms. Meanwhile gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Repeat this until all the filling is shaped into balls.
- Display a generous layer of cornmeal in a big flat plat. Take one ball and roll it over in the pool of cornmeal.
- Press the ball between the palms to firm the cornmeal sticking on the surface.
- Repeat the previous step until all the balls are covered with cornmeal.
- Lay the veggie balls in the steamer with a kitchen garze/ parchment paper at the bottom. Cook them on steam for 8-10 minutes.
- If you are celiaca or are in strict gluten free diet, consider to replace it with gluten free version to suite your needs.
These veggie balls are flavorful as they are. In case you prefer to have dipping sauce to go with them, a light mayonnaise, senape or some homemade spicy oil are all great options.