What is doubanjiang?
Doubbanjiang is a fermented chili paste from China. Its made from fermented black soya beans and chilis, so in a way its sort of like a spicy miso (very different though!).
Its rich, smokey and has a very strong umami flavour. Its so strong that it needs to be used sparingly and responsibly, too much of it and it can ruin a dish, not to mention it is pretty damn hot!
The vegan meatballs
The meatballs are made from vegan hamburgers, you can use your favourite one but I used the “Next Level Burger” from Lidl. The Beyond Meat burger will also work well here.
For the sauce
20g doubanjiang paste
20g tamari or soya sauce
10g panela sugar (you can use whichever sweetener you wish to use)
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
1. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside for the next step.
For the meatballs
2 Next Level patties
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves grated fresh garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. Break the burgers into a bowl so that it resembles minced meat, add the garlic and ginger, mix together throughly, then shape them into 8-10 meatballs.
2. On medium to high heat fry the meatballs until nicely browned, add the sauce to the frying pan, put the heat down to low, cover with a lid if you can and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and reduce until the sauce is slightly thick. Add a splash of rice vinegar or lemon/lime juice to add some freshness.
4. Garnish the meatballs with chopped cilantro and/or spring onions and some sesame seeds, serve with noodles, rice or eat them in a soft bread roll, either way they will be delicious!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you do make it then please leave a comment below!