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Murielle Banackissa
Shiitake and Rice Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Shiitake and Rice Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

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1 hour 15 mins Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins Cooling Time: 15 mins
Serves 4

Savoury, rich, and meaty, these shiitake and rice meatballs a great meat free alternative to a beloved classic! They feature aromatic herbs like fresh basil and coriander and are made extra decadent when served with a homemade sweet and sour sauce.


Shiitake Meatballs

  • 3/4 cup USA grown brown Jasmine rice
  • 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp + 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion , diced
  • 350 g diced mushrooms (I used a mix of shiitake and button mushrooms)
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 packed cup fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 jalapeño (seeds removed for less heat), diced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch

For Serving

  • USA grown basmati rice
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chili flakes

Prepare the Meatballs

  1. Step 1

    Add the Jasmine brown rice and vegetable broth to a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil.

  2. Step 2

    Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Remove from the heat and let sit with the lid on for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and let cool while you prepare the rest of the meatball ingredients.

  4. Step 4

    Heat a large pan on medium heat.

  5. Step 5

    Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion. Cook until gold and the edges are starting to brown, about 5-8 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Incorporate the diced mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mushrooms are brown around the edges and most of their moisture has evaporated, about 12 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Sprinkle in minced garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

  8. Step 8

    Pour in tamari and add black pepper. Cook for another minute.

  9. Step 9

    Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

  10. Step 10

    To a food processor, add the hemp hearts, fresh coriander, basil, nutritional yeast, and jalapeño. Pulse until finely chopped.

  11. Step 11

    Add the cooked onion and mushroom mixture and pulse until the mushrooms are chopped into small pieces. Do not over process; you are not looking to create a paste.

  12. Step 12

    Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Add in the cooked and cooled Jasmine brown rice and whole wheat flour.

  13. Step 13

    Stir using a silicone spatula.

  14. Step 14

    Form 16 meatballs of about 2 tablespoons using your hands and place them onto a plate. If you find that your hands become sticky with the mixture, coat them with a little olive oil.

  15. Step 15

    Heat a large non stick pan with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium-low.

  16. Step 16

    Once hot, drop half of the meatballs into the pan and cook until brown then turn and repeat until they are brown all around. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

  17. Step 17

    Repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.

Prepare the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  1. Step 1

    Add all sauce ingredients into a saucepan except the cornstarch. Stir.

  2. Step 2

    To a small bowl, add cornstarch along with 3 tablespoons of the sauce (from the saucepan). Stir until smooth.

  3. Step 3

    Bring the sauce in the saucepan to a boil.

  4. Step 4

    Give the cornstarch slurry a stir to ensure it is homogeneous then pour it into the saucepan with the rest of the sauce.

  5. Step 5

    Cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, whisking regularly.


  1. Step 1

    Serve the meatballs on a bed of basmati rice along with the sweet and sour sauce. Garnish with coriander and chili flakes. Enjoy!

Common Questions & Swaps

The cooking time is based on the mushroom mixture being prepared while the rice is cooking for 30 minutes.

  • Can I use another type of brown rice instead of the suggested Jasmine? Yes, you can use short grain brown rice instead.

  • Can I use other kinds of mushrooms? Yes, use any variety you like as long as you have 350g of them.

  • Can I bake these meatballs? You can at 400ºF for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Note that the texture of them will be a little less soft than if you decide to pan fry them.

  • Can I use another flour instead of the suggested whole wheat? Yes, oat flour would work great here.

  • Can I use another nut or seed instead of hemp hearts? Yes, pepitas would be a great substitution in this recipe.

Shiitake and Rice Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce
USA Rice Closeup
Shiitake and Rice Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Shiitake and Rice Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce