Vietnamese Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Vegan)

Tofu meatballs 1

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy tofu, try this Vegan Tofu meatball recipe inspired by Vietnamese meatballs (Xíu Mại) is for you. The recipe uses easy, accessible plant-based ingredients and makes a delicious, drool-worthy tomato sauce. Serve with some fresh herbs and baguette, it’s a wholesome way to enjoy tofu!

What is Vietnamese Meatball?

Vietnamese Meatball (Xíu Mại) is a Southern Vietnamese dish that consists of juicy pork meatballs in a savory tomato sauce. It is often served with bánh mì (Vietnamese baguette). This recipe is the vegan version of Vietnamese Meatballs made with tofu, wood-ear mushroom and flavorful sauces.

Different ways to cook the Vietnam meatballs

There are different methods you can choose to cook the meatballs:

  • Bake: this is the easiest and healthiest method, just line the tofu meatballs on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C (392°F). The tofu meatballs become crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside.
  • Fry: you can also choose to shallow or deep fry the tofu for a more crunchy texture.
  • Air fry: you can spray some oil (optional) and air-fry the tofu meatballs in the air fryer for 10 minutes.

Which mushrooms to use for this Vietnamese Meatball recipe?

For the recipe, I used dried shredded wood ear mushrooms, which you can find in the Asian supermarkets or the Asian section of some big supermarkets. If you don’t have access to them, you can choose to rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms or chop up fresh shiitake mushrooms or other types of mushroom.

How to serve the Vegan Vietnamese Meatballs?

You can enjoy these Vegan Meatballs with rice, rice noodles or with a crispy baguette. To eat with baguette, just take a piece of the baguette and dip it with the sauce. The bite is flavorful and has a nice texture!

If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!

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Tofu meatballs 2

Vietnamese Meatballs in Tomato sauce (Vegan)

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


These Vietnamese Meatballs make a delicious and wholesome way to enjoy tofu. They are so satisfying and complimentary with the fresh herbs and baguette.


Units Scale

Tofu Meatballs

  • 400 g firm tofu
  • 50 g dried wood ear mushrooms
  • hot water
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 400 g canned tomato
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 baguette
  • green onions
  • coriander


Make the tofu meatballs

  1. Press the tofu for 20-30 minutes to squeeze out all excess water. I like to wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel then put something heavy on top of it.
  2. Pour a generous amount of hot water over the dried mushroom. Let it sit and expand for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop and thinly slice the onion and garlic.
  4. Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F). Line a baking paper on your baking dish.
  5. In a mixing bowl, crumbled the pressed tofu using your hands or a fork. Drain and thinly cut the mushroom then put it in the bowl. Add the minced onion, garlic, soy sauce, vegan oyster sauce, sugar, sriracha, corn starch and black pepper to the mixture. Mix well to combine.
  6. Spoon and shape the mixture into balls, this recipe makes about 12 – 16 tofu balls.
  7. Put the balls on the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is golden and crispy.

Make the tomato sauce base

  1. On a pan on medium heat, add the canned tomatoes, mix with soy sauce and sugar. Add in the meatballs and simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
  2. Garnish with green onions, coriander, and enjoy with some slices of baguette.


The recipe lasts in the fridge for up to 3 days, reheat in the microwave or on the pan.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: vietnamese

Keywords: baguette, comfort food, healthy, tofu, tofu meatballs, tomato sauce, vegan meatballs, xiu mai

If you enjoyed this recipe, also check out some of my other recipes:

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  1. I made this today! Thank you for the simple recipe 🙂

    1. Thanks for your nice words!

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