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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tsukune (Japanese-style Chicken Meatball)

A while back, I went to go eat at Yakitori Totto with my BF. If you are unfamiliar with yakitori and live in NYC, I highly recommend this spot in Midtown West. Yakitori is Japanese chicken grilled on skewers over charcoal. The chicken they use at Totto is organic and very juicy. One of my favorite skewers to order is tsukune which is a chicken meatball.

I recently attempted to make tsukune at home on a frying pan. Came out pretty okay, but no where as good as the ones at Yakitori Totto unfortunately. My BF must have thought they were damn good, evident by the fact a whole pound and a half of tsukune was gone in a day! I made mine as a donburi with yamaimo and scallions.

Recipe for Tsukune

Chicken meatballs:
Package of ground chicken, appx 1.5 lbs
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
juice squeezed from thumb sized piece of ginger thats been shredded
1 small onion, grated or finely minced
1 egg
1/2 t salt
splash of sake

Tare (sauce):
4 T sake
5 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 T sugar
1 T cornstarch mixed well with 1 T water

To make sauce, mix the sake, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch and water mixture and continue to simmer until thickened. (I actually didn't make the tare, I was given some from someone so I cheated!)

Gently mix all the ingredients for the chicken meatballs. Form meatballs somewhere between the size of ping pong ball and a golf ball.

Heat a non stick pan over medium high heat with some oil. Fry the meatballs until lightly browned, approximately 3-5 minutes, then flip over. Brush tare sauce on the cooked side. Allow to cook the meatball another 2-3 minutes. Flip over onto a plate, and brush additional tare on the other side. Be careful not to overcook these meatballs since it is chicken and it tends to get dry. The breadcrumbs help in keeping the texture soft and preventing it from drying out as easily.

Serve over hot rice with extra tare and scallions. We served it with some yamaimo, a sticky mountain potato.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! I would definitely love to make this except I'm a vegetarian - will have to think of some other protein (tempeh maybe?) In any case, I have the mirin and sake so would be interesting to try this out!

lululu said...

hv never made meatballs with chicken, just beef!
wonderful recipe!

Lori Lynn said...

I like the sound of this recipe.

Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn said...

experimentalculinarypursuit, you can try tofu. Dry tofu in btwn paper towels and weights. Mash it, and add in scallions, miso, and potato starch to keep it together. Stuff it into a shiitake mushroom cap. The recipe is here. Its in Japanese, but you can use google translator to get an idea of what to do.

serafina said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try this!

MaryMoh said...

looks very delicious. I love Japanese food. I love to make meatballs with chicken. It's extra juicy and delicious.Thanks for sharing

Divina Pe said...

That looks great and yummy. The sauce makes it extra special.

Katie Bel said...

This sounds really interesting. I'll have to try it soon. Thanks for sharing!

Karine said...

This sounds delicious! A great way to enjoy chicken :)

Jenn said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments ... I hope you try out the recipe!

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