Chicken Tsukune (Yakitori) Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Tsukune (Yakitori)

Asian Style Chicken Meatballs

Grilled Chicken Meat Balls (Yakitori)


11 oz skinless chicken (minced)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons plain (all-purpose) flour

2 teaspoons corn starch

6 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

2 inches fresh ginger root (grated)

Bamboo skewers

For the "tare" yakitori sauce

4 tablespoons sake

5 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon corn starch blended with 1 teaspoon water


Put all the ingredients for the chicken balls (except the ginger) in a food processor and blend well.

Wet your hands and scoop about a tablespoonful of the mixture into your palm. Shape it into a small ball about half the size of a golf ball.
Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a small mixing bowl. Discard the pulp.

Add the ginger juice to a small pan of boiling water. Add the chicken balls and boil for about 7 minutes, or until the color of the meat changes and the balls float to the surface.

Scoop out and drain on a plate covered with paper towels.

In a small pan, mix all the ingredients for the yakitori sauce, except for the corn starch solution.

Bring the mixture to boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce slightly reduced.
Add the corn starch solution and stir until the sauce is thickened. Transfer to a small bowl.

Thread 3-4 balls on to each bamboo skewer. Grill the skewers with an indoor grill or broiler or on a barbeque (preferred). Brush them with the yakitori sauce and turn the skewers frequently until the balls turn brown. Serve hot and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi (Japanese chile powder with sesame seeds) and some yakitori sauce if you like.

Recipe from Malaysia Rasa website.

My Notes:

Here's what I would do differently ~I think I would prefer these as an appetizer. Perfect for a party as they can be made ahead and grilled as you want them, or made, and even grilled ahead then kept warm in extra sauce.

Seasoning & Shaping: I would add finely minced scallions/spring onions to the chicken mixture, and would form them about half the size I did to make them bite--size as they expand when you poach them. The ones I made turned out bigger than I anticipated.
For the poaching liquid: Instead of bothering with the ginger juice I simply sliced a few "coins" of fresh ginger and added them to half chicken broth and half water. When you are finished poaching the chicken, the strained liquid makes a simple base for an Asian style soup (just add some sliced veggies, greens, and/or diced tofu and cook for a few minutes.)
The sauce: Should be doubled or tripled if you would like extra for dipping. The recipe as written makes JUST enough for brushing, with none left over.

You could also use or make your favorite thick teriyaki sauce recipe instead.
All in all, very good and a nice change from regular Chicken-Yakitori made with breast meat squares as they are more moist and won't tend to dry out if held warm, in sauce, even if made ahead.

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