Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

I am in a never ending search to find ways to make chicken into a new and different meal. Cooking Light’s September issue had this recipe for Japanese Chicken Meatballs, or Tsukune, that were mentioned as a great “party snack.” I decided to change the recipe size and pair it with grilled baby bok choy and some rice to make this traditional appetizer/snack into an entrée.

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 minced garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon red miso (soybean paste)
  • 1 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg white

Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 6 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

Remaining ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 baby bok choy

You need to make the meatballs a little bit ahead of time so that they can set up. First cook your mushrooms. Heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil to the pan, swirling to coat.

IMG_5475

Add the mushrooms, 2 teaspoons minced ginger, and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook for 2 minutes.

IMG_5476 IMG_5477

Add the sherry and cook for 3 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are tender.

IMG_5478 IMG_5479

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the mushroom mixture and the miso paste to a mini chopper (or a blender or food processor), pulse until very finely chopped.

IMG_5482 IMG_5484

Add the mushroom mixture, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, and the remaining minced garlic clove to a bowl. Add the chicken, panko, cornstarch, salt, pepper, green onions, and egg white to the bowl. Mix to combine.

IMG_5485 IMG_5486

Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs (I got about 18 meatballs out of mine)  If you are able to find flat skewers, use them. If not, thread 3 meatballs onto two 6-inch bamboo skewers to keep them stable. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Chill for 30 minutes.

IMG_5487

Prepare your rice. Add ½ cup rice and 1 cup water or chicken broth to a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until all the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes.

 

To prepare the sauce, combine the mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sherry vinegar in a sauté pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.

IMG_5511

Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in the lime juice, grated ginger, and Serrano.  Reserve 2 tablespoons sauce (add that back to the sauté pan).

IMG_5512

When ready to serve, heat a grill pan over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Add 4 skewers to the pan and cook for 9 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

IMG_5513 IMG_5514

While waiting for the chicken to cook, bring your sauté pan with the reserved sauce over medium heat. Cut the bok choy in half and add to the pan, turning to coat it in the sauce. Cook, turning the baby bok choy, until the leaves wilt slightly.

 

When the chicken is finished cooking, remove from pan, brush with some of the sauce. Repeat the procedure with the remaining skewers and sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Serve with the remaining sauce, cooked rice, and baby bok choy.

 

This meal is significantly more hearty that I was anticipating. We actually had some meatballs left over (to the joy of my boyfriend, who now had awesome leftovers to look forward to.)

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

I was afraid when I was forming the meatballs that the mixture was too sticky and would never stay on the skewers. But after 30 minutes in the fridge, the meatballs were good to go!

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

This sauce is really delicious. I doubled the original recipe so that we could spoon some over our rice and baby bok choy and I sure am happy I did!

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

There is a slight heat that is throughout this dish because of the Serrano but it isn’t overwhelming or too spicy.

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

These were so simple to make that I can see why they would be such a great party app too. I will definitely keep these in mind for future gatherings!

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

 

Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner, Weeknight Meal, Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
Meatballs:
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 minced garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon red miso (soybean paste)
  • 1 pounds ground chicken
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg white
Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 6 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • Remaining ingredients:
Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 baby bok choy
Instructions
  1. You need to make the meatballs a little bit ahead of time so that they can set up. First cook your mushrooms. Heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil to the pan, swirling to coat. Add the mushrooms, 2 teaspoons minced ginger, and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sherry and cook for 3 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are tender.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the mushroom mixture and the miso paste to a mini chopper (or a blender or food processor), pulse until very finely chopped.
  4. Add the mushroom mixture, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, and the remaining minced garlic clove to a bowl. Add the chicken, panko, cornstarch, salt, pepper, green onions, and egg white to the bowl. Mix to combine.
  5. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs (I got about 18 meatballs out of mine) If you are able to find flat skewers, use them. If not, thread 3 meatballs onto two 6-inch bamboo skewers to keep them stable. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Prepare your rice. Add ½ cup rice and 1 cup water or chicken broth to a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until all the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  7. To prepare the sauce, combine the mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sherry vinegar in a sauté pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  8. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in the lime juice, grated ginger, and Serrano. Reserve 2 tablespoons sauce (add that back to the sauté pan).
  9. When ready to serve, heat a grill pan over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Add 4 skewers to the pan and cook for 9 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  10. While waiting for the chicken to cook, bring your sauté pan with the reserved sauce over medium heat. Cut the bok choy in half and add to the pan, turning to coat it in the sauce. Cook, turning the baby bok choy, until the leaves wilt slightly.
  11. When the chicken is finished cooking, remove from pan, brush with some of the sauce. Repeat the procedure with the remaining skewers and sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  12. Serve with the remaining sauce, cooked rice, and baby bok choy.

 

Comments

Share Your Thoughts

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge