Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)
Dressed with a sweet and salty glaze, this yakitori favorite is the ideal pairing with cold beer.
serves 4 to 6
These full-flavored Japanese chicken meatballs are inspired by a version served at California yakitori restaurant, Ippuku. Dressed with a sweet and salty glaze, they're the ideal pairing with cold beer.
- 1 cup soy sauce, preferably Japanese
- 1 cup mirin
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. mizuame (Japanese sugar candy)
- 2 lb. ground chicken
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and minced
- Vegetable oil, for greasing
In a medium pot, bring the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to a boil. Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes. Stir in the mizuame and cook until it dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set the glaze aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the ground chicken with the salt, pepper, scallions, and ginger until thoroughly combined. Form the meat into 20 oblong meatballs, about 1½-ounce each, and place the meatballs on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet.
Heat the broiler and broil the meatballs, turning and basting every 2 minutes with the reserved glaze, until the meatballs are cooked through and dark golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.