As if chicken meatballs weren’t a little different from the norm, the Japanese flavors of these really make them unique.
This recipe is extremely easy to put together. In fact, this is one my son and I used to make together when he was little, and now that he’s a teen he’s starting to make it entirely on his own. Of course, we leave the grilling to my husband since he’s the only one who doesn’t complain about the heat, the smoke and the outdoor pollen.
- 11 oz ground chicken (see Note)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 tbsp sake
- 5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp cold water
- Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least two hours.
- Mix all of the meatball ingredients very well.
- Chill mixture 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken mixture from the fridge and, using wet hands, form 1-inch meatballs. (About 2 dozen.)
- Thread 3 to 4 meatballs per skewer. Grill over indirect heat, turning frequently, about 5-7 minutes or until chicken is done. Brush with sauce (see directions below) repeatedly while cooking.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the first four sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch-water mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.
- A mixture of both dark and white chicken works best. So does turkey! If using solely white meat, add 1 tbsp olive oil to the ground chicken to keep it moist.
If you can’t find ground chicken in the store, use your food processor! Cut boneless, skinless chicken into large chunks then pulse them for a minute. Personally, I prefer this method since I can grind white and dark meat together, plus this way I know what’s actually in my ground chicken.
You can easily make these Japanese-style Chicken Meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for future use. You can even freeze them IN the sauce to ramp up the flavor. When they’re defrosted, bring the sauce to a boil then use it to brush the meatballs while they cook.
Equipment I Use Making These: