Tsukune_ Japanese Chicken Balls


At the weekend me and a group of friends went to an Izakaya place in Dublin called Yamamori Izakaya. I love the menu of this restaurant, lots of little dishes with the gorgeous smell of soya sauce, fresh fish , spring onions and more. Just fantastic. I asked for a ‘bento’ wich was described as : Chef’s selection of 3 dishes. My bento had plenty raw fish and raw prawns. Although I love this sort of food, I know quite a lot of people who wouldn’t touch it. It is an acquired taste and texture and Β – if I had to judge the menu I would say it’s too fishy! But I hear that there is more to Japanese food.

Came back home and downloaded ( less hurtful way of saying bought ) an Izakaya book on the Kindle. The book introduces a wide range of Japanese small finger foods, and a good portion of this lovely book is non-seafood. The following chicken balls recipe comes from this book. They are very easy to make. Tastes delicious, moist,a little bit sweet and salty with a hint of ginger. Light and fresh. Perfect as a table filler for parties. Crowd pleaser Japanese food!



  • 1 teaspoon Japanese soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sake ( I didn’t have any)
  • 1 teaspoon Β mirin ( it’s a must)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 230g (8 oz) minced chicken ( I placed 2 average chicken breasts in the food processor)
  • 4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 mins
  • 1 teaspoon oil ( I used nuts oil)


  • 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar


  1. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, gingerand cornflour in a bowl . Add the minced chicken and stir well.
  2. Use wet hands to roll the mixture into 12 balls ( about 1 tablespoon of mixture in each). Put the balls on a tray lined with baking paperand place in the firdge for 30 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, place the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Thread three balls onto each skewer. Lightly brush a large frying pan with the oil and place over medium heat. Add skewers and cook, turning and basting with glaze, for about 8 mins, or until cooked through.
  5. Enjoy with shredded cabbage or radish.


Thanks for looking and come back soon.


This entry was published on July 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm. It’s filed under All the Recipes jumbled up!, POULTRY and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

15 thoughts on “Tsukune_ Japanese Chicken Balls

  1. Yummy! These look delicious, Nargess. I think I have eaten similar meatballs at Japanese restaurants, but that was way before I got interested in cooking! Now I am curious to try them out at home πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Darya, I really enjoyed them as a light supper. So easy to make too, which is always an advantage! I love to make them next time, with the addition of the Sake.

  2. What a great twist on meatballs!

  3. Hi Nargess! These are called tsukune. Japanese never eat Japanese food with their fingers (with exception of sushi, which still chopsticks are used), hence there are no Japanese finger foods. They are called side-dishes (ippin ryori or okazu). I am impressed that you are exploring this wonderful cuisine. Also, believe it or not, 25% of Japanese (me too) are not much into seafood, let alone raw seafood. Isn’t that interesting? πŸ˜€

  4. Thanks very much for the info Fae, just updated the title and the tags.
    And … damn it, I always eat my sushi with chopsticks (whilst feeling like a smart sausage!) So I have been wrong then 😦
    I LOVE Japanese style raw fish. But it’s good to know there are plenty more options despite what is being advertised or sold as Japanese food most of the time.

  5. Lovely post Nargess. I love your presentation and the recipe looks to be so delicious. I must say your photographs are astounding!

  6. Very nice recipe and amazing photography! Brava!! πŸ™‚

  7. These look delicious and with a set of flavors I don’t normally associate with meat balls. Thanks for sharing. I’m pinning this so that I can find it later. πŸ™‚

  8. Those look absolutely delicious!

  9. Look at those happy, jolly, sexy, little balls ! Yum ! Mind blowing inviting pictures!

  10. Holy smokes, those look incredibly delish!

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