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Chicken: Tsukune (Chicken Meatballs)


To achieve the proper texture, blend the chicken mixture by hand for about 5 minutes. (We suggest wearing disposable plastic gloves for this job.)

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Chicken: Tsukune (Chicken Meatballs) 1 Picture


  • 2 pounds ground chicken, preferably dark meat, divided
  • 1 cup minced scallions (about 6)
  • 2 tablespoons red miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (not toasted) or canola oil, plus more for hands
  • Tare (Soy Basting Sauce; click for recipe)
  • Ingredient Info
  • Red miso, also known as aka miso, is available at some super-markets and at natural foods stores and Japanese markets.
  • Special Equipment
  • Thirty-two 6-inch flat bamboo skewers; 2 bricks


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2/3 lb. (1 1/2 cups) ground chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is opaque and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool.
Combine cooked chicken, remaining 1 1/3 lb. chicken, scallions, miso, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl. Knead with your hands until a homogenized, sticky mixture forms, about 5 minutes. Clean hands; lightly coat with oil to prevent meat mixture from sticking. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions. Roll each into a ball, then form each ball into a 4"-long cylinder. Hold 2 skewers, separating 1" apart at top to form a V shape. Insert tops lengthwise into 1 cylinder. Press meat gently to flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining skewers and meat.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Arrange bricks for yakitori grill. Working in batches, grill skewers, turning every minute, for 4 minutes. Brush with tare and continue cooking, turning once, for 2 minutes. Brush again with tare and grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

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