Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)


"This is one of those foods that come in many different variations in Japan. They are served primarily on a stick but you can get them in soups, bentos, as a main dish, etc. It became a family favorite almost instantly (it needed some tweaks at first). I'm giving you my dinner recipe here, which I usually serve on a bed of Japanese rice with a side salad or sauteed enoki mushrooms."
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42 m servings 133 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 8 servings


  • Calories:
  • 133 kcal
  • 7%
  • Fat:
  • 2.2 g
  • 3%
  • Carbs:
  • 12.8g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 11.8 g
  • 24%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 45 mg
  • 15%
  • Sodium:
  • 902 mg
  • 36%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a small pot over low heat. Add 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic; cook and stir until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup tamari, 1/4 cup sake, mirin, brown sugar, and sesame seeds; simmer until glaze is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine ground chicken, egg, green onions, carrot, bread crumbs, miso, 2 tablespoons ginger, potato starch, seaweed, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon sake, soy sauce, white sugar, and paprika in a large bowl; mix well into a thick paste, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
  4. Roll ground chicken mixture into balls the size of your palm. Flatten them slightly into patties. Grill until well-browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue grilling until browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  5. Brush glaze over meatballs before serving.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Substitute dark soy sauce for the tamari in the sauce if desired. Replace the brown sugar with white sugar if desired. Add potato or corn starch to the glaze to thicken it if you like.
  • Substitute cornstarch for the potato starch if desired. Substitute red pepper flakes for the paprika if preferred.
  • Refrigerate meatball mixture for 2 hours to allow it to thicken if you like.
  • Cook in a grill pan or skillet instead of grilling outdoors if preferred.


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