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Tsukune - Japanese chicken meatballs, skewered and typically grilled over charcoal.

Course Main
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 14 -16 skewers


  • 500 gms – 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil + more for coating your hands
  • 1 tbsp miso I used shiro miso – white miso
  • 10 shiso leaves/Perilla optional (I did not use any)
  • 4 scallions/green onions
  • Salt
  • ½ cup Yakitori Sauce Tare
  • Shichimi Togarashi Japanese seven spice for spicy taste (optional)
  • You will also need:
  • 16 5- inch bamboo skewers


  1. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Thinly slice the shiso leaves, if you are usinge them, and the green onion.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add ⅓ of the ground chicken and break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink and transfer it to a plate to cool down.
  4. Combine the cooked chicken and the uncooked chicken in a large bowl and mix well.
  5. Add the sesame oil and miso and mix well.
  6. Add the green onion and shiso leaves and mix well.
  7. Now with your hand, knead 30 times clockwise. Then knead counterclockwise 30 times. The meat will become more pale in color and sticky. This part is very important for the meat to stay on the skewer, so please do not skip this step.
  8. Grease the grill rack with a brush.
  9. Lightly coat your hands with sesame oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Scoop a handful of the chicken mixture and form it into a round patty.
  10. Toss the meat from left to right to release the air pockets and gently squeeze to form the meat into a long oval patty, about 8-9 cm – 3-4 inches in length. Put the skewer on the prepared wire rack.
  11. Lightly sprinkle salt over the chicken skewers.
  12. Put some aluminum foil on the skewers to prevent them from burning.
  13. Set the broiler to high and wait until the heating elements are hot. Broil in the middle rack for 6 minutes. Then flip the skewers over and broil for another 4 minutes.
  14. When both sides are cooked, brush the yakitori sauce on the meat and broil for another 30 seconds. Transfer the skewers to a serving plate and brush the extra sauce on the meat.
  15. Serve with Shichimi Togarashi (optional).