Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers

Adapted (barely) from Food & Wine (March 2012)

What kid doesn’t like meat on a stick? It’s always a hit here. You may be surprised by the intense flavor these cute, little meatballs pack. They’re tiny but mighty.

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Canola oil

  • Combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup mirin in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Take care not to let it boil over. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the chicken, salt, shallot and lemon zest in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin. Drizzle a few drops of canola oil on a baking sheet and rub around to coat. Using clean hands, form the chicken mixture into uniform meatballs. I made about 16. Arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until just cooked through.┬áRemove the meatballs from the oven and thread them onto bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill to medium high. Grill the skewers for just a couple minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low. The meatballs should be lightly marked on both sides. Brush the sauce over the meatballs and allow to cook for another minute or so. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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