Japanese Chicken Meatballs


Recipe: Japanese Chicken Meatballs


  • appx 1 1/4 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • couple grinds of black pepper
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 thin slice of ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1 slice green chili pepper, minced (optional)
  • bit of grated lemon rind
  • 7-8 bamboo skewers


  1. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. This is to keep them from burning.
  2. Clean up the chicken thighs, removing the bones, skin (reserve a bit of the skin), and fat.
  3. Put the chicken meat and reserved skin, and pulse so that the chicken gets roughly chopped. Remove from the food processor and chop a bit more with a knife to ensure there are no overly large pieces. The ideal texture is uniformly chopped, but not ground up like you get from the supermarket. Put the chicken in a mixing bowl.
  4. Dissolve the sugar, pepper and salt in the soy sauce and mirin. Add mixture to the chicken, along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix by hand to combine..
  5. Oil your hands and get a tray to put the patties on. Grab small bits of the chicken mixture and form into balls and place on skewers..
  6. You can also cook these meatballs in a variety of ways. At yakitori restaurants, they are typically grilled, but if this is inconvenient, you can broil them in the oven (broil, check after 10 minutes) or fry in a pan. Serve with your choice of condiments (yakitori sauce, a daub of Japanese mayonnaise, etc)

Recipe adapted from: Asian Supper

Photo Credit: maaco / flickr / CC BY-NC

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