Tsukune – Chicken Meatballs

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Experience the delectable flavors of Tsukune, traditional Japanese chicken meatballs that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. These succulent chicken meatballs have gained popularity as a beloved dish in Japanese restaurants, and for good reason. Imagine a delectable blend of chicken sausage, infused with the refreshing notes of Shiso leaves and scallions, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.

One distinguishing feature of Tsukune is the unique presentation. Instead of the conventional round skewers, these meatballs are expertly threaded onto flat, sword-shaped skewers. This ingenious method not only adds an aesthetic touch but also serves a practical purpose – preventing the meatballs from slipping or rotating unevenly during the cooking process. With the skewers in place, you can effortlessly turn the Tsukune, ensuring an even and perfectly cooked delight.

Prepare to be transported to the vibrant streets of Japan as you embark on the journey of making Tsukune at home. Unleash your culinary prowess and embrace the art of crafting these mouthwatering chicken meatballs. With every bite, you’ll savor the authentic flavors and experience the joy of indulging in a dish that has captivated the hearts and palates of many.

Serve these tasty Tsukune – Chicken Meatballs with some fresh Asian Coleslaw, P.F. Chang’s Singapore Street Noodles or some Stir-Fried Soba Noodles.

Not what you are looking for? Try these other excellent meatball recipes:


Tsukune – Chicken Meatballs

tsukune - chicken meatballs

Tsukune – Chicken Meatballs are tasty Japanese meatballs called tsukune are a Japanese-restaurant favorite—they’re essentially a chicken sausage mixture flavored with Shiso leaves and scallions.

  • Author: Namiko Chen
  • Prep Time: :40
  • Cook Time: :11
  • Total Time: :51
  • Yield: 14 1x
  • Cuisine: Asian


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 10 Shiso leaves
  • 4 green onions/scallions
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Yakitori Tare or Teriyaki sauce


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
  2. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Pile and roll up the shiso leaves, then cut into thin julienne slices. Cut the scallion into thin slices.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add ⅓ of ground chicken and break it up into small pieces using a wooden spatula. Cook until no longer pink and transfer to a plate to let it cool.
  5. Combine the cooked chicken and uncooked chicken in a large bowl and mix well with rubber spatula.
  6. Add sesame oil and miso and mix well.
  7. Add the scallions and shiso leaves and combine well with silicone spatula.
  8. 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 stick so please do not skip this step.
  9. Grease the grill rack with brush. I use a roasting pan and rack as it can support the skewers very well while the excess oil drips down to the bottom of roasting pan when cooking.
  10. Lightly coat your hands with sesame oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Scoop a handful of the chicken mixture and form into a round patty.
  11. Toss the meat to left and right hands to release the air pockets and gently squeeze to form the meat into a long oval patty, about 3-4 inches in length. Insert the skewer on the prepared wire rack.
  12. Lightly sprinkle salt over the chicken skewers.
  13. Put aluminum foil around the skewers to prevent them from burning.
  14. Preheat the oven to High Broil (550F) for 5 minutes. Boil in the middle rack, for 6 minutes. Then flip the skewers over and broil more for 4 minutes.
  15. 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.


  • Meatball Tips

  • Be Gentle – If meatballs are packed too tightly and compactly, they’ll turn out tough, rubbery, and chewy. Oil your hands so that the mixture won’t stick to them and gently and quickly form the meatballs.
  • Keep Things Cold – You want to keep the fat from melting and breaking down before you cook the meatballs, so keep your meat and ingredients as cold as possible. Make the mixture in a chilled bowl, and if you are adding precooked ingredients like onions, let them cool down completely before adding them in.

Keywords: Tsukune

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