Edamame & ginger tsukune

Tsukune is any sort of protein that is made into a paste, mixed with other ingredients to form a ball or rod shape. Chicken tsukune are especially common and you always find them on the menu of a Yakitori restaurant, where they would be cooked over a charcoal grill on a skewer. These tsukune are healthy, fluffy morsels of chicken and tofu with a gingery teriyaki sauce. They make a great main protein, or they would be great as party food too. I recommend serving the tsukune with grated daikon or white radish, as it offsets the teriyaki sauce really well.

Ingredients (for 18-20 bite-sized pieces)

200g chicken mince
100g firm tofu
3 stalks spring onion/scallion
12 pods edamame (about 30 peas), plus extra for garnish
1 small egg
1/2 tsp sesame oil
A pinch salt and white pepper
1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp grated ginger (optional)

1/2 tsp corn starch, dissolved in 1 tsp water

2 inches grated daikon (white radish) to serve

Put a large pot of water on the boil. Boil or microwave the edamame. Grate 2 tsp of ginger, putting aside half for the sauce. Chop the spring onion finely. In a bowl mix together chicken mince, tofu, chopped scallion, egg, sesame oil and salt and white pepper. Mix well until the tofu has all broken down and the mixture holds together well.


Remove the peas from the pods and add them to the chicken mixture. Form small meatballs with the mixture and place them on a plate, ensuring that the edamame are well embedded in the mixture.


Boil the meatballs in the boiling water for a few minutes. Fish them out onto a plate when they rise to the surface. The boiling ensures that the tsukune have a nice round shape, and I think it also helps to get the right fluffy texture.


Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the tsukune on low to medium heat, rolling them so that they have even caramelization all over. The spring onion bits are great when they are a little burnt.


In the meantime, mix together the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce, and prepare the corn starch mixture. Do not mix the two.


When the tsukune are nicely browned, add the teriyaki sauce mixture. Cook the sauce for a few minutes to ensure the alcohol is cooked out, and the sugar has melted. If the sauce reduces too much, add a little bit of water. Add the corn starch mixture little by little, so that it coats the meatballs nicely.


Serve with hot rice and grated daikon (daikon-oroshi). Enjoy!

Open printable recipe here 

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