One reason why I love Japanese food is because of its multifaceted nature. Think sushi, sashimi, donburi, ramen, shabu shabu, teppanyaki – and the list goes on. I think I can live very well in Japan should I move there one day, lol. Yakitori (or chicken grilled on skewer) is something that I snack on quite regularly – just pack a few sticks to go from Tori Q and that will make me very happy. For those in Singapore who haven’t tried Koh Grill & Sushi Bar @ Wisma Atria, you just have to order their yakitori that’s well worth the long waiting time because they are so good.
Anyway, I decided to tweak my regular chicken meatball recipe into something more Asian and Japanese by making a tare sauce (Japanese dipping sauce used in grilling) with which I can use to smother my meatballs in. And since I don’t have a BBQ grill at home, I actually oven-broiled the meatballs to get that slight char or caramelised crust on the outside. You can eat these skewers on their own as a light bite or serve them over steamed Japanese rice if you like. Bon appetit! 🙂
Ingredients (makes 18 balls)
For the meatballs:
300g minced chicken
2 stalks spring onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
6 yakitori bamboo skewers, soaked in water for half hour
For the tare sauce:
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup less sodium shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
2 tbsp sake
1/4 cup mirin
cornstarch solution (mix 1/2 tsp corn flour with 1 tbsp water)
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C at Grill with fan. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. With your hands, knead the ingredients till they become a sticky paste.
3. Roll the meat mixture into balls of approx. 1.5 inch size and thread onto the skewer sticks (3 balls per stick). Transfer onto the baking tray.
4. Insert baking tray into the highest shelf of the oven and broil the meatballs for about 14 minutes, turning them halfway through.
5. While the meatballs are cooking in the oven, combine all ingredients for the tare sauce (except cornstarch) in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer. Gradually stir in the cornstarch solution and turn off the heat once the sauce is thickened.
The tare sauce can be served separately as a dipping sauce or you can brush or drizzle it over the meatballs too. Enjoy! 🙂