Grilled Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Grilling season is here and I’m kicking things off with one of my favorite grilling recipes. Tsukune (or chicken meatballs) are easy to make and perfect for a crowd. Try them at your next BBQ as a great alternative to burgers and hot dogs. Enjoy!


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. finely minced ginger
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup scallions
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • Skewers soaked in water


  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the chicken and salt in a large bowl. Once mixed, add chicken and salt and combine, being careful not to overwork or the mixture or it will become tough.
  2. Divide mixture and mold around skewers, cover and let sit in the fridge while you create the glaze.


  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shallow pan and reduce over medium heat. Reduce by about half or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.



  1. Preheat a grill over medium high heat (or use a grill plan if cooking in doors) and lightly oil pan. When oil starts to shimmer, add chicken skewers and cook until well caramelized, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 4 minutes or until brown.
  2. Reduce heat and brush with glaze. Once glaze is applied, you want to make sure you rotate frequently to prevent glaze from burning. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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