Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everyday Harumi :: Tsukune

Now this is what I'm talkin'bout. Don't those babies look tasty? Tsukune. Hands down my favorite type of yakitori, or grilled chicken. When you eat yakitori, you usually get a choice of either plain salt and pepper or tare, a teriyaki like sauce. You can almost always find yakiyori at an izakaya  (Japanese pubs) staple, and I could (and have) eat it all night long. (Specifically, at Oh! Taisho on St. Mark's in NY) Who doesn't love eating chicken with cold beer? Tsukune are usually made with minced chicken, so even though Harumi's recipe calls for pork, I went with chicken. Raw ground chicken, by the way, is my absolute least favorite thing to cook with. It is just...too fleshy looking and the texture is gnarlsburgh. However, I love tsukune so much that I powered through and overcame.

This recipe is again, really simple...so simple that I can recite the recipe off the top of my head: 300g minced meat of choice, 2 TB plain flour, 1 medium egg, 1/2 an onion roughly chopped, 1 celery stalk roughly chopped, 5 basil leaves roughly chopped. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl but add the basil at the very end to maintain a nice color. Make 5 cm wide balls. Cook in a lightly oiled pan - brown both sides. DONE.

Ok, not quite done. What gives tsukune flavor is teriyaki sauce. While the meatballs are still hot, dip them in teriyaki sauce. The meatballs absorb the sauce and they become super juicy. Teriyaki sauce is really easy to make - dilute 2 TB of sugar in 50 ml of soy sauce and 50 ml of mirin. Bring it up to a boil then simmer for about 10 minutes. As it simmers, the sauce thickens and starts to look like the teriyaki sauce you know and love.

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