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Chicken-Meatball Yakitori

Photo: Fredrika Stjärne
Total time 30 mins
Yield Makes 24 meatballs
Sylvan Mishima Brackett makes these meatballs, known as tsukune, with hand-chopped meat and skin from the best pastured chicken he can get.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 pound coarsely ground chicken
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 yuzu or lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

How to Make It

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup of the mirin; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 3 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine the chicken, salt, shallot, zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Form the chicken mixture into 24 meatballs. Brush the meatballs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, until the meatballs are barely cooked through.

  3. Light a grill. Thread the meatballs onto 8 bamboo skewers and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and brush the meatballs with the sauce. Grill, turning and brushing, until glazed, 30 seconds longer. Serve with the remaining sauce.