This was basically a revamp born out of convenience. I was making two different Japanese skewers for my party: yakitori (recipe to come) and these Japanese meatballs I’d made once years ago. I decided it made sense just to pair both with homemade teriyaki sauce rather than making two separate, similar sauces. Worked great (well, except for the fact we forgot to brush the sauce on. When we cooked up the leftovers and remembered, these were both even better). As a result, picture is sans sauce.
This is the second time I’ve had good luck with grilled meatballs during the meatball project. And interestingly, both recipes were Asian and included cornstarch (presumably for texture). Be careful flipping them, though.
For the meatballs:
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
4 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons red miso (soybean paste) – I just used white miso
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg white
For the teriyaki sauce
1 cup Japanese shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I honestly don’t remember putting this in, but I must have, right?)
1 cup Mirin
1/2 cup Sake
For the sauce:
Mix soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and sake together in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For the meatballs:
To prepare meatballs, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1 tablespoon garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add sherry; cook 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat; cool. Place mushroom mixture and miso in a mini chopper; pulse 10 times or until very finely chopped.
Combine mushroom mixture, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through egg white) in a bowl. Shape mixture into 36 (1-inch) meatballs. Thread 3 meatballs onto each of 12 (6-inch) flat bamboo skewers. Chill for 30 minutes (this step is important, or they’ll fall apart).
Grill meatballs over medium high heat about nine minutes or until cooked through.