This is a great way to lighten up a meal after a long winter of heavy comfort foods.
Japanese Tsukune is basically a chicken and sausage mixture that can be formed into meatballs, logs, or used as filling, and then simmered, steamed, fried or grilled. There are many wonderful ways to prepare Tsukune – my favorite way happens to be grilled!
Tsukune chicken can be served as a main course, but it also makes a great appetizer. By the time I finish grilling a batch, guests have usually grabbed at least one or two for taste tests, so half of my tsukune never makes it to the kitchen!
Tsukune is pretty tasty whether you serve it on a skewer or just make patties for the grill. It’s easy to make in advance and grill up in just a few minutes. I plan on making them a lot this summer for a quick snack while sitting around the patio with friends.
Hope you give them a try!
Grilled Tsukune Chicken Skewers make a quick "hot off the grill" summer appetizer. Make plenty...they go fast!
- 2 pounds ground chicken (if grinding your own, use both white and dark meat for extra flavor)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (can use more if needed)
- 12 fresh asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
- Beat eggs in a large bowl.
- Add all ingredients except oil, salt and asparagus.
- Blend mixture well and chill for 15 minutes.
- Heat one burner on grill to medium high heat.
- Wrap ½ cup of chicken mixture around stalk of each asparagus spear. (If you’re using wooden or metal skewers, use flat kind.)
- Press tsukune slightly to flatten to about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches thick.
- Brush tsukune skewers with oil and season with salt.
- Brush hot grill with oil.
- Place tsukune on hot grill, leaving asparagus on unlit burner.
- Grill tsukune 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use a spatula to carefully turn the skewers over for even cooking.
Keep tsukune skewers chilled until ready to grill.
A great sauce to go along with Tsukune.
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon corn starch (to thicken)
- Green onion, minced
- Heat all ingredients except cornstarch and green onion in small saucepan over low heat.
- Stir over heat until sugar is dissolved and garlic is tender.
- Thicken with cornstarch.
- Serve over tsukune and sprinkle with minced green onions.
This recipe makes a small amount. Double or triple if needed to serve with Tsukune recipe listed above.