Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs 照り焼き豆腐ハンバーグ

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  • These soft and juicy teriyaki chicken meatballs are going to be your family’s favorite! It takes only 30 minutes to prepare.

    Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs in a plate with a green leaf.

    These Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs are soft and fluffy, and my kids love them! What’s the secret ingredient to make them so fluffy? It’s tofu!

    Watch How to Make Chicken Meatballs 豆腐ハンバーグの作り方

    (* Please Note: In Japan we call this dish “Tofu Hambagu”. To avoid misleading the vegetarian readers, I decided to simply call it chicken meatballs.)

    Actually in Japan, we call this dish Tofu Hambagu (豆腐ハンバーグ) – “hambagu” as in Japanese Hamburger Steak. However, most of tofu hambagu are made with tofu AND ground meat (usually chicken, sometimes combination of beef & pork). To avoid misleading the vegetarian readers, I decided to simply call it chicken meatballs (with tofu, as the secret ingredient).

    Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs in a bowl with a broccoli.

    Why tofu? It’s because tofu makes the meatball texture very fluffy and soft. These teriyaki meatballs are especially great for all ages including toddlers and elders! If you increase the amount of tofu, it gets even fluffier and less calorie! My proportion for meat and tofu in this recipe is pretty easy to form into meatballs. As you increase the ratio for tofu, it might become slightly difficult to maintain the round shape.

    And please note that the meat acts as binding agent here. As you knead the meat, it gets stickier and helps bind tofu and other ingredients very well.

    Today I used colorful sweet bell peppers to add some color to these meatballs. You can add your choice of vegetables but don’t put too much in order to maintain the fluffiness.

    Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs in a bowl with a broccoli.

    Lastly, look at the delicious glaze on the meatballs! The sauce is everyone’s favorite, Teriyaki Sauce. If you cook Japanese food often, you noticed that we often use the same condiments – soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake (I didn’t use it for this recipe). It’s very common to season Japanese food with these condiments (just slightly different ratios).

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    4.72 from 7 votes
    Chicken Meatballs | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Chicken Meatballs
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
     
    Course: Main Course
    Servings: 20 meatballs
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 14 oz ground chicken (14 oz = 400 g)
    • 5 oz medium firm tofu (5 oz = 142 g, about 1/3 of 14-oz package)
    • sweet bell peppers (1½ peppers = 3 oz, 87 g) (I used 3 colors)
    • 1 green onion/scallion
    • 1 inch ginger (1" ginger = about 1 tsp of grated ginger)
    • 1 large egg
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    Teriyaki Sauce:
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Chicken Meatballs Ingredients
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
      Chicken Meatballs 1
    3. Wrap the tofu with paper towel and let it drain for 15 minutes.
      Chicken Meatballs 2
    4. Meanwhile, remove sweet bell pepper seeds under running water and dry completely.
      Chicken Meatballs 3
    5. Mince the sweet bell peppers, chop the green onion finely, and grate the ginger.
      Chicken Meatballs 4
    6. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, sweet bell peppers, and green onion. Break the drained tofu into small pieces.
      Chicken Meatballs 5
    7. Add the egg and mix all together.
      Chicken Meatballs 6
    8. Add the grated ginger, salt, and black pepper and combine well.
      Chicken Meatballs 7
    9. Using two tablespoons or a cookie scoop, make a small ball.
      Chicken Meatballs 8
    10. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop the meatballs, keeping some distance between each ball. Cook in batches if necessary.
      Chicken Meatballs 9
    11. When the bottom is nicely browned, flip them over and cover with the lid to cook until inside is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low heat if browning too fast.
      Chicken Meatballs 10
    12. When the meat is cooked through, add the first batch back into the pan (if there are any).
      Chicken Meatballs 11
    13. Pour the sauce over and reduce the sauce until it thickens. Flip the meatballs to coat both sides with the sauce.
      Chicken Meatballs 12
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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