Soft, plump, juicy meatballs smothered in a homemade Teriyaki sauce! A good way to ensure chicken meatballs stay juicy is to finish cooking them in a sauce, as is done here in this recipe. The sauce for this recipe is based my mother's authentic Teriyaki Chicken recipe. Which means - no garlic, no ginger, no sesame oil or any other variations that are commonly seen! Serve these as a meal or pass them around at a party. Recipe video below and recipe notes for BAKING option.
Mix Meatball mixture with your hands. Measure out 1 heaped tablespoon and roll into balls. See Note 3 for tips if mixture is too sticky.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add all the meatballs and cook, rolling to brown all over, for 5 minutes. They will still be a bit raw inside.
Turn heat down. Give the Sauce a quick mix then add it into the pan. Bring to a simmer then cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until it thickens into a glossy sauce that coats the meatballs.
1. I use Kikkoman which is a Japanese brand sold at major supermarkets here in Australia, and also at Asian stores. It is different to soy sauce labelled dark, light or sweet. It’s in between dark and light soy sauce.
Best sub would be equal parts mix of light and dark soy sauce. Otherwise just light soy sauce will be fine. I do not recommend using just dark soy sauce - flavour is too intense.
2. Cooking sake and Mirin are two types of rice wines that are essential to Japanese cooking. Nowadays, both are readily available at major supermarkets here in Australia and of course at Asian stores (better value!). To achieve a truly great Teriyaki flavour, I can’t offer a decent substitute for Mirin. However, the sake can be substituted with dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine.
Unfortunately, I can’t suggest alcohol free substitutes for Teriyaki sauce. The rice wines are too essential for the flavour. NOTE: The alcohol evaporates when cooked.
3. Chicken mince can sometimes be very wet. Depends which part of the chicken is used, quality of chicken (older mince can get watery, fresh mince is not as wet, meat from the butcher is typically less wet than from supermarkets). Three tips to help make your mixture manageable to easily roll into balls:
a) refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up;
b) spray / rub hands lightly with oil (works better than water) before rolling balls; and
c) in emergencies only, add more breadcrumbs!
4. BAKING: My default method of cooking chicken meatballs is on the stove because I like the caramelisation (beef and lamb have more fat so they get a nicer browning when baked). To bake, for best results, spray a rack with oil, roll the balls and place on the rack and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (These 2 tips help keep them round when baked) Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven at 180C/350F for 18 - 20 minutes (assuming you make them 1 rounded packed tablespoon per recipe) - any longer than they will start to dry out. Reduce the water in the Sauce by 1/4 cup and simmer in a saucepan for 5 minutes or so until it thickens. Once the meatballs are baked, toss them in the sauce or just pour it over when serving.
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings.