Plump juicy chicken meatballs smothered in a terrific homemade Teriyaki sauce, based on my mother’s authentic Teriyaki Chicken recipe. Would you serve these Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs as a meal or pass them around at a party?
Greetings from Calgary in Canada! I know one would expect me to regale you with stories of my travels, but I’m going to disappoint you. I’m here visiting my friend Jo from Jo Cooks, fellow Meatball Queen*, and it’s one of those trips where I’m just “hanging like a local”. Perhaps much to Jo’s disappointment.
Jo: “Do you want to go see Lake this or Mount that?”
Me: “Hmmm, how far away are they?”
Jo: “Few hours drive.”
Me (peering into the distance): “Is that the Rocky Mountains over there?”
Me: “So I’ve seen it. Tick!”
Jo (eye roll): “So really, what do you want to do?? We can do whatever you want!”
Me: “I just want to see your normal life! Your favourite restaurants, your friends and family. Oh, and most importantly, I need you to just drop me at your local supermarket and leave me be for a few hours.” (Call me a dag, it’s one of my favourite activities everywhere I visit. I love seeing local produce, comparing prices, products we can’t get in Australia and also from professional interest, checking different cuts of meat and names for ingredients I regularly use in my recipes.)
And let’s not forget that I’ll be attending Calgary’s biggest party of the year – the Calgary Stampede! So bummed I don’t have cowboy boots BUT Jo has a hot pink cowboy hat to loan me. SCORED!
As with many of my trips, I like to make something inspired by my travels. Though truth be told, much of the time it’s food that I can’t get in Australia that I can no longer live without after having tried them somewhere. I look forward to seeing what Can’t-Live-Without Canadian recipe I take home with me from my travels!
So as you have guessed, these Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs have less than nothing to do with this current trip. Except that it’s overdue – it was supposed to be my Monday Meatball Mania* recipe from June and I’m two weeks late with it. Send me to the naughty corner! 😉
These Teriyaki Meatballs are a total crowd please. The sauce for this recipe is based on my mother’s real-deal Teriyaki Chicken recipe (you will be surprised how easy it is – less than 15 minutes start to finish, NO marinating!). All I did was add cornflour / cornstarch as thickener and water to thin it out to make it more saucy.
My mother is a bit of a food snob when it comes to western twists on Japanese classics. Once she watched a celebrity chef butchering a classic Japanese tempura recipe and she was so indignant that she wrote into the cooking show to inform them how wrong it was. BA HA HA!
So while she was somewhat doubtful as she went about making these Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs for the recipe video, she grudgingly agreed they were very tasty. *Eye roll* Mothers! – Nagi xx
PS She never heard back from the show.
* Monday Meatball Mania is a monthly challenge that Jo from Jo Cooks and I have been doing since the beginning of the year where we each share a meatballs recipe on the last Monday of every month. Other than that, the rules are that there are no rules. This is my late June meatballs recipe. I wonder if Jo will agree it was worth the wait!!! 😉
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.
- 1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 1/4 cup / 65ml soy sauce , all purpose / ordinary (Note 1)
- 1/4 cup / 65ml cooking sake , or sub with Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry (Note 2)
- 1/4 cup / 65ml Mirin (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp white sugar (brown also ok)
- ¾ cup / 180 ml water
- 500 g / 1 lb chicken mince (ground chicken) (or pork or turkey)
- 1 egg (preferably small 50g / 1.4 oz)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (or ¾ cup normal breadcrumbs)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 ½ tsp cooking sake , or sub with Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry (Note 2)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Sliced green onions / scallions , for garnish (optional)
- Sesame seeds , for garnish (optional)
Place Meatball ingredients in a bowl.
Place cornflour in a bowl with 1 tbsp of the water, then mix until lump free. Then add the soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar, mix.
Add 2 tsp of Teriyaki Sauce into the Meatball bowl.
Add remaining water into the Sauce and mix. Set aside.
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.
Serve over rice, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
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.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs recipe video! Starring my mother – appropriate because the Teriyaki Sauce is her recipe, and it’s a proper homemade Japanese one, not a westernised one (albeit I’ve had to adjust it to make loads more sauce for this recipe without it being too salty!).
LIFE OF DOZER
When I’m away, Dozer stays with a Golden Retriever Boarder who treats him as one of her own. He has the run of her house, lies under the table during meal time (clever boy), sleeps in front of the fireplace and knows he’s at the very bottom of the pecking order. 😂 (That’s him on the left)