Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Cover

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune


This recipe is the second entry to our yakitori series and happens to be one of my personal favorites – Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune!!

Now, I’m not sure how the weather is for everyone else, but for us, spring decided to make its grand entrance just as we made these recipes! 

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Pin 1

The temperature went from the 60’s to almost the high 70′ in a couple of days and introduced a perfect time to fire up that grill and present today’s recipe!

Chicken meatball/tsukune is considered another ‘main’ yakitori and utilizes the same marinade as the Negima Yakitori.  Although they both do use the same sauce, they taste very different due to the way they’re prepared.  

The tsukune, being a meatball, is much more ‘fluffy’ compared to the Negima Yakitori are packed with flavors of semi-sweet garlic soy sauce and charred BBQ!

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Pic 1

And to prepare this one does take a little more leg work, but nothing too complicated especially if you’re making a large batch of the yakitori sauce already. 

The chicken meatball/tsukune is simply combining all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, mixing it all together and forming the meatballs.  After that, we just skewer them and throw them on the BBQ.  We recommend basting with yakitori sauce while BBQing and also reserving some of the sauce to drizzle on before final serving. 

Just make sure you separate the 2 sauces before any basting to avoid any kind of cross contamination, especially since we’re dealing with chicken!

So if you decide to give this recipe a try, we’d recommend making it together with Negima Yakitori and having yourself a yakitori BBQ party!!

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Pic 2

This dish is low-carb/keto friendly at ~1g carbs per skewer and if you are looking to make this your main meal, I would say 3-4 skewers would fill a person up. 

The special ingredients needed for this recipe are Sesame Oil, Miso, Unflavored Pork Rinds, Soy Sauce, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, Toasted Sesame Seed (optional), and Japanese Sake (can be replaced with dry sherry).  All these can be picked up on Amazon (aside from Japanese sake) or a local Asian Supermarket.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Prepping Time 10M

Cooking Time 15M

Total Time 25M

Net Carb/Skewer ~1g

Serving 3-4 Skewers

Ingredients

Chicken Meatball

Marinade

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - TsukuneJapanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (3)

2) Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (1)

3) Finely dice garlic and set aside.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (1)

4) In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate – Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic – and bring to boil.  Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced.  Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes.  Split marinate into 2 bowls – 1 bowl holding 3/4 as basting sauce and the other about 1/4 as reserve sauce.  Note – if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (26)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (27)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (28)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (23)

5) While waiting for the sauce to reduce, finely chop green onions and set aside.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (2)

6) Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine crumbs.  You should have around 2 tbsp worth. You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don’t have a food processorNote – Skip this step if you are using Pork Panko.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune

7) In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for Chicken Meatball – ground chicken, Sesame Oil, remaining diced garlic, Miso, chopped green onions, salt, Japanese sake, Unflavored Pork Rinds and mix well.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (20)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (21)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (22)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (23)

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (12)

8) Take about 2 tbsp of chicken/tsukune meatball mix, throw the mix from one hand to another while using the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a ping pong ball.  Take the meatball and place onto skewer.  Take note the meatball mix is very fragile prior to being cooked, so handle with care.  Each skewer should hold about 4-5 meatballs.  Set on holding plate.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (24)

9) Preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce and close lid. Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation keeping covered until done, should take around 12-15 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (25)

10) Optional Oven Instructions – if you don’t own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions.  Preheat oven to 500F.  Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce. Rotate every 4-5 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done – should take around 10-14 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (30)

Hope you enjoy your low-carb/keto Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune! 

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More Recipes

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Pin 2

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune LowCarbingAsian Cover

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune

The BEST Asian Low-Carb/Keto recipe for Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune. Enjoy this delicious traditional Japanese festival food at only ~1g Net Carb/Skewer. Step by step directions with pictures makes this recipe quick and easy.
5 from 6 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: keto chicken meatball, keto japanese bbq chicken, keto yakitori, low carb chicken meatball, low carb japanese bbq chicken, low carb yakitori
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 Skewers
Print Recipe
Calories: 439kcal

Ingredients

Chicken Meatball

  • 1 lbs Ground Chicken
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Miso
  • 2 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 oz Unflavored Pork Rinds 2 tbsp if using Pork Panko
  • 3-4 Pieces Wooden Skewers
  • 1/4 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed optional

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Swerve/Monkfruit
  • 1/2 Cup Bonito Flakes
  • 1 Clove Garlic

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (3)
  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (29)
  • Finely dice garlic and set aside.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (1)
  • In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate - Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic - and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes. Split marinate into 2 bowls - 1 bowl holding 3/4 as basting sauce and the other about 1/4 as reserve sauce. Note - if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (28)
  • While waiting for the sauce to reduce, finely chop green onions and set aside.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (2)
  • Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine crumbs.  You should have around 2 tbsp worth. You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don’t have a foodprocessor.  Note – Skip this step if you are using Pork Panko.
    Keto Chaffle Katsu Sandwich Recipe (36)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for Chicken Meatball - ground chicken, Sesame Oil, remaining diced garlic, Miso, chopped green onions, salt, Japanese Sake, crushed pork rinds and mix well.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (23)
  • Take about 2 tbsp of chicken/tsukune meatball mix, throw the mix from one hand to another while using the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a ping pong ball. Take the meatball and place onto skewer. Take note the meatball mix is very fragile prior to being cooked, so handle with care. Each skewer should hold about 4-5 meatballs. Set on holding plate.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (24)
  • Preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce and close lid. Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation keeping covered until done, should take around 12-15 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune Recipe (25)
  • Optional Oven Instructions - if you don't own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions. Preheat oven to 500F. Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce. Rotate every 4-5 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done - should take around 10-14 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.
    Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1376mg | Potassium: 1196mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

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