Turkey & Tofu Tsukune (Japanese Meatballs) with Soy and Balsamic Sauce

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Easy and healthy Japanese Meatball (Tsukune) recipe. Tsukune is normally made from Chicken, but I used Turkey for this recipe as I like the distinctive flavour. Celery leaves give freshness to it and tofu makes the texture fluffy and light.

For the sauce, using Balsamic Vinegar is not really traditional in Japanese cuisine, but I really believe in the combination of Balsamic and Soy Sauce. When Balsamic Vinegar is cooked, the sweetness comes out and that really matches with Soy Sauce. Hope you like it too.

Oh, by the way, my favourite sauce is Soy Sauce and my husband’s is Balsamic Vinegar hehe 🙂

 

Ingredients (8 small meatballs)

For Meatballs

150g Turkey Mince

100g Silken Tofu

The top of 2 stalks (including leaves) of Celery – finely chopped

½ small Onion – finely chopped

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm cube of Ginger – minced

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

A pinch of Salt

2 Teaspoons of Corn Flour

For Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

 

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and knead them with your hand. Keep kneading until the mixture becomes pale in colour and sticky.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) in a fry pan to medium/high.
  3. We use 2 tablespoons to make meatballs. Scoop a spoonful of the meatball mixture with one tablespoon and make a small ball shape using two tablespoons. Place the ball in the fry pan and push it down in the centre to make a 6-7 cm circle in diameter. Repeat this to all of the meat mixture.
  4. Pan-fry the meatballs for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom of the meatballs becomes golden and crispy. Flip them and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until they become golden and crispy.
  5. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and put it aside.
  6. Once the meatballs become golden and crispy, add the sauce into the fry pan. Keep cooking for a minute or until the sauce is reduced and becomes sticky and shiny. While cooking, scoop the sauce in the fry pan and pour it over the meatballs.
  7. Transfer the meatballs and the sauce to a serving plate. Serve while they are hot.

Very Moist Pan-fry Chicken

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Serving: 2-3

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast – about 300g – skinless (Recommend to use a good quality Chicken as it is a very simple recipe which features a flavour of the Chicken)

½ Teaspoon of Sea Salt

A pinch of Black Pepper

 

Method:

  1. Sprinkle Salt and Black Pepper on both side of the Chicken Breast. Wrap it with paper towel and rest it for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying-pan over high heat. Once the frying-pan becomes very hot, place Chicken on the pan and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Cook it for 5 minutes and then turn. Cool the other side for 8 minutes and then turn the heat off. If you see any red raw part of the Chicken, just put the side down on the frying-pan for 20 seconds to seal it.
  4. Remove the Chicken from the pan and wrap it by alfoil immediately. Put it on the still-hot frying-pan (with heat off) and res it for 20-30 minutes.*
  5. Unwrap the alfoil and thinly slice the Chicken like slicing roast beef, then serve. **

 

Note:

*When the Chicken is removed from the flying-pan, it is ok that Chicken is not completely cooked. The Chicken will be cooked while resting in the alfoil by afterheat. This makes the Chicken most.

**When unwrap the alfoil, you will see the juice from the Chicken. His is the goodness of the Chicken! The easiest way to utilise this juice is adding into soup (if you make soup as a side dish). Otherwise you can make sauce for the Chicken by adding a little bit of Soy Sauce and Sugar

Chicken in a Bag – Tori no Tsutsumi-Yaki Miso Sauce

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Serving: 2

Ingredients

1 Chicken Breast – thinly sliced withy angle (diagonal cut surface is made)

A handful Cabbage – sliced into thin strips

1 Flat Mushroom – sliced

¼ Onion – sliced

¼ Red Capsicum – sliced into 0.5cm lengthwise (4 slices per bag)

Miso Sauce

1.5 Tablespoon of Miso

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Mirin

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 clove of Garlic – minced

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients for Miso Sauce in a bowl. Put Chicken Breast in it and marinade for 15 minutes.
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree.
  1. Prepare the 2 pieces of baking paper. On each baking paper, place Cabbage first, and then Onion and Mushrooms. Place the marinade Chicken Breast on top of the vegetables evenly. Arrange Red Capsicum on top.
  1. Wrap it with the baking paper. Fold the longer edge into the middle and twist the short edge like a candy wrap.

Place them onto a baking tray and bale them for 20 minutes

Four Colour Donburi – Yonshoku Don

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Serving: 4

Ingredients

2 cups of Japanese Rice or Sushi Rice or Short Grain Rice (Please use rice cooker’s cup)

Topping 1 – Tri Soboro (Chicken Crumbles)

250g Chicken Mince

5 Spring Onions –chopped

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

2 Tablespoon of Mirin

3 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

Topping 2 – Scrambled Egg

3 Eggs

1.5 Teaspoon of Sugar

1.5 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

A pinch of Salt

Topping 3 – Kale no Oshitashi (Boiled and Seasoned Kale)

4-5 Branches of Kale – leaves to be chopped in a bite size and stalks to be cut into 4cm long

4 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Karashi (Japanese Mustard)

Topping 4 – Ninjin no Kinpira (Sautéed & Braised Carrots)

2 Carrots – cut into 4cm long and 2mm width

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Mirin

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoon of Sesame

A little bit of Sesame Oil

Method

  1. Cook Rice as per instruction of your rice cooker.
  1. Topping 1 – Tori Soboro (Chicken Crumble). Put a small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat it with high heat. Once the pan becomes hot, put Chicken Mince in the pan and stir fry it on medium heat*. Add Sugar, Mirin and Soy Sauce. Stir fry until no liquid remains. Add Spring Onions and mix it. Place the Soboro in a plate and put aside.
  1. Topping 2 – Scrambled Egg. Crack Eggs in a small bowl. Add Sugar, Soy Sauce and a pinch of Salt n the Egg. Mix them lightly. Heat a frying pan with high heat. Once the pan becomes really hot,. Put the Egg mixture in the pan and make Scrambled Egg. Place the Egg in a plate and put aside.
  1. Topping 3 – Kale no Oshitashi. Boil water in a pot. Add stalks of Kales and cook them for 3 minutes. Add leaves of Kales and boil all together for 5 minutes or until the stalks become soft. Remove it from heat and drain water. Cool the Kales down with running water to sop cooking. Squeeze water out from Kale. Place the Kale in a bowl. Season the Kale with Soy Sauce and Karashi. Mix it well and put aside.
  1. Topping 4 – Ninjin no Kinpira. Put a small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat it with high heat. Once the pan becomes hot, put Carrot in the pan and stir fry it on medium heat. When the Carrot is just cooked, add Sugar, Mirin and Soy Sauce. Stir fry it until no liquid remains. Turn the heat off, add Sesame and Sesame Oil. Place the Carrot in a plate and put aside.
  1. Assemble Donburi. In a serving plate or bowl, place Rice in the bottom, and them place all toppings nice on top of the rice.

Note:

*Cook mince very well to remove unpleasant smell of chicken. When the mince starts browned, oil from the mince will come out. Even though it is already browned at the stage, keep cooking until the oil disappears. This helps to keep only lovely chicken flavor.

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Japanese Fried Chicken (Salt Version) – Shio Karaage

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Serving: 2

Ingredients

1 Chicken Breast – cut into 4-8 cm pieces

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm of Ginger –minced

2 Teaspoon of Chicken Stock Powder

½ Teaspoon of Salt

3 Teaspoon of Cooking Sake

1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Oil for Deep Fry

Method

  1. Place the Chicken into a bowl. Add all other ingredients (except oil from deep fry) and combine them well. Cover it with plastic wrap and marinade it in a fridge for at least an hour.
  1. Now we deep fry the Chicken. Bring the oil to 180 degree. To check the oil temperature, drop a piece if batter (or piece of minced Garlic in this case) in the oil. When it goes down to the middle of the oil and quickly comes up, it is the right temperature.
  1. While the oil is heating up, put flour in a bowl and add the chicken in it. Toss and coat the Chicken with flour evenly.
  1. Deep fry Chicken. When you deep fry it, it is important to keep oil temperature as 180 degree. Do not put too many pieces of Chicken at once as oil temperature will come down rapidly, and the Chicken will get oily and not be crispy.
  1. Once the Chicken is cooked and the surface is turned to light brown, transfer the Chicken onto a wire rack of kitchen paper towel to drain oil/
  1. Serve Karaage while it is hot.

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Pianlu Style Hot Pot – Chinese Style Nabe with my adaptation

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Serving: 4

Ingredients:

Broth

30g of Dried Shiitake Mushroom

500cc of warm Water to reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushroom

15cm x 10cm of Dried Kelp

1000cc Water

1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

4 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

Meat

300g of Chicken Breast – cut into 2cm cubes

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

A Pinch of Salt

6 slices of short cut Bacon – Each Bacon to be trimmed and cut into 4

Vegetables and Tofu

1 leak – chop the hard green part off and the rest to be sliced into 1cm thick with angle

3 branches of Bok Choy – divide into a green leaf part and a harder white part

200g Pumpkin – sliced into 1cm thick

150g Bean Sprout

1 Carrot – sliced into 0.5cm thick with angle

1 Onion – sliced into 0.5cm thick

150g of Silken Tofu – cut into 16 pieces

Sauce

1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

½ Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce

Topping

2 Spring Onions – finely chopped

Method:

  1. Preparation for Broth. Put 1000cc of water in a Nabe Pot (or clay pot, or deep casserole pot). Place Dried Kelp in the water and soak it for about 30 minutes. At the same time, reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushrooms in 500cc warm water by soaking for about 10 minutes, or until they become soft. Once Shiitake Mushrooms are soft, remove the stems and slice them in half. Keep the soaking liquid.
  1. Add the Shiitake’s Soaking Liquid, Garlic, Ginger, Cooking Sake and the hard green part of Leak in the pot and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, remove the Kelp and Leak. Reduce the heat to medium.
  1. Marinade Chicken Breast with Soy Sauce, Cooking Sake and Salt. Rest the Chicken in the fridge until it is used.
  1. Once the broth is ready, add Shiitake, Leak, a hard part of Bok Choy, Onion and 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid on and add continue cooking until the Bok Choy becomes soft.
  1. Add Pumpkin, Carrot, Chicken (with the marinade liquid) and Tofu. Put a lid on and continue cooking until Pumpkin becomes soft.
  1. Put Bean Sprout and the Bok Choy leaves on top and add 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid back on and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  1. While it is cooking, make Sauce by mixing all ingredients of Sauce.
  1. When you eat, put a small amount of Sauce in your serving bowl first and add the Nabe’s ingredients and soup in it. I would recommend 1/3 teaspoon of Sauce to 1.5 ladle of Soup, but it is totally up to you. Start from a small amount of sauce and add more if you like. Put some chopped Spring Onions on top when you eat.

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Chicken Meatball Hot Pot – Tori Dango Nabe

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Serving: 4

Ingredients

Broth

1500cc of Water

10cm x 3cm of Dried Kelp

A small piece of Ginger – minced

3 Tablespoon of Chicken Stock

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Mirin

Chicken Meatballs

200g Chicken Mince

2 Flat Mushrooms – minced

1 Lear part of Celery – finely chopped

1 Egg

1 Glove of Garlic – minced

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Tablespoon of Shio Koji

3 Tablespoon of Flour

Vegetables for Hop Pot

½ Cabbage or Chinese cabbage – cut into 6 cm long

2 Carrots – sliced with angle

2 Onions – sliced

½ Leeks

150g of Tofu – cut into 3cm cubes

More Options for Vegetables – you can put anything you want, such as…

Zucchini – sliced, Celeries – sliced with angle, Pumpkins – sliced into 0.5-1 cm thick, Spring Onions – sliced with angle, Kale – cut into a bite size

Method:

  1. Put water in Nabe Pot (clay pot or deep casserole pot). Place Dried Kelp in the water and soak it for about 30 minutes. Heat the pot and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, remove the Kelp. Reduce the heat to medium and add Chicken Stock, Soy Sauce, Cooking Sake and Mirin.
  1. Prepare Chicken Meatballs. Add all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix them well by hand. Put it aside until the broth is ready.
  1. Once the broth is ready, put the Chicken Meatballs in the broth. Use 2 Tablespoons to make a small ball and drop it into the broth one by one. The meatballs will come up to surface once they are cooked.
  1. Once the meatballs are cooked, add Vegetables in the pot. Add Vegetables which take longer to cook first, such as a hard part of Cabbages, Carrots, Leeks and Celeries. Once these vegetables are cooked, add Tofu and softer Vegetables, Such as Onions, Zucchinis, leaf part of Cabbages.
  1. Simmer until all are cooked.

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