Chicken Balls in Simmering Sauce

Chicken is very popular with the Japanese and has been part of their cuisine for far longer than red meat. This dish can be prepared with other varieties of mince but chicken is most commonly used. You may add a little minced white fish or pork to the chicken mince to vary the flavour. These balls can be served with a soy sauce based sauce or in a soup or on skewers as part of a yakitori selection (see recipe).

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Balls

  • 300g chicken mince
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp saké
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp shoyu

Cooking Stock: (optional)

  • 5 cm piece of Kombu (giant sea kelp)

Sauce

  • 400ml dashi (see recipe)
  • 100ml sake
  • 50ml mirin
  • 75ml shoyu soy sauce
  • 30g corn flour

To Serve

  • 2 tsp of ginger, peeled and shredded

Method

  1. Chicken Balls: Place all the chicken ball ingredients in a food processor and blend them together until they are smooth or blend them together in a mortar and pestle. The mixture will be runny unlike European style ball. Place the mixture in a bowl. Wet your hands in water and take small amounts of the mixture at a time and make small balls until you have used all the mixture. You should have 24-30 balls. Set aside until ready to cook (refrigerate if preparing in advance.
  2. Cooking Stock: Place the Kombu (optional) in a large saucepan filled with water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce it to a gentle simmer (this step is optional and is not necessary if you aren't using the kombu).
  3. To Prepare: Bring water or cooking stock to a strong simmer in a large saucepan. Cook the balls for 7-8 minutes, and drain them. If preparing the balls for yakitori cool the balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Sauce: Place the dashi, sake, mirin and soy sauce in a saucepan and bring it to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Mix the corn flour with around 50 ml of water, stir this into the sauce. Stir the sauce for a couple of minutes until just thickened. Add the chicken balls to the sauce and cook them for 3-4 minutes so that they are heated through.
  5. To Serve: Serve the chicken balls in bowls garnished with a little shredded ginger.