You will fall in love once you've had a bite of this tsukune (Japanese chicken meatballs) serves with coconut rice and kale.
For the longest time I hated mushrooms. I thought they were weird looking and gross. Of course, I had never actually tasted one at the time. I mean, how could I? Look at them!! But then one day I was feeling adventurous and decided to give them a try. And would you look at that? Mushrooms are actually insanely delicious! After that, I was hooked on those meaty little morsels and would have them all the time. My mission as a mom is to pass on that mushroom love. My daughter acts like she doesn't like them, but she really does because she eats them all the time - blended into her meals of course.
In my house I am all about blending veggies into our meat, mushrooms in particular. I am a certified Blenditarian. I find that blending mushrooms by chopping them to almost the same size as the ground meat you are mixing it with helps to add in some more nutrition while also adding in more volume to make a bigger meal. It also adds more depth of flavor to your meat.
In this tsukune, or Japanese chicken meatballs, the mushrooms are my secret ingredient that makes the meatballs irresistible. My near vegetarian nice will go crazy for my "blenditarian" method of adding the mushrooms to the meatballs. She can't get enough.
I was first introduced to tsukune a few years ago when I was living with a few friends and one of their parents came to visit and made some for us. My Japanese chicken meatballs are nothing like their, but a very impressive and delicious spin on their dish.
First, I obviously added mushrooms blended into the meatballs. Second, I added coconut rice. I fell in love with coconut rice since the day I made it in my brand new kitchen with one of my best friends as we attempted to make Thai food together. It is the best rice ever.
If you are looking for a new way to spice up your mealtimes, I cannot recommend trying tsukune. The sweet soy sauce alone will have you wanting more! Even your kids won't be able to deny how good these Japanese chicken meatballs are!
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Tsukune - Japanese Chicken Meatballs
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 4 oz portobello mushrooms
- 3 scallions
- 1 lbs ground chicken divided
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon mirin optional, but highly recommended
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 - 3 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- Start with the coconut rice. Rinse the rice well and drain. Add the rice and coconut milk in a rice cooker or in a small saucepan and cook on medium low. Cover partially during cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- While the rice is cooking, start on the meatballs. Dice the mushrooms until they are very small pieces. Cut the scallions into thin rings. Separate the dark greens from the light green and white.
- Take half the ground chicken and blend with the mushrooms and the light green and white scallions. Cook until the chicken is browned. Set aside to cool until it is cool enough to handle.
- While the chicken is cooling, make the sauce. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan or skillet and cook until it thickens to a syrup. Set aside.
- Mix the cooked chicken with the remaining ground chicken and form into meatballs. Place on one half of the baking sheet. Toss the kale with its ingredients, then place on the other half of the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 - 14 minutes, tossing the kale halfway through.
- Coat the meatballs in the sauce. Serve with the rice and kale.