Chicken Meatball and Shishito Yakitori

These juicy Japanese meatballs, known as tsukune, are grilled on skewers with the finger-size green peppers called shishitos. Most shishitos are mild, but about 10 percent are quite spicy, so be warned: There's no way to tell which kind you've got before you bite.

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  • Servings: 6
KEY: Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Asian, Japanese, Appetizers/starters, Healthy, Make Ahead, Staff Favorites

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 5 garlic cloves—2 crushed, 3 minced
  • One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon shiro (white) miso
  • 2 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil or vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 shishito peppers (see Note)

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, crushed garlic cloves, sliced ginger and sugar. Cook over moderate heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until minced; transfer to a bowl. Pulse the chicken until very finely chopped; add to the bowl. Add the miso, 2 tablespoons of oil, the scallions, minced garlic and ginger, salt and pepper to the chicken and mushrooms and mix well.
  3. In a small nonstick skillet, cook one-third of the chicken mixture over moderate heat, stirring, just until the meat is no longer pink, 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then mix the cooked chicken back into the raw mixture until blended.
  4. Form the meat into twelve 1/4-cup oval patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Thread two meatballs and 2 shishito peppers onto each of 6 skewers. Transfer the skewers to a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grate. Brush the meatballs and peppers with oil and grill, turning once and basting with the sauce, until lightly charred and cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Serve warm.

Notes

Shishito peppers are available at farmer's markets.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published June 2013

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