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As I promised, this week I am sharing my chicken shiso coRn ball recipe this week. I've made chicken meatballs many times for parties. I usually use it as mini chicken sliders with a piece of shiso leaf, with a slice of cucumber. But I kicked this up a notch this time, and served it as an appetizer (sort of tsukune style).  The combination of shiso and chicken is very good, and if you have an access to fresh shiso at the Greenmarket (the Korean farmers usually have them), or enough space/sun light to be able to grow them at home, like Anders or Yoko,  this is definitely something you should try.

INGREDIENTS
1lb ground chicken
1 fresh corn
1 bunch of shiso (or probably 2-3 of the packaged kind)
1tbsp corn starch
1 egg
1/4 tsp instant dashi (if you don't have it, or are opposed to MSG, you can omit this)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and white pepper

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Cut corn and shiso

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Mix everything together. You want to mix this all until it is very sticky. American meatball recipes usually say, "Mix until it barely combines," but that causes a falling-apart-during-cooking disaster, so hand- mixing it until it's very sticky is an easy way to make successful balls.

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Make balls. Have a little dish of oil at your side when you do this. Put a small amount of oil in you palm, and roll them into a nicely shaped ball. Size doesn't matter here. If you like big balls, go right ahead. I made about 24 of them out of the batch. In terms of flavor, if you are not sure about saltiness or other spices, you should cook a small bit, and see if it tastes ok before you make balls.

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Pan fry the balls. This is a bit troublesome since they never stay perfect round. FYI, perfectly-shaped meatballs you get at restaurants are filled with bread crumbs. It's not the shape or size that matters here, it's the taste, so don't even think about adding bread crumbs here.

Oh well. They became a bit triangular, but that's ok. What's wrong with triangular balls?!

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Brown all side is all you need. Just like at any yakitori place you can serve as is, with salt (but if that's the case, be sure to cook them all the way through).

I always make this dish teriyaki style. Mix water/soy sauce/sake/mirin/sugar/instant dashi (sorry I always eyeball this part to make teriyaki sauce, but one day, I will try to measure everything), and pour them into the pan, and when balls are cooked through, mix corn starch and water, and pour it together to thicken the liquid.

Since I made the balls in advance for this occasion (in the afternoon), when guests arrived I added the sauce onto the balls and put them in the oven until it got bubbly (if you do it this way, you want to mix corn starch into the teriyaki sauce).

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Makes a great appetizer. You can also serve individual balls on a stick at parties.
Column: ReCPY
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5 comments

  • Wow, Yamahomo, these look amazing. Can’t wait to try out the recipe!

    saaara on

  • You just took Umamimart to the next level with that comment.

    yoko on

  • Sticky balls – I love it!

    My shiso on the balcony has turned brown now… think it’s at the end of its season. As you can’t buy fresh shiso in Copenhagen I guess I have to wait until next summer to lick these delicious balls.

    Anders on

  • I am cranky (in-laws are here) and hungry. I really would love to have someone make these for me NOW. I really like your tip about mixing it until it’s sticky. Also about the bread crumbs – I never understood the purpose of them for meatball-making.

    yoko on

  • Yoko – In addition to providing texture the purpose of the breadcrumbs, when combined with the egg, is to help the meatballs to bond together, especially since many recipes call for them to be more loosely formed. The reason to form them loosely is because when makign meatballs, meatloaf, hamburger patties and such, tight packing makes for more dense and chewier meat, which many don’t like.

    In this case it seems the corn starch is filling in for the bread crumbs, and since the meatballs are packed more tightly, it’s not so much an issue.

    Whenever I make meatballs I always use breadcrumbs from several days old hearty bread, which adds nice texture.

    Paystyle on

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