Browse All Recipes

Sticky soy-glazed meatball skewers

Recipe for sticky Japanese-inspired (tsukune) soy-glazed meatball skewers.

By Emma Knowles
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Print
Sticky soy-glazed meatball skewers
These are a take on tsukune, often served at Japanese restaurants. Use a flat skewer to help stop the meatballs slipping around as you turn them.


  • 500 gm minced chicken thigh
  • 200 gm minced pork
  • 35 gm (½ cup) panko crumbs (see note)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 7 spring onions, 3 thinly sliced, 4 cut into 4cm-5cm batons for skewers
  • For brushing: vegetable oil
  • To serve: roasted sesame seeds
Sticky soy glaze
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) each soy sauce and mirin
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar


  • 1
    Combine meatball ingredients, except oil and sesame seeds, in a bowl and mix well. Roll into 3cm-diameter balls and thread onto flat wooden skewers, alternating with spring onion batons, place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 2
    For sticky soy glaze, simmer ingredients, except vinegar, in a saucepan over medium-high heat until a glaze forms (3-4 minutes), remove from heat, stir in vinegar and set aside.
  • 3
    Heat a char-grill to medium-high heat. Brush meatballs lightly with oil and grill, turning occasionally and brushing lightly with glaze, until browned and cooked through (5-6 minutes). Transfer to a serving plate, pour extra glaze over and serve hot scattered with sesame seeds.


Note Panko crumbs, Japanese breadcrumbs, are available from Japanese grocers and select supermarkets and delicatessens. If they're unavailable, substitute dried breadcrumbs.
Drink Suggestion: Well-cellared riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen