Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Cover

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune


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This recipe is the second entry to our yakitori series and happens to be one of my personal favorites – Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune!! If you missed the 1st part, you can read it here. Now, I’m not sure how the weather is for everyone else, but for us, spring decided to make its grand entrance just as we made these recipes.  The temperature went from the 60’s to almost the high 70′ in a couple of days and introduced a perfect time to fire up that grill and present today’s recipe. Chicken meatball/tsukune is considered another ‘main’ yakitori and utilizes the same marinade as the Negima Yakitori.  Although they both do use the same sauce, they taste very different due to the way they are prepared.   The tsukune, being a meatball, is much more ‘fluffy’ compared to the Negima Yakitori and they both compliment each other very well!  So if you decide to give this recipe a try, we would recommend making it together with Negima Yakitori and having yourself a yakitori BBQ party!!

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Pin 1

This dish is keto friendly at ~1g carbs per skewer and if you are looking to make this your main meal, I would say 3-4 skewers would fill a person up.  I would describe this dish as juicy chicken meatballs packed with flavors of semi-sweet garlic soy sauce and charred BBQ.  One of my personal favorite Yakitori skewer!!

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Pic 1

The special ingredients needed for this recipe are Sesame Oil, Miso, Unflavored Pork Rinds, Soy Sauce, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, Toasted Sesame Seed (optional), and Japanese Cooking Sake (can be replaced with dry sherry).  All these can be picked up on Amazon (aside from Japanese sake) or a local Asian Supermarket.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Prepping Time 10M

Cooking Time 15M

Total Time 25M

Net Carb/Serv ~3g

Serving 3-4 skewers

Ingredients

Chicken Meatball

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tsp Miso
  • 2 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Cooking Sake
  • 1/2 Cup Pork Rinds (can substitute with 1 tbsp of psyllium husk)
  • 3-4 Wooden Skewers
  • 1/4 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed (optional)

Marinade

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (5)

2) Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.

3) Finely dice garlic and set aside.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (5)

4) In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate – Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic – and bring to boil.  Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced.  Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes.  Split marinate into 2 bowls – 1 bowl holding 3/4 as basting sauce and the other about 1/4 as reserve sauce.  Note – if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (24)

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (24)

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (26)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (23)

5) While waiting for the sauce to reduce, finely chop green onions and set aside.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (6)

6) Crush pork rinds. An easy way to do this keep pork rinds inside the bag and use the palm of your hand to ‘grind’ them down or use a food processor, set aside.  Note – you should end up with ~1/8 cup of crushed pork rinds.

7) In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for Chicken Meatball – ground chicken, Sesame Oil, remaining diced garlic, Miso, chopped green onions, salt, Japanese cooking sake, crushed pork rinds and mix well.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (24)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (25)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (26)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (27)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (15)

8) Take about 2 tbsp of chicken/tsukune meatball mix, throw the mix from one hand to another while using the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a ping pong ball.  Take the meatball and place onto skewer.  Take note the meatball mix is very fragile prior to being cooked, so handle with care.  Each skewer should hold about 4-5 meatballs.  Set on holding plate.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (28)

9) Preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce and close lid. Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation keeping covered until done, should take around 12-15 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (31)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune (2)

10) Optional Oven Instructions – if you don’t own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions.  Preheat oven to 500F.  Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce. Rotate every 4-5 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done – should take around 10-14 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Recipes (30)

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune (2)

Hope you enjoy our Keto Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers – Tsukune!  If you are looking for other recipes for your main dish, be sure to check out our growing Recipe Index full of Asian Inspired low-carb/keto recipes!

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Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Pin 2

Keto Japanese Chicken Meatballs Tsukune Cover

Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune

The BEST Asian Low-Carb/Keto recipe for Japanese Chicken Meatball Skewers - Tsukune. Enjoy this delicious traditional Japanese festival food at only ~1g Net Carb / Serving. Step by step directions with pictures makes this recipe quick and easy.
5 from 6 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ketojapanesebbq, ketojapanesechicken, ketoyakitori, lowcarbjapanesebbq, lowcarbjapanesechicken, lowcarbyakitori
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 Skewers
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Chicken Meatball

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Miso
  • 2 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Cooking Sake
  • 1/2 Cup Pork Rinds (can substitute with 1 tbsp of psyllium husk)
  • 3-4 Pieces Wooden Skewers
  • 1/4 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed (optional)

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Swerve/Monkfruit
  • 1/2 Cup Bonito Flakes
  • 1 Clove Garlic

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Finely dice garlic and set aside.
  • In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate - Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic - and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes. Split marinate into 2 bowls - 1 bowl holding 3/4 as basting sauce and the other about 1/4 as reserve sauce. Note - if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.
  • While waiting for the sauce to reduce, finely chop green onions and set aside.
  • Crush pork rinds. An easy way to do this keep pork rinds inside the bag and use the palm of your hand to ‘grind’ them down or use a food processor, set aside. Note - you should end up with ~1/8 cup of crushed pork rinds.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for Chicken Meatball - ground chicken, Sesame Oil, remaining diced garlic, Miso, chopped green onions, salt, Japanese cooking sake, crushed pork rinds and mix well.
  • Take about 2 tbsp of chicken/tsukune meatball mix, throw the mix from one hand to another while using the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a ping pong ball. Take the meatball and place onto skewer. Take note the meatball mix is very fragile prior to being cooked, so handle with care. Each skewer should hold about 4-5 meatballs. Set on holding plate.
  • Preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce and close lid. Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation keeping covered until done, should take around 12-15 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.
  • Optional Oven Instructions - if you don't own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions. Preheat oven to 500F. Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer from bowl with 3/4 the sauce. Rotate every 4-5 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done - should take around 10-14 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Mix sauce from reserve bowl and drizzle before serving along with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

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