Skewered grilled chicken covered in Teriyaki sauce is the perfect dish for everything from afternoon barbecues to formal dinners, and our easy-to-follow chicken tsukune recipe and video has everything you need to make it at home!

Ready for a delicious, authentic Japanese recipe you can use for any occasion? This chicken tsukune dish makes the perfect appetizer, dinner or lunch. Combining classic Japanese flavors like mirin, sake, and soy sauce with tender chicken results in a treat that everyone will love. So, just follow our video and easy step-by-step recipe to create this flavor-rich and versatile traditional Japanese food dish right at home!

What Is Tsukune?

Tsukune generally refers to chicken meatballs done Japanese-style. Most yakitori restaurants serve it on skewers after grilling it over charcoal. There are many different ways to flavor and spice tsukune, as it is very versatile. It’s typical to enjoy tsukune with simple sea salt or a Japanese sauce that tastes similar to teriyaki sauce. You can even get creative and dip it in ume plum sauce, wrapping it in shiso leaves as we explain here. We also offer a tsukune recipe variation that includes stuffing the chicken meatballs with soft boiled Scotch-style eggs. Yum!

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is easy to make. All you need is mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. In Japanese food culture, people use teriyaki extensively with meat dishes. It is often a marinade or a side dipping sauce, and it is one of the most popular Japanese flavors all over the world. You have probably even seen it on a hamburger! From Japanese-style grilled duck to a basic tofu sandwich, teriyaki provides a kick of pure umami flavor that takes the dish to the next level.

Click here for a basic teriyaki sauce recipe.

Eating Tips

  • People in Japan dip tsukune into a raw egg mixture before eating it. The Japanese consider it safe to eat raw eggs. So if you’re ever in Japan, try eating tsukune the Japanese way!

Chicken Tsukune

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese


Meat Patties

  • ¾ lb Ground Chicken
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tbsp Katakuri Powder
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable Oil, for cooking



  1. In a bowl, add the meat, onions, egg white, salt/pepper, katakuri powder, and soy sauce.
  2. Mix using your hands until mixture is sticky.
  3. Separate into about 12 pieces. Wet your hand with water and make 12 oval shaped patties.
  4. On low heat, add vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken for about 2 minutes and flip.
  5. Place a lid and cook for additional 6 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, mix together the seasonings in a small bowl.
  7. Once the chickens are done, pour the seasoning into the pan.
  8. Increase the heat to medium, and continue to cook, flipping occasionally.
  9. Stop the heat when most of the seasoning sauce is gone. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of katakuri powder and mix well.
  10. Stick each patties with a short skewer (if you have some) and serve!