9.17.2013

Quick & Easy Turkey Tsukune Wrappers





I wasn't planning on posting this dish when I made it the other day, but it's so easy and tasty that I decided to take a few shots and share it here on BB.  

Tsukune is basically a Japanese kebab or meat ball.  They are typically made of ground chicken or pork seasoned with green onions, sesame, ginger, garlic, soy sauce etc... They are rarely made with turkey since turkey isn't commonly available in Japan, but I happen to have quite a bit of ground turkey stored in my freezer, straight from my brother-in-laws' farm.  So I decided to make them with turkey-- and they were just as good!

Tsukune come in meatball sizes and are sometimes skewered and grilled over a charcoal grill aka. Yakitori - a very popular street/pub food in Japan.  I feel so hungry when I remember the smell of Yakitori in the streets and allies of Japan.  There's no smell better than that!

Tsukune is extremely convenient to have around to feed the kids.  They LOVE it.  I often freeze them, take them out and prepare them in many different ways.  In the first photo, I went Mexican and prepared them like a taco wrapped in a tortilla with veggies and feta cheese.  The second one, I went Thai/Vietnamese by wrapping it in rice paper with pickled veggies.  They were both received really well.

Give it a try and you'll love it!


Recipe:

Tsukune:
1 pound of ground turkey (pork or chicken)
1 big stem of green onions or a handful of chives
2 small garlic cloves
a small chunk of fresh ginger (grounded 2 table spoons)
a handful of white or black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of mirin (make sure to get one w/o syrup or use honey or agave syrup instead!)
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 small red/yellow chill pepper (optional)

If you want to glaze them with yakirori sauce, here's the recipe for the sauce:
a half a cup of soy sauce
a half a cup of honey or sugar
1 teaspoon of cooking sake
1 small clove of mined garlic

*Mix everything in a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes.


Pickled Toppings:
1 small carrot
1 small daikon
1 small cucumber
2 radishes
a handful of cilantro
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
salt and pepper

a handful of cilantro
a tables spoon of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Juelienne a carrot and daikon.  Slice radishes thinly.  Marinate them with rice vinegar and honey for at least 30 min.  For salsa verde, blend cilantro and a clove of garlic together with a dash of salt and pepper in a blender.


Grind garlic cloves and ginger.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Take some and put them around skewers if you are going for a kebab shape like I did.  You can also shape into small-sized meatballs.  

Prepare the charcoal or turn the grill on around 400 degrees and grill both sides for about 5 minutes each. Apply glaze occasionally.

Mince red/yellow chili peppers for topping.



For Tortilla:
Warm up tortillas and wrap it with tsukune, pickled veggies, feta/goat cheese and salsa verde.

For Fresh Spring Roll:
Soak a rice paper in a plate of water each at a time and wrap it with tsukune, pickled veggies and fresh cilantro.  Dip it in a sweet chili sauce.


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