Friday, September 21, 2012

Shishito peppers stuffed with tsukune (ground chicken)

Shishito Tsukune

Recipe by Caroline Phelps

Shishito Tsukune (Japanese peppers stuffed with chicken meatballs)

I discovered this yummy dish at Yakitori Totto, one of my top 3 Japanese spots (Izakaya) in the city. Skewered and grilled on a brazier, and served with a raw quail egg that's broken and used as a dipping sauce, it's a beautiful and fun dish to eat. Since I don't own a grill I've instead used an oven and skipped the quail egg, though I highly recommend you try it if you come across some. Shishito peppers can be spicy with the seeds attached but aren't when you remove them. They're sweet and pair well with the teriyaki like flavor of the chicken meatballs. (makes a large plate, enough to serve 4-6 people)

  • 2 tbsps vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 thumb size ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
  • Shishito peppers (about 20-25), cut in half, seeded and membranes removed
  • For the Dipping/Brushing Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a pan over medium/high heat, add oil, ginger, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are transparent (about 3 minutes). Transfer mixture into a bowl and let cool (put in fridge or freezer to speed up the process.) When the mixture is room temperature, add ground chicken, sake, soy and salt . Mix well with your fingers (not for too long.) 

shishito peppers stuffed with ground chicken

With a knife, spread a generous amount of the mixture on each piece of shishito pepper. Discard the rest or save for later (if I have any left, I'll usually make mini burger patties or eat it on top of Japanese rice with ichimi and soy sauce). Lay each piece on a tray covered with aluminum foil (or parchment paper). Bake for 15-17 minutes, until chicken has cooked through. While shisihitos are cooking, make your sauce. 

Mix all the ingredients and microwave for 20-30 (to melt the sugar). Take shishitos out of the oven and with a basting brush, dab the sauce over each piece. Put leftover sauce in a small bowl and serve next to shishito tsukune (people can use is as a dip).

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