Chicken and Shiitake Tsukune

Chicken and Shiitake Tsukune is a yakitori. The chicken is in the form of a sausage that is seasoned with finely chopped green onion and cilantro. The chicken sausages and skewers of shiitake mushroom caps are grilled and glazed with a sweet and savory sticky sauce called a tare.

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Chicken and Shiitake Tsukune
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Serves 2 to 4

6 Tbsp granulated sugar
6 Tbsp mirin
6 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
6 Tbsp sake
20 oz. ground chicken
4 scallions, white part only, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbsp sake
2 tsp rice starch
1/2 tsp kosher salt
16 oz. shiitake mushrooms, caps only
Canola oil for frying

To make the yakitori tare, combine the sugar, mirin, soy sauce and sake in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue to boil until the sauce becomes thick. The sauce will be finished when the bubbles go from small to large and glossy.

Put the ground chicken in a large bowl and gently break it apart. In a small bowl combine the scallions, cilantro, sake and rice starch. Mix to combine. Add the mixture to the chicken and combine thoroughly. Form the chicken mixture into 8 to 10 sausage logs about 1-inch in diameter. Refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the vessel. Fry the sausage logs on each side until just golden brown. Run a bamboos skewer through each before grilling to allow for easier handling.

Heat grill to medium-low for direct grilling. Place the sausage logs in a loose foil wrap to that they do not burn as they cook to an internal temp of 160F. Brush the sausage logs with plenty of tare and return them to the grill, again on foil, to allow the glaze to caramelize. During this step add the shiitakes and glaze them as well.

Serve with rice and an Asian Slaw with extra tare on the side.

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