Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Japanese chicken meatballs with cat-attractant nori

Lots of thing give me the irrits, but most of all, it irritates me no end when department stores and shopping centres start putting up their Christmas trees and decorations in October. For heaven’s sake, it’s not even Halloween, and you’re making us think of sleigh bells jing-jing-jingling?

So I stay irritated for a month or so, then realise that, hey, it’s only a couple of weeks till Christmas, oh heck, I haven’t done any shopping for gifts yet, why didn’t anyone remind me??!!??

Luckily, this year, there does seem to be a bit more time to get things done. I’ve decided to try out a couple of recipes that might go down well at a holiday get-together. You know, canapés and the like. Here’s a good one for Tsukune, or Japanese chicken meatballs. They certainly look the part, and the accompanying sweet-salty sauce complements them perfectly. So do the strips of nori – just don’t leave seaweed in sight of cats – go to the end of this post to see what I mean.

Japanese Chicken Meatballs
makes approx 20

500g chicken mince
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1 eggwhite
1 tblsp sesame seeds
1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into thin strips (use scissors), to serve

2 tblsp tomato sauce or ketchup
2 tblsp oyster sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


1. Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Line a tray with baking paper

2. In a food processor, put the chicken mince, onion, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, oyster sauce, sugar and salt and whiz until smooth. Add the eggwhite and mix until combined.

3. Wet your hands with water, then roll a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into a ball and place onto the lined tray. Repeat with all the chicken mixture. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. For the sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Remove chicken balls from the oven, and brush half the sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and return the tray to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the meatballs are golden and cooked through.

6. To serve, place the nori strips on top of the meatballs and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

recipe adapted from taste.com.au

Chicken meatballs before being popped in the oven.
Nothing much to see here.
But just wait 20 minutes and they turn into this...

Golden morsels of ginger- and sesame-scented goodness.

Serve as a snack, or they are just as good for dinner, with a bowl of soba noodles.

What Tabi Ate

Trust me to leave the leftover nori sheets in a plastic bag, secured with a peg, on the kitchen benchtop.
Tabitha cat managed to get into it and lick/nibble the nori. Yuck.
Just the thing you want to be confronted with after a long day at work:

Tabitha cat: I was just strolling past the kitchen and saw this mess on the floor.

It wasn't me!

Henry Cat Update

This is not one of those Where's Wally puzzles.
After turning up for a couple of days without his collar and nametag, Henry cat has stopped turning up at all!
We are worried.
Just hoping that his owners have moved and taken Henry with them.


  1. Really, she threw that package of seaweed on the floor?
    I haven't do any holiday shopping yet...don't feel like to do anything these days..
    The meatballs look very tender and delicious.

  2. Yum. I love tsukune and nori, minus the cat saliva of course. These would be great as party food as well.

  3. I was just thinking the same thing as John, these would be perfect for Christmas drinks or party food for NYE too!

  4. Silly cat! I never thought about cats liking seaweed, but it must smell really good to her. Your meatballs look great. Pretty enough for a party snack.

  5. These are so cute! And definitely perfect for the holidays.

  6. That is what you called cat having some fun.

  7. Adore tsukune - had so much throughout Japan... yum

  8. These chicken meatballs look great...much healthier than the meat ones :)
    Funny pictures of the cat Bel...
    Have a great week :)

  9. We can never win. Those decorations for whichever holiday makes us realise time is approaching us all way too quickly! I had my first taste of japanese chicken meatballs in LA and I thought they were fantastic. IF a recipe is this simple I don't know why I haven't even tried to make it yet.

  10. The meatballs look divine. How funny are cats! I don't know what I'd do without my Rupert x