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Tori Tsukune Recipe
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Tori Tsukune Recipe for Nabe (Japanese Chicken Meatballs for Hot Pot)

Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 6


For the Shiitake mushroom broth:

  • 4 cups warm (not boiling) water
  • 5 - 6 large dried shiitake mushrooms

For the Tsukune (chicken meatball):

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 leek, white and pale green part, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

For the hot pot:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ small napa cabbage, roughly chopped (core removed)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into slices crosswise (half-moon shape)
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


Making the Shiitake mushroom broth:

  • In a bowl, allow the dried shiitake mushrooms to soak in the warm water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Strain the stock through a fine-woven cloth or fine-mesh strainer to get rid of unwanted bits.
  • Pour the stock into a stockpot for cooking the hot pot.
  • Trim the stems off of the mushrooms, rinse the caps to remove any gritty material, then squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Slice the caps into very thin strips and set them aside.

Making Tsukune:

  • Combine the ground chicken, egg, chopped leek, grated ginger, and sea salt in a bowl and set the mixture aside.

Making the hot pot:

  • Mix the chicken stock with the shiitake mushroom stock in the stockpot then add the sliced shiitake mushrooms.
  • Place the stockpot over medium-high heat. Once the stock starts to boil, reduce the heat to keep the stock simmering.
  • Scoop tablespoonfuls of meat mixture with one spoon and use a second spoon to shape into balls.
  • Gently drop the meatballs into the simmering broth, one at a time.
  • Cook the meatballs for 1 minute then add the cabbage, carrot, and cremini mushrooms.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and allow the hot pot to cook for about 5 minutes. If needed, adjust the heat to maintain the stock at a gentle simmer.
  • When the vegetables are cooked through and the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, turn off the heat.
  • Season the hot pot with black pepper and serve.