Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune

Pickled plum and shiso garnish gives these yummy bite-size chicken balls an added zing of flavour.

Tsukune is what we call meatballs made of minced chicken. The name comes from the verb tsukuneru, which means to knead and shape. That should give you an idea of what you’ll be doing in this recipe!

Tsukune recipes vary from place to place, but the starting point is the same: well-kneaded, finely minced chicken meat. Some add egg, taro or breadcrumbs to bind the meat together, and minced herbs, various seasonings, or even fish for flavour. The mixture is then shaped into balls or small cylindrical patties, and either pan-fried/grilled as is, or skewered and grilled as a popular yakitori dish.

Our version of tsukune includes tart umeboshi (pickled plum) and refreshing shiso (perilla) for a super yummy and unique taste. Their bite-size format makes these chicken balls perfect for bentos or a quick dinnertime protein.

5 from 1 vote

Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 250 g minced chicken meat
  • 3 umeboshi (pickled plum)
  • 5 leaves green shiso (perilla)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp sake (A)
  • ½ tsp grated ginger (A)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (A)


  • 「PREP」Remove the seeds from the umeboshi and crush with a fork. Keep a little bit aside to use as a garnish.
    Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune - Preparation
  • Mix the minced chicken meat, umeboshi and (A) together in a bowl and knead well.
    Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune - Step1
  • Heat up the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Shape the meat mixture into bite-size balls and put in the frying pan. When the colour changes, flip the meatballs, add the sake and cover with a lid. Cook for two minutes over low heat.
    Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune - Step2
  • Cut the shiso leaves into shreds. Put the meatballs on a plate and garnish with the leftover crushed umeboshi and the shredded shiso leaves.
    Umeboshi Shiso Tsukune
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Chicken, Meat, Shiso, Umeboshi

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