Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
This recipe is for a bento box lunch that is a favorite among children at a local Japanese restaurant. Recipe has sake but the alcohol cooks out during cooking.
- 1 lb ground chicken or 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg (alternative is 1/2 tsp starch & 1/2 tsp water)
- 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon starch (mixed with 1 tsp water)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for stir fry)
- Combine ground meat, beaten egg and onion in a large ball and mix well. For children who have egg allergies, use pre-mixed 1/2 tsp starch and 1/2 tsp water to replace the egg. Form into bite-size balls.
- In a small bowl, mix sugar, soy sauce, sake, ketchup, vinegar and water to make sauce.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in meatballs and cook about 5 minutes until outside is brown. Remove excess oil using paper towel, then add the sauce. Cook about 5 minutes more until the liquid is almost gone. Make sure meat is well-done.
- Add pre-mixed starch and water to make the leftover sauce thicker.
- Meatballs can be kept frozen without changing the texture or flavor. Cook many at once, freeze and defrost a small portion each morning!