You can make these skewered or unskewered. Doesn’t matter, they don’t last long. Guests go back for more and more.
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin
1 pound coarsely ground chicken
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 medium shallot, minced
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Small bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
In a saucepan, combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup of the mirin; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 3 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine the chicken, salt, shallot, zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Form the chicken mixture into 24 meatballs. Brush the meatballs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, until the meatballs are barely cooked through. Remove from oven and thread the meatballs onto 8 bamboo skewers.
Brush the meatballs with some sauce. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Turn meatballs to other side, brush with more sauce and cook an additional 5 – 8 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce.