Chicken Meatballs recipe by Yuta and Sharlyn Kobayashi

Following the launch of our first global digital cookbook, Culinary Perspectives comprisof eight delectable dishes curated by award-winning food writer and director Joshua David Stein. 

We’ll be taking you through one recipe each week so you can master the craft. On the menu today: Chicken Meatballs and Tare Sauce by Yuta and Sharlyn Kobayashi, from Eazy Peazy.


These skewered chicken meatballs, are an izakaya staple called tsukune. Both the presentation and the dish itself, are meant to instantly transport the diner to the alleyways of Tokyo. Key to the preparation is the sweetened soy sauce called tare, which derives its depth of flavour from the use of chicken bones, part of Eazy Peazy’s policy of zero waste.


Here are all the ingredients you will need to create your own chicken meatballs.

1.5kg minced chicken

150g Shio koji

125g Nama panko

300g white onion, diced and rinsed

12-15cm skewers




  • Mix the Shio koji and minced chicken in a large bowl, cover and let sit in the freezer fora minimum of 30-minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove from freezer, add the panko and onion and mix well.
  • Using a kitchen scale, portion the mixture into 50g balls. Then, wet your hands with a bit of water and mould the chicken meatball around the ends of the skewers.
  • Allow to rest for a further 15 -20 minutes in the fridge before char grilling. 


500g chicken bones

125g leek tops (or 1 medium leek)

125g ginger

560ml sake

470ml mirin

310g zarame sugar

625ml soy

190ml tamari soy



  • Place the chicken bones on a large roasting tray and roast at 220° F until golden.
  • In a large pot, combine the sake and mirin and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiled, remove from heat.
  • Add the zarame sugar and stir until completely dissolved
  • Add the chicken bones, leek and ginger and return to heat, bring to simmer until everything turns golden.
  • Add the soy sauce and tamari soy, simmer for 15 more minutes. Skim off excess fat from the top and turn off the heat completely. Let this sit for 30 min, then place the whole pot inside the fridge and allow it to sit overnight.
  • The next day, pass through a fine strainer with some filter paper. Serve with the grilled chicken meatballs. 

Click here to download the recipe card.


Yuta and Sharlyn Kobayashi, from Eazy Peazy

In 2017, Japanese born Yuta Kobayashi, and his wife Sharlyn founded Toji Sake, a modern minimalist sake distillery. In 2019, their family grew with the opening of Eazy Peazy, a small stylish spot in Richmond, Mel- bourne, that focuses on izakaya (Japanese snacks). Helmed by chef Dan Chan, who previously worked at Hong Kong’s cult chicken izakaya Yard Bird, the offerings here rely heavily on the hibachi grill, specializing in yakitori and okonomiyaki. 


For Yuta and Shar Kobayashi, the challenge and triumph has always been combining their archly traditional Japanese techniques with the modern aesthetic of Melbourne. In the distillery of Toji Sake and the kitchen of Eazy Peazy, this manifests in an elegant simplicity that belies an enormous dedication. Eazy Peazy, for instance, has distilled the cooking experience into a minimalist symphony of farm-raised chicken, binchotan charcoal and hibachi heat. Though the presentation is informal, it is an ambitious endeavour that relies on complete dedication to the craft. 

Read more: Lexus launches its first cookbook: Culinary Perspectives 
Read more: Prosciutto and Gribiche on Toast recipe by Neil Perry 

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