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Recipe: Japanese Beef tsukune (glazed meatballs) with soba noodles and picked vegetables


Lean, good quality beef mince is an easy way to add protein to your weekly dinner. Not only is mince quick and easy to cook, it can be used in a variety of dishes and cuisines beyond just Spaghetti Bolognese!

For a healthy mince meal, try these Japanese style meatballs courtesy of beefandlamb.com.au!

Ingredients (serves four)

600g lean beef mince

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp finely grated ginger

¼ cup panko crumbs

½ cup rice wine vinegar

4 sprigs rosemary

4 pink radish, washed and sliced

1 Lebanese cucumber, roughly chopped on the diagonal

1 bok choy, quartered lengthways

1 long red chilli, slit in half lengthways but kept whole at the stem

270g soba noodles 



¼ cup sweet soy

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup mirin

1 tsp sesame oil



1. Place beef mince, soy, garlic, ginger and panko crumbs in a large bowl and mix until combined. Roll into 24 meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes, drain and closely thread 3 meatballs onto each skewer.

2. Place chopped vegetables in a large heatproof bowl. Place rice vinegar, a pinch of salt flakes and 2 sprigs rosemary in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, turn off heat and pour vinegar over vegetables, turn to coat and cover with a lid. Leave to pickle for 5-10 minutes for crunchy pickles. Drain before serving.

3. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and use remaining 2 rosemary sprigs for brushing glaze onto meatballs after cooking.

4. Drizzle meatballs with a little oil or spray with oil spray and then place on a preheated BBQ on medium to high heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Brush meatballs with glaze using the rosemary skewers while on the BBQ, and brush with extra glaze to serve.

5. Cook soba noodles according to packet directions, drain. Serve skewers with pickled vegetables and soba noodles.


Essential Tips

1. When turning meatballs on the BBQ, use a palette knife or metal spatula to help you turn them as they have a tendency to stick, and the bamboo skewers get hot.

2. Meatballs can be made ahead and frozen. Bake from frozen at 180C fan forced for 15-20 minutes. Glaze in final 5 minutes.