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Need the Formula for Fluffy Yakitori Chicken Meatballs

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help! i need to nail this recipe, and i can't seem to get that fluffy, airy quality this dish has in yakitori restaurants.

i'm using home-ground chicken thigh and i'm satisfied with the sauce - the texture is killing me though!

any ideas or recommendations?

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  1. are there cereals involved perhaps?

    1. Probably need to add some flour and corn or potato starch, say 2 tsp each per pound of chicken.

      Edit: And a few tablespoons bread crumbs.

      1. I think if you add water or something like that to the meat it will make it fluffy

        1. I've heard of people adding ice cubes when they grind meat. When it's done commercially, I suspect it's for profits, but at home, it's just to fluff up the texture. This might be difficult if you're using a food processor. I'd recommend smashing the ice cubes into smaller pieces so you don't have to overprocess the meat to get the ice ground up finely.

            1. Here's a recipe that was in Sunset magazine. I haven't tried it, but I'd think if you process the chicken to a fluffy paste, it would make fluffy meatballs. Notice it doesn't call for eggs.

              Finely chop in a food processor the reserved chicken scraps from using whole chickens for the other parts of the yakitori meal. You should have 1+1/2 cups
              3 Tbl. Japanese soy sauce
              2 Tbl. sake
              1 Tbl. minced fresh ginger
              1/4 tsp. salt

              Mix in the remaining ingredients and shape into 1-inch balls. Roll each to coat in panko or fine dry breadcrumbs. Place on soaked skewers and grill until no longer pink in the center, dipping into glaze as many times as desired.

              1. Why not follow the same idea as Matzoh Balls? Add a little baking powder and parboil them for a minute or two in seasoned water? Glad you asked this question, Think I'm going to try this myself.

                1. I know that when I'm making Italian meatballs, if I use fresh bread soaked in milk in place of the typical dried breadcrumbs, the meatballs come out fluffier. I think it might be a moisture thing.

                  Also, don't pack the meat too much. I know that's hard to do with chicken because it is so sticky. But it helps to get all the other ingredients thoroughly mixed, then add them to your chicken gently.