Friday 24 April 2015

Tofu Chicken Hambagu (豆腐ハンバーグ)


Last time, whenever I had this in the Japanese restaurant, I used to wonder what made Japanese meatball is so fluffy, soft and juicy. 

Finally I know the answer…  it is the TOFU that created that kind of texture.  It’ll get fluffier if the amount of tofu increased.  It is amazing that the meatball won’t fall apart and instead it’ll make into nice and firm patties.  According to Just One Cookbook, if increase the ratio for tofu, it’ll just become slightly difficult to maintain the shape of the meatballs.
What I like the most about this dish is making the teriyaki sauce from scratch.  I think it tastes better than the ready-made teriyaki sauce on the supermarket shelf.
The meatballs (I made them into patties) are so juicy and have great flavour.  I served the patties with aglio olio.  My children love it very much.  But my hubby didn’t get to taste it as he has been away for almost 3 weeks.  He is currently in Japan.  I believed he must have tasted the “real” and authentic Japanese Hambagu prepared by the local as compare to this.

Happy Cooking!

255g       Ground chicken
142g       Medium firm tofu (about 1/3 of the package)
87g         Sweet bell peppers (I used the orange one)

1                                          Green onion / scallion (I missed out)
1 inch     Ginger (about 1 tsp grated ginger)
1                                          Egg
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil for cooking

Teriyaki Sauce
1 tbsp      Soy Sauce
1 tbsp      Sugar
1 tbsp      Mirin
2 tbsp      Rice Vinegar
½ tsp       potato / corn starch

(1)In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

(2)Wrap the tofu with paper towel and let it drain for 15 minutes

(3)Meanwhile, remove sweet bell pepper seeds under running water and dry completely.

(4)Mince the sweet bell peppers, chop the green ion finely (I missed this), and grate the ginger.

(5)In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, sweet bell peppers, and green onion. Break the drained tofu into small pieces.

(6)Add the egg and mix all together.

(7)Add the grated ginger, salt, and black pepper and combine well.

(8)Using two tablespoons make a small ball. (I made into patty)

(9)Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop the meatballs, keeping some distance between each ball. Cook in batches if necessary.

(10)When the bottom is nicely browned, flip them over and cover with the lid to cook until inside is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low heat if browning too fast.

(11)When the meat is cooked through, add the first batch back into the pan (if there are any).

(12)Pour the sauce over and reduce the sauce until it thickens.

(13)Flip the meatballs to coat both sides with the sauce.

I’m submitting this recipe to Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY.  The April, the theme is Chicken and it is hosted by The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.


  1. Amy, this is so delish! Yes I've tried adding small amount of tofu to mince pork and it tasted fluffy soft.

  2. Hi Amy,
    Your chicken balls looks so, so good! I could snack on a whole plate of this chicken balls! Yums!

  3. Hi Amy,

    Now... I see!!! It is the tofu that make Jap meatballs so lite and spongy! Thanks for this great tip!!!


  4. Amy , ahhhh so that's the secret ! Your hambagu certainly looks very appetizing ! I never knew that making teriyake sauce from scratch is so easy ! Will have to come back here later to steal this recipe :D

  5. Hi Amy,
    Yes, this Hambagu is indeed fluffy and tender.
    I have cooked this and I am like you love the teriyaki sauce from scratch.
    Yours sound so delicious with aglio olio. Yum!