This is a fantastic. quick family dinner that even kids will like. Tofu makes a protein-rich addition to meatballs, giving them lightness without leaving them dry or crumbly, as can happen with breadcrumbs.
300g firm tofu
500g chicken mince
1 onion, coarsely grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tsp sugar
a few lettuce leaves, to serve
1/2 tsp mixed black and golden sesame seeds, toasted, to serve
2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise, to serve
Drain the tofu and wrap in a double layer of kitchen paper. Press between two plates with a light weight on top for about 15 minutes to remove excess moisture, then crumble the tofu into a large bowl.
Mix through the chicken mince, onion, egg and salt. Form into oval-shaped meatballs about 5cm long and 2 1/2cm wide. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes to allow the meatballs to firm.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, turning often for about 6 minutes until cooked through.
After the last batch is cooked, return all the meatballs to the pan and add soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar.
Shake the meatballs in the pan regularly to turn them over through the glaze as it thickens and coats them; this will take about 5 minutes.
Arrange lettuce on a plate and put meatballs on top. Scatter with sesame seeds and serve with a dollop of mayonnaise.