Thursday, November 26, 2009


Last week we posted our little experiment we got from NHK and it was a big success. Not only did our Sake no Ebi Tsukune came out OIISHII, but people wrote to me directly and loved the recipe! Given the popularity of our take on Salmon Tsukune, we thought we would try our hand at Gyūtsukune which is literally a beef version of what we previously made. Like with Sake no Ebi Tsukune, we rarely follow instructions to the letter for one logistical reason or another but we do our best to show you or at least inspire you to do on your own.

Remember, were not trying to deprive anyone of making a living or claiming credit for something we didn't invent but merely showing you how we did at making some of the best Japanese dishes we can get our hands on. So if you're cool with that and not calling your lawyer...let's get cooking! Hajime!

Gyūtsukune at a glance looks allot like our earlier stab at Sake no Ebi Tsukune. The preparation methodology is the same but the ingredients make this it's own Tsukune. Now earlier this week I had bought a thing of basil leaves and shitake mushrooms. What drove me nuts was that somewhere in the middle of my 101 distractions which are impeding the completion of my Samurai Novel I am writing, I forgot what the hell I bought the basil leaves for! Ok, now that our memory came back to us after a heavy workout in the Shinkendo Dojo, my delayed memory recalled researching recipes at NHK's cooking page. It was there that I was introduced to both the fish and meat Tsukune recipes. As I previously mentioned before, I don't always follow or in some cases understand some of the directions I come across but that never stops me from making a good meal and neither should it stop you. As in my subtitle for my page, I will give you both Japanese and Japanese inspired cooking.

So getting back to our Gyūtsukune.... as with any recipe you'll some ingredients. The original recipe called for ground beef and pork. I have a general distrust of pork in this country so I opted to make my Gyūtsukune without pork otherwise I would have to call it Nikutsukune(Niku=meat / Gyū=beef). So here's what we used:

1lb of Ground Beef

5 Shitake Mushrooms

3 Basil Leaves

1/2 Carrot

1/2 Onion

1 Egg

1/2 Cup of Mirin

1/2 Cup of Soy Sauce

2tsp of Oil ( We use Olive Oil but Vegitable Oil is ok too)

2tsp of Sugar

2tsp Flour

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

3 Basil Leaves

As with our earlier fish based Tsukune, we recommend prepping your main ingredients first and the sauce second.

So first thing is first.
Take your Shitake Mushrooms and cut the stems off first.
Take a good sized mixing bowl and be ready to throw them in.
Slice and dice your mushrooms into tiny pieces.
You will repeat this slice & dice process with the onions and the carrots.

The original recipe called for six basil leaves.
We used three so the basil wouldn't overpower our dish.
If you have ever cut fresh basil leaves then you'll know exatly what I mean!

Once you have your basil, mushrooms, carrots, and onions chopped up into little pieces throw them all into the same mixing bowl.
By this point this should be smelling pretty good and you haven't thrown in the meat yet!

When working with raw ground beef, I like to use Lawry's Seasoning Salt. No Japanese recipe I know calls for it but that's what I like to use it and it's never thrown a dish so far so we'll use it here. Throw in your ground beef and use a dash or two or in my case three of the seasoning salt. You'll want to add roughly around the same amount of pepper into your ground beef. If you happen to have a black peppercorn grinder bottle like me then you're in even better shape.I recommend them.
Mix your meat with the vegetables into the mixing bowl. Add one raw egg and two tablespoons of flour. Mix everything we've mentioned so far in the mixing bowl until your meat becomes sticky. You'll want it that way to shape them. With the addition of an egg and some flour those of you who tried to make the Sake no Ebi Tsukune will appreciate this. After you have all that mixed return your meat to the refrigerator to keep cool while we move on to our sauce.

Like before, you'll take your 1/2 cup of Mirin, 1/2 cup of Soy Sauce and your 2 tsp of Sugar and pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for about two minutes. After that you'll want to place your mixture in the refrigerator to cool down and retrieve your meat so you can move onto the next step.

The idea of this next step is to take your ground beef and shape them into a small flat hamburger like shape.

Once you have your meat shaped and ready to go, break out your sauce mixture and turn up that fire.

Add a tablespoon of oil into your sauce and stir it in before you add your meat.

Like with the previous tsukune post you'll want to fry them until evenly browned on both sides. This should take around five to six minutes depending on how big yours comes out.

After your Tsukune is browned and ready, serve it with a good Teriyaki sauce. We recommend Kikkoman Original for this dish and believe me it brings out a zesty flavor you are bound to enjoy. You'll never want to make teriyaki burgers the same way again!

So there I was, standing there with a handful of mixed ground beef when Tina suddenly goes over to Soy Sauce Queen's page and discovers she just happened to post a different variation of the same idea. Hers is called Hakusai Hamburger Steak. I was like oh shit! What's the chance of that happening! Seriously, I didn't see her blog until I was halfway done cooking. Hopefully Misa isn't going to think I'm trying to rip her off! We wouldn't do that to Misa Sensei. She has been very supportive in our endeavors as we are of hers so please visit her page if you'd like to see another way how to cook with hamburger meat the Japanese way.

We sure hope you have enjoyed this recipes and all the recipes we've posted here.
We appreciate all your comments!


  1. cooked so nice one!
    It looks very yummy...
    I wil try to make it soon.

  2. This meal was sooo delicious! This is definately a redux :)