Combine the meatball ingredients, and mix well.
Add some more panko if the mixture is too soft. The resultant meatballs taste better with a softer meatball mixture.
Boil water, add salt and sake (not listed in the ingredients), and boil the meatballs. The meatball mixture is quite soft, so shape the mixture into balls right before placing them in the hot water.
Look at Helpful Hints as to how to boil the meatballs. Drain the meatballs in a colander after they are cooked through.
Pat dry the meatballs with kitchen paper. Coat the meatballs with katakuriko evenly. Make any size of meatballs to your taste.
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and brown all the sides of the meatballs to allow them to have a good colour and flavour.
I fry the meatballs after boiling them, but you don't need to do this. After boiling the meatballs, coat them with the sauce. In this case, thicken the sauce with katakuriko dissolved in water.
After the meatballs are browned, add the sauce ingredients of your choice. Simmer slowly over a low heat to let the meatballs absorb the sauce.
The katakuriko coating the meatballs thickens the sauce. Reduce the sauce to let it coat the meatballs.
Once the sauce is shiny, it is ready. Garnish with the thinly sliced white part of a Japanese leek or sprinkle with sesame seeds to finish.
Story Behind this Recipe
By cooking the meatballs slowly over a low heat (and using the residual heat), the resultant meatballs are very tender. By boiling the meatballs, you can remove the excess fat and they are healthier. The result is still satisfying. When you are on a diet but want to eat meat, this is a good dish.
[How to boil the meatballs] Once the water has boiled, turn down the heat to very low. The meatball mixture is quite soft and they won't hold their shape if boiled vigorously! Shape the mixture into balls right before placing them in the hot water. After placing all the meatballs, increase the heat a little and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Leave them to sit until cooled down.