This has really been my summer of Air Fryer experimentation. I know I’m late to the party but I’m making up for lost time, and I was especially thrilled with this Air Fryer Tofu. Perfectly golden and crispy, and glazed with a delectably sweet and read more
You have to love a recipe that’s good either hot or at room temperature, that makes a perfect appetizer but is equally happy to play a more starring role, and makes for an effortlessly beautiful presentation. These Shiso Chicken Patties check all those boxes. This Japanese take on chicken burgers will make you forget those dry, bland burgers forever!
Shiso is a Japanese herb known for its large jagged leaves and bright, refreshing flavor. Sometimes called Shiso mint, it is related to the mint family, but has a more complex flavor, with hints of cinnamon and anise. They are frequently used as garnishes, you’ve probably seen them underneath pieces of sashimi at sushi restaurants. But they can do so much more! The herb is used twice in these Shiso Chicken Patties-both to flavor the meat mixture, and also to wrap around the patties, making a striking presentation.
Shiso is called perilla in American markets. Perilla is an umbrella term for many species in the family of mint. Japanese Shiso and Korean Perilla look alike and are related, but they are not interchangeable. You can use Korean perilla if you like, but know that it will have a different flavor.
Shiso Chicken Patties Seasoning
Move over dry, boring, flavorless, chicken burgers. We have a few tricks that turn these into absolute flavor bombs. First I add some umami superstars: oyster sauce, miso, soy sauce, and mirin. These will flavor the patties as well as help to keep them moist. Shiso leaves and minced scallions provide freshness and a little bite. Another ingredient that may surprise you-tofu! The tofu adds a bouncy, springy texture to these, and also helps to keep them from drying out.
Then add the cornstarch, sprinkling it over the bowl, and mix again:
Shape the Shiso Chicken Patties
Oil your hands and shape the balls into smooth ovals:
Cook the Shiso Chicken Patties
The goal of pan frying these is to try and preserve the green color of the Shiso leaves. So we cook them low and slow, using the lid to help cook the patties through. Once you cover the patties, turn down the heat, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
You could make a meal out of these for just a couple people, but I usually serve them as an appetizer. They have a lot of seasoning already, so it’s really not necessary to serve them with any sauce. If you must, a little chili sauce, is a nice option for those who want a kick.
I love a meal of lots of little different bites. To make fun dinner out of small plates, try serving these with:
Leftovers are just as good heated for a minute or two in the microwave or even cold. They’re also great additions for an Asian type lunchbox!
I can’t wait for you to try these Sushi Chicken Patties! When you do please take a moment to rate the recipe and comment on it below. And you can show off your creations by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen.
- 2 Tablespoon miso
- 2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 Tablespoon mirin
- 7 oz soft or medium firm tofu (about ½ block)
- 16 oz ground chicken (use dark meat)
- 10 shiso leaves, finely chopped
- 2 scallion, minced
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 16 shiso leaves
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil plus extra for shaping meatballs
- Combine the miso, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and mirin in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel or 2-3 layers of paper towel and squeeze to remove most of the water.
- Add the squeezed tofu, ground chicken, chopped shiso leaves, and scallion to the seasoning bowl.
- Mix well, breaking up the tofu with your hands until the mixture is sticky and all of the liquid has been absorbed into the meat. Sprinkle the mixture with cornstarch and mix again.
- Divide the mixture into 16 equal portions.
- Oil your hands and then roll the portions of meat into a ball and then a small oval about ½ inch thick. Set aside on a plate.
- Wrap the patties with a shiso leaf around the middle of each patty.
- Heat a large skillet over medium low heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the pan.
- Place the patties in the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes until light golden brown. Then turn over the patties.
- Turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom of the patties is golden brown.
- Transfer the shiso chicken patties to a plate and serve immediately.
*These patties are great hot or at room temperature.
Keywords: shiso, japanese, chicken, appetizers, tofu,
Tofu may be one of the most unfairly maligned foods in the world. But it’s such an economical and nutritional powerhouse! It’s packed with protein and calcium, it’s low carb (if that’s your thing), and it just needs a little love to really make it sing. This Black Bean Tofu is a favorite for meatless Monday or any day of the week. The sauce is complex, tangy, and rich. The steamed tofu has a wonderful texture, and the addition of mushrooms really elevates this simple classic.
Everyone has a childhood food memory they cherish. And I have one of being in my highchair and picking Chinese fermented beans from my scoop of rice. And for years, the taste and flavor of these beans haunted me because I didn’t know what they were or how to ask for them. The only problem is we’re Japanese and my mom swears she would not have had these in the house and could not have given them to me. Plus, if you ask anyone who knows me well, they’ll tell you that my memory is terrible…so this probably isn’t an actual memory. But I don’t care. I claimed this memory years ago and I’m sticking to it.
Lots of Ingredients But Quick Prep… Promise
Don’t be alarmed by the long ingredient list. With the exception of maybe the Shaoxing wine, the ingredients are things you likely already have on hand, and the dish comes together very quickly.
I start making Black Bean Tofu by getting the tofu and the mushrooms ready for steaming. If you’ve never had beech mushrooms before, they are worth seeking out, and not just because they look cool. When cooked they take on a very nutty, earthy flavor. If you can’t find them, enoki mushrooms would make a good substitute.
Begin by removing the bottom half inch of the mushrooms, and separating them into small clumps.
Black Bean Sauce
Black Bean Tofu is all about this divine sauce. It’s full of so much savory flavor, and as long as you prep all your ingredients before you start, it can be whipped up in the time it takes to steam the tofu in the microwave. Chinese Black Beans are actually fermented soy beans. They add an explosive salty punch to this sauce. If you would like to cut down on the sodium, give them a rinse under running water.
Then I add the liquid ingredients and the sugar.
To thicken the sauce and give it a nice velvety texture, I make a slurry with water and cornstarch. Just pour it in and stir for a couple minutes and the sauce will magically thicken.
Now all that’s left to do is to pour the sauce on top of the tofu, add your garnish, and dig in! Be careful when removing the plastic film from the tofu, steam burns are no fun.
Black Bean Tofu is so quick and satisfying, I have no doubt it’s going to become a regular in your plant based rotation too. Serve it with some other quick veggie dishes- like Funky Spicy Green Beans, Szechuan Cucumbers, and Braised Burdock for an exciting vegan feast, or just enjoy with Coconut Rice for a simple supper.
Let us know what you serve it with by leaving a comment below, and tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
For the Tofu:
- 1 package medium firm tofu (about 14 ounces)
- 1 box beech mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
For the Black Bean Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon neutral oil
- ¼ large onion, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried chile flakes or 2 fresh chiles minced
- 1 Tablespoon fermented black beans
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce*
- ½ Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
- Slice the tofu in half lengthwise and then into thin slices, about 1/2 inch thick (12 pieces). Arrange them overlapping slightly on a microwave safe plate that you will use to steam.
- Cut the bottom ½ inch off of the bottom of the mushrooms and discard. Then break the mushroom into small clumps and arrange on top of the tofu.
- Drizzle the shaoxing wine over the tofu.
- Cover the plate with plastic wrap and steam in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until the tofu is hot and the mushrooms are cooked through.
- While steaming the tofu, make the sauce. Add the oil to a small skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and chile flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Then add fermented black beans and also sauté for a few seconds.
- Add oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and water to the saucepan. Stir the sauce and bring it to a simmer.
- Stir the cornstarch slurry making sure it’s completely smooth. Gradually pour it into the saucepan while stirring to thicken the black bean sauce.
- Once the tofu is hot, remove the plastic wrap and drain the liquid in the plate. Pour the black bean sauce over the tofu slices.
- Sprinkle with the scallion and serve immediately
*To make this vegan, look for mushroom vegan oyster sauce.
Keywords: plant based, healthy eating, tofu, chinese, black bean sauce