{recipe} asian chicken nuggets

Fast food without the calories, protein snack without the preservatives, chicken nuggets without the drive-through. I was asked to do a few healthy recipes for the Government's Swap it campaign, which follows the premise that it's easy to be healthy and fit if you swap a few of your less than ideal foods and activities for a healthier version of them. So swap an hour in front of the television with an hour's walk. Swap investing in a new Playstation with a new kayak. And swap oily nutritiously-void nuggets for these {recipe after the jump}. They're super easy to make and freeze well, so they can be fast food too. I'd LOVE to hear what swaps you're making - have you got any clever ideas to make one of your favourite things just a bit healthier? Please do share below! Meanwhile, here's my healthy chicken nuggets recipe. x

Asian chicken nuggets recipe

The store bought or fast-food version of nuggets is usually heavy in oils and fats, not to mention some may have unidentifiable meats. This homemade version is completely different - a crunchy bite, herby flavours and real chicken.. These are great party food, or tuck them in to pita bread with some sticks of cucumber for the office or school.

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves whole
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rice bran oil, for frying

Combine all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl using clean hands. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide mixture into 4 balls, then divide each of those into 6 small balls, to make 24 balls. Use wet hands to make balls if the mixture sticks to you. Place balls in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat them all. Place balls in the fridge until you’re ready to cook (up to one day).

In a large frying pan, heat rice bran oil over a medium-high heat. Cook the balls in two or three batches for 8 to 10 minutes each batch. Drizzle with soy sauce or pack with some of those little fish-shaped soy bottles and an icepack.

Tip: Freeze these in little snap-lock bags after cooking and cooling, they thaw just fine.

Recipe first published in June 2012. 

healthy chicken nuggets.jpg

Photography by Kate Gibbs.