Thai Chicken Rissoles

Makes about 20 small

Paleo; no gluten, dairy; with options for legumes

Tender, flavourful morsels. Shape them as tiny finger food, substantial meatballs or oblong rissoles. Cook in 6 minutes or use a BBQ hot plate. Serve with extra chopped coriander or drizzle with homemade mayo or chilli sauce.

Accompany with salad, or noodles and cooked mixed vegetables (eg mushroom, red pepper or orange kumara, green beans or courgette). Toss either with a dressing of peanut or almond butter, tamari*, vinegar (can warm these 3 to soften and mix the nut butter) and fresh mint and/or raw red onion.

Layer left overs with lettuce, grated carrot and choice of sauce and place in wraps: nori sheets, 100% cornmeal tortillas, soaked rice paper – or use taco shells. Or serve with a side salad, plus rice or pumpkin mash.

Very quick to mix and make, but allow an hour or more for the mixture to chill and thicken before cooking.

½ cup chopped coriander
2 spring onions, chopped
2 Tbsp red curry paste*
1 Tbsp finely chopped gingerroot
1 Tbsp fish sauce*
1 Tbsp tamari (soy sauce*) or coconut aminos*
1 Tbsp lime juice; or white, apple cider or other mild vinegar
1 tsp sea salt with kelp*
1 garlic clove chopped
1 medium to large free range egg
500 grams minced chicken
2 tsp peanut oil or coconut oil*

In a small to medium bowl, combine the coriander, onion, curry paste, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and garlic. Beat in the egg. Add the chicken to mix thoroughly. Mixture will be wet. Chill for one hour or more to thicken. Mixture can also be frozen.

Heat oil in a large fry pan over low medium heat. Add the chicken mixture in tablespoon amounts. Cook about 3 minutes on each side (for small size) until soft but cooked. Do not brown (this toughens the meat). Serve as above.

Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Coconut aminos: looks and tastes similar to soy sauce. Made instead from fermented coconut sap. From most supermarkets. Matakana brand is plain. Some brands such as Ceres add herbs, spices and a hint of chili.

• Coconut oil: white, solid and available in jars from health stores and most supermarkets. Best quality is virgin or cold-pressed and organic, such as Ceres brand. Flavour and aroma should be mild. Less prone to oxidation and damage by heat than most other cooking oils. High in medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid, which can enhance immunity through antiviral and antibacterial benefits. Most oils and fats contain long chain fatty acids that are harder to break down and more readily stored as fat. Use to replace oil or butter in recipes.

• Curry paste: in small jars in the supermarket spice section; usually with red or green options. Many Asian cuisines make wet mixtures of chilli and spices, possibly with shrimp, fish sauce, vinegar and a tiny amount of sugar.

• Fish Sauce: refers to the amber, translucent Thai version (Nam Pla) or Vietnamese product (Nuoc Mam) available in small bottles in most supermarkets (near soy sauce or Asian foods section). It is made by fermenting small fish until a rich, salty liquid develops – similar in use and concept to soy sauce. Some contain a little sugar but due to lengthy fermentation this is usually tolerated by those cane sugar-sensitive. Chinese fish sauce is thick and brown like gravy, and not recommended due to the MSG (TIPS) and other artificial additives (also contains wheat).

• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.

• Soy sauce/Tamari: soy sauce can be a fake, unfermented concoction of caramel colouring, artificial additives, wheat and cheap salt. True soy sauce contains nothing artificial and is naturally brewed for two to three years. It is made by fermenting soybeans with the help of a healthful mould (similar to making yoghurt or cheese); roasted grain – usually wheat or barley – for flavour and fermentation, plus salt. ‘Shoyu’ is the Japanese word for true fermented soy sauce. ‘Tamari’ describes naturally brewed soy sauce which does not contain wheat or other grain. In the supermarket look for organic Ceres brand, or plain only Kikkoman (their other varieties often contain artificial additives including MSG: TIPS).

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