Chunks of white-meat chicken, red onion and lots of fresh ginger make these a substantial snack or entree. These are a favorite of Julio Stoesz, son of Alexandria cook David Stoesz.
Serve with the sauce for dipping, or serve the chicken with white rice and drizzle the sauce over both.
Make Ahead: You’ll have leftover sauce, which can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Servings: 4 - 5
Yield: Makes 16 to 18 large nuggets
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons regular or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 small hand of peeled ginger root, grated (1/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup cold water
- For the nuggets
- About 2 cups canola oil, or more as needed, for frying
- 2 (about 16 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 1-inch cubes (including tenderloins)
- 1/2 large red onion, coarsely chopped or cut into small dice (your choice)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons regular or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3- or 4-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated (3 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped, for garnish
For the sauce: Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a cup to form a slurry; stir it into the saucepan and cook, stirring, to form a glossy, thickened sauce. Keep warm on low heat.
For the nuggets: Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels, or place a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. If the oil is not about a half-inch deep, add more as needed.
Combine the chicken, onion, eggs, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl, stirring to form a thickened mixture.
Drop a small portion of the nugget mixture into the oil; if the oil bubbles furiously around it and it starts to brown quickly, the oil is ready. Use an ice cream scoop to drop 5 or 6 mounds of the mixture into the oil, making sure there is plenty of space between them. Flatten them slightly for even cooking. Fry for about 5 minutes, turning them once so the nuggets are browned on both sides and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate or wire rack; repeat to use all of the nugget mixture.
Garnish the nuggets with the macadamia nuts. Serve warm, with the dipping sauce and/or with rice.
From Alexandria cook David Stoesz, based on a recipe from the Junior League of Honolulu’s “A Taste of Aloha” (S.C. Toof and Co., 1983).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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