TSUKUNE (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Makes 16 

  • 500g skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 sheet nori seaweeds, cut into strips (I didn’t bother with this)


  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce or oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Whiz chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, zest, barbecue sauce, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor for 1 minute or until completely smooth and sticky. Add the eggwhite and whiz to combine. Using damp hands, roll a heaped teaspoon of mixture into a ball and place on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining mixture or until almost cooked through.  .

Remove the tray from the oven. Brush half the sauce over the meatballs, sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. 

++ At this stage I cooked the chicken through and then brushed in the sauce over the meat balls and topped with sesame seeds and put them in a foil container and froze them.  On the day of the party I defrosted the chicken balls in the morning and then reheated them in a preheated oven 180 for 10-15 minutes until golden. 

This recipe is from Delicious Magazine December by Jill Dupleix

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Makes 24 

  • 3 teaspoons grated palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 350g chicken mince
  • ¾ cup/120g toasted peanuts, chopped
  • ½ cup/120g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ cup/125mls oil
  • Sweet chilli sauce to serve

Dissolve the sugar in the fish sauce, then place in a bowl with the chicken mince, peanuts, breadcrumbs, curry paste, lime juice, lime leaves, sweet chilli sauce and coriander. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 24 small balls – they will be quite soft. Flatten the balls into discs about 1.5cm thick. Lay them in a single layer on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heave-based frying pan and cook the cakes in batches for 2-3 minutes each side, or until firm and golden. Drain on crumpled paper towels. 

An alternative way to cook these is preheat the oven to 180C, brown the cakes quickly in the heavy-based frying pan, put them in a baking tray and finish them off. 

Thinking ahead: The uncooked Thai chicken cakes will keep frozen for up to 2 months or refrigerated in a single layer for 1 day. 

This recipe is from Small Food by Murdock Books

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Sausage Rolls

These are so quick and easy to make, they taste great and because you can cook them from frozen – it is very handy to have a stock of them in the freezer. 

Makes 24 small sausage rolls 

  • 400g/14oz sausage mince
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought breadcrumbs or fresh breadcrumbs (very fine)
  • 1 tablespoon/20mls Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon/20mls tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed 

Place the mince, breadcrumbs and sauces in a large bowl. Break the egg into a cup and beat with a fork then pour half of it with the mince (you’ll use the remaining egg to brush over the pastry). Stir well to combine. 

Divide the mixture into four portions then form then into logs, the same length as the pastry sheets. Cut each sheet of pastry into two rectangles. Place one log of saucsage filling along the edge of one of the pieces of pastry then roll to form a long pastry-covered sausage. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.

Use a sharp knife to cut  each log into six sausage rolls then place them on a tray lined with baking paper with the pastry seam facing down. Brush the top of each sausage roll with beaten egg. 

FREEZE: ‘Flash freeze’ the sausage rolls on a tray lined with baking paper then transfer to a freezer bag or plastic container.

DEFROST: In the fridge, or you could cook these from frozen. 


For defrosted sausage rolls: bake in 180C/350F/Gas 4 oven for about 30 minutes.

For frozen sausage rolls: bake in 180C/350F/Gas 4 oven for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through (cover with foil if the pastry is browning  too quickly). 

This recipe is from Frost Bite (Freezer Recipes for Toddlers and Teenagers) by Susan Austin

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