Lemon Pepper ‘Chickn’ Nuggets

Filed under: delicious fried food and sneaky way to feed kids healthy stuff by disguising it as junk food.

This is rather heavy on ingredients but could be simplified by omiting the jackfruit and simplifying the spice mix.  You can also switch out the jackfruit and chickpeas for tofu to get a softer, less ‘meaty’ texture.

I use tinned jackfruit in brine, available at Asian supermarkets.


Lemon Pepper Chickn Nuggets

1/2 tin + 2 Tablespoons cooked chickpeas
2 Tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from chickpea tin)
1/4 tin jackfruit in brine (approx 5 Tablespoons when shredded)
1/4 Cup + 4 Tablespoons vegetarian chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 t sweet paprika
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 white pepper
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 onion powder
4 heaped Tablespoons gluten flour
1 heaped Tablespoon white flour
1 t lemon juice

fine breadcrumbs
plant milk
white flour
salt and pepper

Put 1/2 tin of chickpeas into a large bowl and mash into a rough, chunky paste.

Drain and rinse jackfruit. Pull jackfruit pieces into shreds (toddlers/kids love to help with this part as they have an amazing texture) and finely chop the hard parts at the core. Place shredded fruit into a fry pan with 1/4 Cup vegetarian chicken stock on a medium heat until the stock is more or less gone. Put half of the cooked jackfruit into a blender and add half of the jackfruit to the mashed chickpeas.

Spoon 2 Tablespoons of aquafaba into the blender along with 2 Tablespoons of chickpeas. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

To the large bowl, add spices and flours, lemon juice and smooth mixture from blender. Mix into a wet dough – adding ‘chicken’ stock if needed. Knead for several minutes and put into the fridge to rest for an hour.

Heat 2cms of coconut or vegetable oil in a frying pan.

Prepare 1 plate with white flour and a pinch of salt, 1 bowl with plant milk and 1 bowl with fine breadcrumbs, tumeric and a good grind of black pepper.

Tear pieces of dough about the size of a nugget (you could also make large flat ‘schnitzels’), coat in flour, then milk, then crumbs and set aside. Shallow fry in small batches, turning when golden on each side. Rest on absorbent cloth.

Eat warm or cold (these are even better the next day) with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of lemon juice over them.

Bon Ap!


Lemon Pepper ‘Chickn’ Nuggets

Vegan Pulled ‘Pork’

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Pulled pork is so damn trendy. So trendy I didn’t want to make it. The fruit-as-meat trend on the other hand, is exactly the kind of kitchen geekery I will happily lose days to. Plus jackfruit is the craziest, most amazing thing.

As I’ve never really been into American food, I’m yet to master my own BBQ sauce so this recipe uses a pre-made one. On the plus side, it makes this dish mad easy to make.

Today my little sister and I both had a day off, the weather was unseasonably warm, and I happened to have a tin of the magic fruit in the cupboard so we cracked a couple of booze-free beers (my favourite new discovery as a pregnant woman) and made some pulled jackfruit sliders.

*In NZ it’s super hard to find fresh jackfruit so this recipe uses tinned jackfruit. Jackfruit in brine or water is fine, just don’t buy jackfruit in syrup. It’s available from most Asian and Indian supermarkets.

*Usually I would add some liquid smoke to this so if you have some use it and leave out the smoked paprika. Today I had no liquid smoke and there was still plenty of depth.

Vegan Pulled ‘Pork’ (otherwise known as Pulled BBQ Jackfruit)

1x 280g can of jackfruit

1/2 brown onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli powder (or 1/2 fresh chilli finely chopped)

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of white pepper

1 cup of vegetable stock (or vegetarian beef stock such as Massells)

3/4 cup of BBQ sauce (find a good quality one)

Rinse jackfruit well. Chop the hearts out (but don’t discard if they’re reasonably soft) and remove the seeds. Cut jackfruit into bite-sized chucks and finely dice the hearts. Set aside.

Add some oil to a medium hot frying pan and cook off onions until soft and taking a little colour. Add garlic, spices, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add jackfruit and cook until coated and the whole thing smells great. Then add stock, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Use a fork or spatula to crush and separate the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork.

Preheat an oven to 190 degrees C.

Spread the jackfruit evenly on an oven tray (I coat the tray in tin foil to save clean up) and bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the jackfruit out of the oven, pour over your BBQ sauce and mix until the jackfruit is well covered. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until sticky and a little crispy around the edges.

Serve in soft, white buns or chopped baguette with a simple green salad or coleslaw and a spread of Dijon mustard. If you’re gluten free, wrap it up in a corn tortilla.

Bon ap!


Vegan Pulled ‘Pork’