Back in the day when I had a terrible meat aversion (I wasn’t a vegetarian, I was a french fry-itarian) the only way I would eat meat is if it was in chicken nugget or hibachi chicken form. Seriously, I can count the number of times in my life that I had beef before I was 23 on one hand. It was chicken or nothing, and the preparation was not open to discussion. Needless to say, I frequented Benihana and Wendy’s quite a bit in my day. When I eventually discovered that my meat aversion was a result of poor digestion, and I finally targeted my gut health, it opened a whole new world of healthy fats, and properly raised meats that I could now tolerate. But I still crave some good asian chicken or a nugget every now and then. Who wouldn’t, right? So here’s my solution… Asian Chicken Poppers!

The two variations on this recipe, Sweet Potato Chicken and Bacon Ranch Chicken (also similar to Zucchini Chicken Poppers) influenced my decision to give these a go, along with the fact that I could never find a version of these in the real world that wasn’t full of junky ingredients to save my life. 

Here’s look into some of the ingredients that could usually be found in a similar dish that you’d get from a frozen box or a restaurant but are not in these poppers

Soy sauce (wheat and soy), MSG, soy and corn fed mechanically separated chicken, natural and artificial flavors, corn starch, the list goes on…

So you can see why I had to make these, right? TBH, they’re my favorite chicken nugget yet!

 Asian Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

 

Why I Love The Asian Chicken Poppers

They’re full of veggies

Because adding in secret veggies is one of my favorite things to do! Plus, it helps make these an even more well rounded dish.

They’re flavor packed

Coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, red and green onion, and a yummy sauce? Yes, please! These are not just another boring healthy food. 

No MSG, soy, wheat, or weirdness 

These nuggets are made with 100% real food, high quality ingredients that helps make them compliant with a paleo, AIP, and whole 30 diet. No fillers, allergens or werido ingredients in here!

Asian Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

Let’s Talk Ingredients (and what you can and cannot sub)…

Ground Chicken

I have little issues finding pre-ground chicken in my area, however, you can also use a food processor to grind chicken on your own, or even just a knife! 

Don’t want to use chicken? Turkey or pork works just the same!

The one thing I will say is to be mindful of the quality of the poultry you’re using. Conventional chicken is full of soy, corn, and it highly inflammatory. Make sure you’re buying from a local, pasture raised source when possible. 

Shredded Carrots

You can buy shredded carrots from the store, or you can easily shred them at home with a food processor. Though I haven’t tested it, you can also try to sub sweet potato, though the flavor will be sweeter. 

Red & Green Onion

The red and green onion really help gives these poppers tons of flavor! I wouldn’t be quick to sub them out, and would lean on another recipe if you’re low-FODMAP. 

Coconut Aminos 

Coconut aminos is essentially a soy free soy sauce substitute. It adds tons of flavor to these poppers and is the base to the dipping sauce. It’s sold at most stores these days, and you can also get it on Thrive Market. 

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour helps bind these, make them crispy, and absorbs some of the moisture that the veggies release. 

Asian Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

Asian Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken (uncooked)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 springs green onion, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • FOR THE SAUCE - Optional
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp honey (omit for Whole 30)
  • Juice of 1/4 lime
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a lined baking sheet with coconut oil
  2. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken (or turkey), carrots, red onion, and green onion and mix well
  3. Next, add in the coconut oil, coconut flour, ginger, garlic, sea salt, black pepper (if using) and coconut aminos. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Roll the mixture into small, slightly flattened poppers about one inch in diameter (you'll have about 20-25 poppers) and place them on the cooking sheet
  5. Place in the oven for 25-28 minutes, flipping half way through
  6. Crisp further in a pan or place under the broiler if desired for 1-2 minutes to crisp further
  7. Remove from the oven when thoroughly cooked through. Serve with sauce if desired and top with extra green onion.
  8. FOR THE SAUCE - Optional
  9. Add the avocado oil, coconut aminos, honey, lime juice, and ginger powder to a small bowl and whisk
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Asian Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)