'Macho' burgers can be healthy

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 June, 2012, 12:00am

A 'macho' burger need not be made of low-quality minced beef, which is often high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. To give your dad a Father's Day treat, try a healthier, tasty chicken breast burger (right).

Vietnamese chicken burgers (Makes 4 burgers)

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped

400g chicken breast, skinless

60g breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 red chilli, chopped

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil (for frying)

4 burger buns, or soft rolls

Herb and onion relish

1 large handful mint, chopped

1 large handful coriander, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil; juice from one lime


1 Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz until it's well combined.

2 Using wet hands, shape the mixture into four, even-sized burgers. Place onto a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30minutes.

3 Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium flame.

4 Fry the burgers for 5-6 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

5 Meanwhile, toss the herbs and red onion in a mixing bowl. Just before serving, add the oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss together to combine.

6 Serve the burgers in toasted soft rolls with the relish over the top.

Jam roly-poly (serves 6-8)

This classic British steamed pudding (far right), invented during the 19thcentury, is traditionally made with suet and rolled up with lashings of sweet jam and served in deep pools of hot custard.

In its early days, this pudding used to be wrapped up and steamed inside an old shirt sleeve and was then otherwise known as shirt-sleeve pudding, or dead man's arm.

300g self raising flour

125g butter, cut into cubes

2 level tablespoons sugar

125ml milk

150g strawberry jam or puree


1 Lightly oil a piece of greaseproof paper about 25cmx30cm. Place this on top of a piece of foil that this the same size.

2 Half fill a wok with water, add a wire rack and bring to the boil.

3 Place the flour and butter into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add in the milk and mix to form a soft dough. Briefly knead the dough and shape into a ball.

4 Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 25cmx30cm rectangle. Spread the jam over the dough, leaving a 2cm border all the way round. Brush the edge with water and then roll the dough up from the short end. Pinch the two open ends of the roll together to seal in the edges.

5 Carefully lift the roly-poly onto the centre of the greaseproof paper, seam side down.

6 Fold the greaseproof paper and foil over the roll, making a pleat in the centre of the paper and foil to allow the pastry to expand during cooking. Scrunch up the two ends together so that the dough is well sealed.

7 Gently place the roly-poly on top of the wire rack. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-to-high heat for two hours, periodically adding water to the bottom of the wok.

8 Serve with custard or ice cream.

Wynnie Chan is a British-trained nutritionist. If you've got a question for her or would like to be featured in this column, e-mail nutrition@scmp.com


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