Canned Chickpeas

Ah, yes, the humble canned chickpea. About a dollar a pop and readily available in most local grocery stores, I always keep a couple on hand in my pantry, just in case a sudden desire to make a quick salad or some smooth hummus strikes.

The chickpea is in my top three favorite legumes: second only to peanuts, ahead of lentils because of the superior creaminess they possess. This love led me to thinking: Are we underutilizing the chickpea? I spent the next week brainstorming how to put canned chickpeas into everything from savory pizza to sweet funnel cake—and surprised myself with some true winners. Here are my favorites from the week!

General Tso’s Chickpeas

For the fried chickpeas

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ c. neutral oil

For the sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ⅓ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • For the stir fry
  • Neutral oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets

For serving

  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together drained chickpeas with soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain and reserve liquid. Add cornstarch to chickpeas and toss to coat evenly.
  2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients and reserved soy mixture until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat ¼ cup oil. Add in dredged chickpeas and fry until golden and crispy, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer chickpeas to a plate, reserving all the oil in the skillet.
  4. Return skillet to medium heat. Add sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about 7 minutes.
  5. Slowly add sauce to skillet and stir until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Return chickpeas to skillet and stir until evenly coated in sauce.
  6. Garnish with sesame and green onions and serve alongside rice, if desired.

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