Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thai Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber Relish

This recipe was on Vegan Dad quite awhile ago, and as with the recent tempeh recipe, I had been meaning to make it for quite a while. As I had my reservations (and as I am only one person!), I only made a half batch, and I think this was probably wise: I wasn't crazy about how these turned out. To be fair, I did not have red curry paste or oyster sauce, so these may have not tasted all too similar to the original. Still, I appreciate the idea, and I am going to use this method again. Although making little cakes (much smaller than burgers) is an unnecessary hassle (especially when you end up, like I did, putting the leftovers into some sort of weird Thai burrito), it's rather fun, even cute:

Re: the relish: I would have liked less onion and vinegar, more spices or herbs or something. Eating raw onions makes me unbelievably thirsty--is this typical? As for the cakes, I can see how the nori is supposed to make the cakes taste more "fishy," but it didn't really happen. Maybe a different sea vegetable? In any case, a fun idea that merits further experimentation.

Thai Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber Relish
(from Vegan Dad)

Cucumber Relish
1/4 c rice vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 c diced cucumber

Chickpea Cakes
1 nori sheet
1 19oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp red curry paste, or to taste (I used rooster paste, ground cumin, etc.)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (I omitted)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c frozen french cut beans, thawed

1. Heat vinegar, sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add garlic, ginger, and shallots. When cool, add cucumber and mix well. Let marinate for as long as possible.

Chickpea Cakes (makes 12)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Rip up the nori sheet and place in a food processor with the blade attachment. Process on high speed until chopped into small pieces. Add chickpeas curry paste and pulse until chopped up but not like a paste (you're not making hummus here).
2. Dump chickpeas in a bowl, add sauces, oil, lime juice and mix well. Add cornstarch and mix well. Add beans and mix well.
3. Using wet hands, press mixture into a moistened 1/4 cup measure (don't fill it right up--more like 1/3 full. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining mixture.
4. Spray cakes lightly with oil and bake for 15 mins, or until golden--don't over bake or they will be dry. Serve with relish.
5. You can also fry them for about 3 mins per side in 350 degree vegetable oil.

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