A friend of mine introduced me to panko about two years ago, and ever since then I’ve enjoyed experimenting with it in my cooking. Flaky panko breadcrumbs have a wonderful airy texture, making them ideal for frying. Panko creates a crisper, lighter fried coating than traditional breadcrumbs. It can enhance a variety of fried dishes. It’s the secret to a perfectly crunchy chicken schnitzel coating, and has a multitude of other uses as well.
One evening, I decided to combine a falafel patty with egg and panko crumbs to create something new. I ended up with this recipe—it’s sort of a cross between a falafel, a latke, and a chickpea veggie burger. I added lots of cayenne for spice because my family likes it that way. You can cut down the cayenne for a milder flavor if you prefer.
These chickpea patties are crispy, spicy, and addicting. Enjoy!
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Spicy Panko Chickpea Patties
3 ½ cups chickpeas, cooked or canned (two 15 oz. cans, drained)
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp minced fresh garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt (if you’re salt sensitive, use ½ tsp)
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
Grapeseed oil for frying
You will also need: food processor, skillet
Makes 12 patties
Kosher Key: Pareve
Total Time: 30 minutes
Fit your food processor with a metal blade attachment. Place cooked chickpeas, chopped parsley, eggs, cumin, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper into the food processor. Pulse the ingredients together just a few times till the chickpeas are chopped and the ingredients are mixed. Scrape the sides of the processor after a few pulses. Do not over-process or you’ll get hummus—stop when the mixture is still rough and only partially hummus-like.
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir in the panko breadcrumbs till well mixed.
Form the chickpea mixture into small slider-sized patties, ¼ cup mixture per patty.
Fill a skillet with grapeseed oil to a depth of ¼ inch. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat till hot enough to fry.
Before frying my first batch of patties, I like to test the oil temperature by frying one patty in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take about 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your patties will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. This is also a good opportunity to taste the first cooked test patty and adjust seasonings, if desired, adding more cayenne for a spicier patty or more salt to taste.
When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the patties in batches of 4 till golden brown on both sides.
When the patties are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon or spatula. Let them drain on paper towels.
Serve the patties fresh and hot; they go best with creamy tahini sauce. You can serve them on their own, or on slider-sized buns with a variety of burger-like toppings.
Note: as written, these patties have a nice kick, but they aren’t overly spicy. Test one patty for flavor, as noted above, before frying the whole batch. If you’re spice-sensitive, start with ½ tsp cayenne and add more to taste.
Recipe edited May 2013
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