Sesame-Ginger Chickpea Cakes

These vegetarian sesame-ginger chickpea cakes make impressive healthy homemade appetizers. Cilantro lime yogurt sauce adds creamy texture & tons of flavor.

As promised, here is the vegetarian followup to the tuna cakes I posted last week. I used most of the same ingredients (because I happened to have them all leftover)… the end result was pretty different, but delicious just the same. Of course, I really have a soft spot in my heart for panko-crusted anything…

With this, I wanted to share a couple of handy tips:

1. Fresh ginger – keep it in the freezer, and grate it as you need it. No thawing required… by the time you grate, it’ll be thawed enough. I love to cook with ginger, and this way I can easily keep it on hand.

2. Chickpeas – I love the dried kind so much better than canned, but they take forever and a day (literally, a day) to soak and cook. I’ve tried making big batches to keep on hand in my fridge, but they always go bad before I get around to using them up. Turns out – they actually freeze really well. After you cook them, let them drain and cool completely. The next day or so, pop them in the freezer. To thaw them quickly, place them in a bowl and drizzle the faucet over them for a few minutes. I love being able to thaw just a few at a time for lunch salads or quick dinners.

adapted from Ottelenghi’s tuna cake recipe

3.0 from 2 reviews

Sesame-Ginger Chickpea Cakes

Serves: 6-8 patties
For the chickpea cakes:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, slightly mashed with a fork
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, gently whisked
  • ½ teaspoon dried coriander
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • A few pinches sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the yogurt sauce:
  • Heaping ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion or a few pinches onion powder
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus some zest
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small pan. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes on medium heat until translucent. Turn off the heat and add the soy sauce and garlic. Stir together in the hot pan for another minute. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, scallions, ginger, sesame oil, eggs, coriander, cilantro, and cooked shallots. Form into small or medium sized patties (6 medium, or 8 small). I find it easiest to try to pack them into a ball and then gently press down to flatten. They will fall apart easily, so just try to pat them together as best as you can. Place them in the fridge while you mix the sauce together, at least 15-30 minutes.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, olive oil, agave, onion, garlic, lime juice, mustard seeds, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. Spread the panko on a plate or flat surface and mix in a few pinches of salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Roll each patty in the panko mix, covering liberally, and set each aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet (be sure the bottom of your skillet is completely coated with the oil so your cakes don’t come out dry). When the oil is very hot, add the patties. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve with the yogurt sauce.





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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rachel Cantin

    the mixture was very liquid I don’T understand, but it didn’t hold together at alllll. 🙁

  2. Janice Short

    I love your site and your inventive wonderful recipes. Thanks to you, I have a wider variety of yummy foods to look forward to. Just a note, I really love cooking dried chickpeas, even though I keep a few cans around for when I need some quickly. It’s so easy to do with a slow cooker. No soaking required, just rinse. I usually cook them in broth with half an onion, bay leaf and garlic cloves that I can remove later, salt, and that’s it. Add to the cooker, set it on high, four hours later they’re done. On low it takes eight or nine hours. One thing to keep in mind, if you buy really fresh beans from Rancho Gordo, you want to check the beans before the time is up because they tend to cook more quickly. Happy eating and thanks again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks for the tips!

  3. Kris

    Any idea of the calorie count on these?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, I don’t count calories.

  4. Erica

    These look amazing!
    Would gluten free bread crumbs work instead of regular ones?

  5. Cheryl

    Did I miss what to do with the shallot/garlic/ soy combo from the first step? I set it aside and then…..?
    My chickpeas must be too wet. I’m trying to form them into patties to no avail. I drained them well, so perhaps I’ll try baking them. It’s more the consistency of salsa.

    • jeanine

      Sorry that’s a little unclear – You mix them all together with the chickpea mash.

      If you can’t form patties, make sure your chickpeas are mashed enough so they become stickier. If your mix is too wet, I’d add enough panko to it until it’s not as wet. Also try letting the mix sit in the fridge for 20 or so minutes to firm up.

      • Cheryl

        Thank you! I poured the oil/soy over the top after I baked them, let it soak in and then added the yogurt sauce.
        They were actually delicious baked, I was happy I didn’t fry them. I used rolled oats in the mixture and on top before I baked. No breadcrumbs and still they were crispy and tasty. Thanks again.

        • jeanine

          so glad they worked out! 🙂

  6. Debra

    Can these be made ahead of time and then frozen until I want to eat them?

    • jeanine

      Hi Debra, I haven’t tried freezing them, so I can’t say for sure. If you try, I would freeze the mixture before you cook it – form it into patties and place on a parchment lined plate or small baking sheet until they’re frozen (so they don’t stick together). Then cook each one as you’re ready to eat.

      I don’t think they would hold up well if you cooked them and then froze them. (plus they’d be a little dry and maybe soggy).

    • jeanine

      Hi Patty, you can, but they turn out a little bit dry vs. pan searing them

  7. Jen W.

    These look amazing! Can’t wait to try them out tomorrow.

  8. Jacqui from

    These sound delicious! Love that you added ginger to them!

  9. I am so excited to try this recipe! Very much something I know I will love. Awesome flavours. And I love chickpeas. Happy weekend! 🙂

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.