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

5.0 from 1 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.





Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Christina from

    Freeze your chickpeas in muffin trays if you want to be able to defrost a handful at a time πŸ™‚ These look perfect for taking to work with one of your hearty, grain salads.

    • jeanine

      I just chiseled some free with a knife, but that would probably be much safer πŸ™‚

  2. Shelley from

    how long can ginger last in the freezer?

    • jeanine

      I’m not sure exactly, but at least a few weeks (I toss it if it’s been much longer and it just looks really freezer burned).

  3. What a beautiful recipe – I love all of the flavors!! I also keep ginger in the freezer – best tip ever.

  4. These are so gorgeous! Can’t wait to try them! PS: New to your blog—LOVE it!

  5. sarah from

    These look amazing! I’m going to have to try them for dinner this week. I’m not a big fish fan, so I’m happy for this version. πŸ™‚ And, thanks for the tips! I never thought to freeze ginger – but that’s such a clever idea.

  6. So so pretty. I love how hearty this are. Chickpeas are my fave bean, by far!

  7. These look delicious! I love chickpea patties, I haven’t made them in a while but you’ve inspired me with these beauties πŸ™‚

  8. Sara from

    Freezing ginger! Brilliant! Thank you for the answer to all my ginger problems πŸ™‚

  9. Julie

    I made these tonight!! SO delicious. And I loved the yogurt sauce!

  10. erin from

    I had to laugh at your comment about chiseling chickpeas because that is totally me with any bean I freeze. One of these days I’ll probably hurt myself πŸ™‚ I’m not a huge fish fan, so your chickpea version is right up my alley!

  11. Allyn from

    You should try the Alton Brown method for cooking chickpeas! No presoak required. Simply put them in the crockpot with a bunch of water and some baking soda. Cook on high for 4 hours. Completely delicious.

  12. Jess from

    Delish! I’m a massive fan of chickpeas and love them mushed up in burgers. I’ve been roasting them of late till gorgeous and crispy then tossing them through salads. By the way, your photos are beautiful. πŸ™‚

  13. Christina from

    Enjoying making these for tonight’s dinner – question though – are there two lots of shallots? Some cooked and some straight into the patties? Might be typo or am I misreading?

  14. These look killer. Great tip on freezing ginger, mine is always going bad before I use it up! I’ve been cheating and using canned beans since I moved up here but it’s about time I cooked up more big batches to freeze.

  15. I love the tips about freezing ginger and chickpeas as well! Thanks for mentioning that. We always have problems pan frying bean patties, as they tend to fall apart on us! These look beautiful. Any tips — perhaps making sure the texture of the dough is moist enough?

    • jeanine

      Hi Sonja! Yes, I find that the texture needs to be pretty moist. If it’s crumbling on you before you start, add another egg. (I found 2 here worked well). And then letting the patties sit in the fridge for 30 or so minutes helps everything bind. Also, (you probably already know this), when you put them in the pan on the first side, be sure to let them cook for a few minutes without moving them around.

      • Sonja from

        Thanks, Jeanine! We’ll let you know if we give it a try! πŸ™‚

        • Rachael

          I should have read this before trying last night. I have a pretty poor track record when it comes to pan-frying (I’m pretty sure I’m just impatient :)), but despite the break-aways, we had a delicious meal last night! Wonderful recipe!! Will definitely do proper diligence next time and leave them in the fridge longer. Thanks for the tip!

          • jeanine

            oh, sorry, next time I comment with some tips, I’ll be sure to update it in the actual recipe. Glad they tasted good though!

  16. Julia from

    These look delicious. I am a huge fan of chickpeas and I love this recipe for them. I could see even eating this as a sandwich on a bun with some yogurt on top of the chickpea cake. I can’t wait to try them out.

  17. Laura

    For all of you who freeze large batches of small stuff (like chick peas!) I have a a great tip: after you have drained the chick peas and let them cool, spread them out on several baking trays and stack them in the freezer. Let freeze for a few hours (or overnight) and then once they are completely frozen transfer them to an airtight container. Because they are already frozen, they don’t stick together hardly at all so you can have the exact number you want, no chiseling necessary. This also works great for frozen fruits. Depending on how juicy whatever I am freezing is (like in the case of chopped strawberries), I will sometimes line the sheets with wax paper or parchment paper.

    • jeanine

      Thanks Laura, love that tip!

  18. Heather from

    So beautiful!

  19. Christi from

    This looks absolutely delicious! I think I’m going to try this recipe this weekend. Thanks for sharing!! πŸ™‚

    -Christi at, an art blog

  20. I am so excited to try this recipe! Very much something I know I will love. Awesome flavours. And I love chickpeas. Happy weekend! πŸ™‚

  21. Jacqui from

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

  22. Jen W.

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

    • jeanine

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

  23. 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).

  24. 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! πŸ™‚

  25. Erica

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

  26. Kris

    Any idea of the calorie count on these?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  27. 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!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.