These Vegan Sweet and Sour Chickpeas are the BEST meal for a Friday night (or any night) vegan ‘fake-away’! They’re naturally gluten free, vegan and only take 20 minutes to whip up.
You won’t believe how easy it is to get that rich, delicious, chinese-y flavour with just a handful of your pantry staples. Chickpeas are a huge part of my diet, I just think they’re so versatile in both sweet and savoury recipes!
For example, why not try out my Vegan Chickpea Cookie Dough to satisfy that sweet tooth.
I want to include more savoury recipes like this one here on the blog – I just want to show how easy and simple it can be to make delicious plant based meals, and this dish is such a crowd-pleaser!
If you make these Vegan Sweet & Sour Chickpeas, please make sure to comment below or tag me in your recreations over on Instagram using @ginabnutrition or #ginabnutrition – I absolutely love to see them!
Can You Directly Eat Canned Chickpeas?
Yes, you can directly eat canned chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and ready to eat, so they can be consumed straight out of the can. However, many people prefer to rinse canned chickpeas before eating them to remove excess sodium and the starchy liquid they are typically packed in. Rinsing also helps improve their texture and taste.
If you plan to use canned chickpeas in a recipe (like these sweet and sour chickpeas), you can either use them as is or further cook them in your dish. Keep in mind that cooking them in a recipe can help them absorb flavors from other ingredients and enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Do You Have to Rinse Canned Chickpeas Before Cooking?
Rinsing canned chickpeas before cooking is not absolutely necessary, but I’d recommend it for several reasons:
- Removes Excess Sodium: Canned chickpeas are usually packed in a liquid that contains sodium (salt) to preserve them. Rinsing the chickpeas can help remove some of this excess sodium, which can be beneficial if you’re watching your salt intake.
- Improves Texture: Rinsing canned chickpeas can help improve their texture by removing the starchy liquid they are packed in. This can be particularly important if you’re using them in recipes where texture matters, such as salads or dishes with a specific consistency.
- Reduces Canned Flavor: Some canned foods can have a slightly metallic or “canned” taste. Rinsing the chickpeas can help reduce this canned flavor and make them taste fresher.
- Prepares Them for Cooking: If you’re planning to use canned chickpeas in a recipe, rinsing them before cooking can help remove any residual liquid that might dilute the flavors of your dish.
That being said, if you’re using canned chickpeas in a recipe where the liquid they’re packed in won’t negatively affect the dish (such as in soups or stews), you might not need to rinse them. It ultimately depends on your preferences and the specific recipe you’re making.
Sweet and Sour Chickpeas
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil (or any oil of your choice)
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- 400 grams Chickpeas drained & rinsed
- 1 cup Mushrooms finely sliced
- 1/2 head Broccoli chopped into small florets
- 1 Bell Pepper sliced thinly
- Salt & Pepper to your taste
- Cooked White or Brown Rice
- Sesame Seeds to your taste
- Fresh Coriander to serve (to your taste)
For the Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup 1/4 cup maple syrup4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 2 tbsp rice vinegar)3 tbsp soy sauce/tamari for gluten free option1/3 cup water2 tbsp tomato puree/paste1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (or starch of choice) + 3 tsp room-temp water
- 4 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce (or tamari for gluten free option)
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (or paste)
- 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
- 3 tsp Room-temperature water
- In a medium sized bowl, add all the sauce ingredients apart from the cornstarch and whisk until well-incorporated.
- Taste it and add in any sweet or sour ingredients to your taste preference!
- Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large skillet/pan.
- Add in the crushed garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant (don't burn!)
- Next, add in the mushrooms, peppers and broccoli and stir fry for 5 or so minutes until softened.
- Add the chickpeas and sauce into the pan and bring to the boil while stirring, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl/cup mix together the cornstarch and water, then pour into the pan.
- Stir together and let the sauce thicken. It should be thin but sticky!
- Serve with rice and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Ingredients You’ll Need For This Sweet and Sour Chickpeas Recipe
1. Sesame Oil (or any oil of your choice): The sesame oil serves as the cooking medium and imparts a rich, nutty flavor to the dish. It also helps sauté the vegetables and chickpeas, adding depth to the overall taste.
2. Garlic: Crushed garlic adds a strong, aromatic flavor to the dish. It’s a common ingredient in savory recipes and complements the other flavors in the dish.
3. Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the main protein source in this dish. They have a hearty and slightly nutty taste that pairs well with the sweet and sour flavors of the sauce. They also provide a nice texture contrast to the vegetables.
4. Mushrooms: Finely sliced mushrooms add an umami-rich element to the dish, enhancing its savory profile. They absorb flavors well and contribute to the overall depth of taste.
5. Broccoli: Chopped broccoli florets bring a fresh, crunchy texture to the dish. They also add a mild bitterness that can balance the sweetness of the sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
6. Bell Pepper: Sliced bell peppers provide vibrant color and a sweet, slightly tangy taste. They contribute to the overall sweetness and contribute to the visual appeal of the dish.
7. Salt & Pepper: These are essential seasonings that help enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients and the sauce.
8. Cooked White or Brown Rice: The rice serves as a base for the dish, soaking up the delicious sweet and sour sauce and providing a filling carbohydrate component.
9. Sesame Seeds: These add a nutty and slightly crunchy texture to the dish. They also enhance the presentation and complement the sesame oil used for cooking.
10. Fresh Coriander: Chopped fresh coriander (also known as cilantro) adds a burst of freshness to the dish. Its citrusy and herbal notes complement the sweet and sour flavors.
For The Sauce:
1. Maple Syrup: Acts as the primary sweetener in the sauce, providing a rich and natural sweetness that contrasts with the other flavors.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Rice Vinegar: These vinegars add tanginess and acidity to the sauce, creating the “sour” element in the sweet and sour profile.
3. Soy Sauce (or Tamari for gluten-free): Adds saltiness and depth of flavor, contributing to the umami taste of the sauce.
4. Water: Helps to thin out the sauce and balance the flavors, preventing it from becoming overly thick or concentrated.
5. Tomato Puree (or Paste): Adds depth of flavor, a mild tanginess, and a touch of color to the sauce.
6. Cornstarch: Acts as a thickening agent for the sauce, giving it a glossy appearance and helping it cling to the ingredients.
7. Room-Temperature Water: Mixed with cornstarch, this creates a slurry that prevents clumping when adding the cornstarch to the sauce.