Follow these simple steps and your stir-fries will shine
Witness the magic that happens when you mash chickpeas
They disappear. In a good way. Imagine what this stir-fry would be like if instead of a hearty sauce to coat crisp-cooked vegetables, you end up with a handful of errant beans bobbing in a watery pool at the bottom of the pan. No one wants that. Join me in this garbanzo shattering, starting with the stir-fry here and ending with endless ideas.
Mashed vs. roly-poly
Would you rather have texture in every bite or have to fight to get every bite on your fork? Let’s say you succeed and spear a whole chickpea or stabilize a couple in a spoon. You’re rewarded with a gritty bean that is only creamy when it’s cooked until it falls apart. I vote mash.
The tools of the mashing trade
Watch for sizzling
For this simple clean-out-the-fridge stir fry, start by browning beans in oil over medium-high until they’re lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes; for maximum effect, stir rarely.
Toss in vegetables
Add aromatics like ginger, garlic, or something from the onion family and give a couple stirs. Then add chopped or sliced veggies like the green beans and cabbage here, starting with the firmest and working up to the quickest-cooking.
Make things saucy
Deglaze the pan with liquid. Water, soy sauce, and lemon juice or rice vinegar are my default, but on this day I happened to have a homemade sauce of gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, and sesame seeds in the fridge.
Once you open the door, there are tons of possibilities
Stir mashed chickpeas into dressings, relishes, and sauces. For sandwiches and salads, bind them with some mayo and mustard and your favorite chicken salad stir-ins. Or do a multi-textured deconstructed hummus flatbread thing where you spread tahini on toasted pita, scatter on mashed chickpeas, add slices of tomato and red onion, and sprinkle with lots of salt. Roasted in a 405-degree oven, tossed with olive oil, they become a crisp topping you can sock away in the fridge for last-minute oomph to soups, salads, and stews. Do the same with melted butter and turbinado sugar and you’ve got a sweet bean topping for ice cream.