Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Melon, Mandarin and Mint Salsa

aquafaba queen, dinner, featured, gluten free, lunch, side, snack, vegan

Who knew that chickpea on chickpea action could turn into such a deliciously hot and crunchy mess? If someone suggested that you combine aquafaba (the viscous liquid you get when you drain a can of chickpeas), with the chickpeas themselves, you probably wouldn’t anticipate that the result would be these Spicy Chickpea Cakes. They have the texture and appearance of a an egg-battered and deep-fried fritter but contain no egg and are pan-fried in coconut oil. Crunchy on the outside and creamy like a good potato croquette on the inside, they’re infused with red Thai chilis, ginger, and mint.

If that sounds like it might need a cooling and complementary sauce, then consider making the Melon, Mandarin, and Mint salsa to go with it. For the melon, I used Piel de Sapo, which has white flesh and a mildy sweet, almost sweet and salty flavour. I liked that combo but other melon would work well here too – anything from honeydew to watermelon. I just learned that the Piel de Sapo is also called Santa Claus melon or Christmas melon, so it would be a fun choice for a holiday meal.

I think you’ll be happy with the chickpea cakes and salsa combo, but if you want to amp it up a notch and aren’t vegan, go fully indulgent with the honeycomb and crème fraiche topping too.

These are vegan if made without the garnish and gluten-free if made with the chickpea flour option.

They would make a delicious lunch, dinner, or side. I hope you try them. I’d love your feedback.

For some background on aquafaba see my Buckwheat, Oatmeal, and Maple Syrup Muffin recipe.

Crunchy on the outside and creamy like a good potato croquette on the inside, these Chickpea Cakes pack a spicy punch.



Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Melon, Mandarin and Mint Salsa | Crème Fraiche and Honeycomb

Spicy Chickpea Cakes

Makes about eight 3 inch cakes 


  • 19 ounce can of chickpeas. Keep the liquid! (I used unsalted. If yours are salted, taste before salting below)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of chickpea water (this is called aquafaba)
  • 1/2 cup flour (wheat or chickpea flour)
  • 2 thai chili peppers, finely diced. Remove the seeds unless you want it really really hot.
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced (Chop up 4 tablespoons if you are making the salsa as you’ll need some for that recipe as well)
  • salt to taste
  • 2+ tablespoons coconut oil, for frying
  • crème fraiche, optional
  • honeycomb or honey, optional


Equipment note: Ideally you need a frying pan with a lid because this gets quite splatter-y.

  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid.
  2. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add in the chickpea liquid. Using a potato masher, mash until about half to two-thirds of the chickpeas are mashed.
  3. Mix in the minced chili and ginger and the mint.
  4. Stir in flour. The mixture will be quite soft and loose.
  5. Taste and add salt as necessary.
  6. In a large cast iron skillet or heavy frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, or enough to leave a 1/8 inch or so of coconut oil in the pan. Heat the oil until sizzling.
  7. Pour the batter, using about 1/3 rd of a cup for each cake. Don’t flatten them in the pan.
  8. Fry them for about 3 minutes on medium high heat.
  9. Turn them over with a slotted spoon or metal spatula.
  10. Fry for another 3 minutes.
  11. Ideas for serving:
    • pile salsa on top
    • top with a small piece of honeycomb or about 1/2 teaspoon of honey
    • add a dollop of crème fraiche

Melon, Mandarin, and Mint Salsa


  • 1 cup of melon, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of mandarin, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of  fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of mint, minced
  • salt


Combine all ingredients. Let sit for an hour or so if possible, to allow the flavours to mix.

Chickpea on chickpea action turns into a hot crunchy delicious mess.


Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Melon, Mandarin, and Mint Salsa

5 thoughts on “Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Melon, Mandarin and Mint Salsa”

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