Dirty edamame (fresh chickpeas)

If I had a bar this would be my go-to bar snack

Fresh garbanzo beans (or chickpeas, to those of us that call them chickpeas) are a thing of beauty – or as beautiful as a raw pea/bean/legume can be. If you find fresh chickpeas, buy them. They’re delicious and so simple to prepare. If you can’t find fresh chickpeas, stop here, this recipe is not for you.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Fresh chickpeas
  • A neutral tasting oil with a relatively high smoke-temp, you will have to heat it to about 180c. I used canola but sunflower or veg oil will do just as well.
  • Maldon’s or fleur de sel – I used fleur de sel.
  • Black pepper – freshly ground is always best. Grind it quite finely, there’s nothing fun about trying to chew through a peppercorn.
  • Dried chilli flakes – not at allessential but nice to change things up a bit.

Things you’ll need

  • A good, heavy based pan/pot for deep frying
  • A thermometer – not essential but handy if you have one

How to do it

  • Always wash your veggies, except sometimes don’t. I know it’s the right thing to do but  chickpeas splatter when they’re put into oil and I wanted to avoid exacerbating the splatter situation by adding extra water. I figured (or at least, I hoped) that dropping them into boiling oil would do the job.
  • Heat your oil to 180c – the amount of oil you need depends on the size of your pot. You want the chickpeas to float so the oil should be a few cm deep.
  • Heap a large slotted spoon with chickpeas and gently lower them into the hot oil. Stand back, the splatter is instant!
  • They only need about two minutes in the oil. Fish them out with your slotted spoon and spread them onto some kitchen paper to drain.
  • Habit of deliciousness – always salt anything that’s been in the fryer the very second itcomes out.
  • So, salt liberally then add your pepper and/or chilli flakes. You’ll probably need to do a few batches, you don’t want to crowd the pan. That gives you time to have a play with different seasonings.
  • Serve warm.
  • They’re a bit like a dirty edamame bar snack. You won’t have that virtuous, full-of healthy-goodness feeling you get when you eat steamed edamame but what you do have is, oh so much better.
  • Peel using teeth and fingers for a tongue-full of delicious seasoning.
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