Kung Pao Chickpeas
In this dish inspired by Chinese takeout, chickpeas are cooked in a flavorful sauce that will rival your favorite restaurant. I developed this recipe to use ingredients I always have in my pantry, including canned chickpeas, to make it an easy one to throw together on a busy weeknight. Be sure to use a syrupy balsamic vinegar for the best flavor. And for a meal that’s lower in carbs, replace the rice with Easy Cauliflower “Rice” .
Prep: 10 minutes
Pressurize: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total: 36 minutes
½ red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups cooked chickpeas, or two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (about 1-inch knob)
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⅓ cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 cup long-grain white rice, like jasmine or basmati, rinsed
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup chopped green onions, tender white and green parts only
Sesame seeds, for garnish
1 Combine the onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, ¾ teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, and ⅓ cup of the water in the Instant Pot and stir well.
2 Arrange a 2.5-inch trivet over the chickpeas and place a 7-inch oven-safe bowl on top. Add the rice and 1 cup of the water to the bowl. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing . Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
3 When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid and use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the bowl out of the pot. Fluff the rice with a fork.
4 In a separate small bowl, stir together the arrowroot with the remaining 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the hot chickpeas. The sauce should thicken and become glossy within 1 to 2 minutes.
5 Stir in the sesame oil and green onions. Serve the chickpeas and sauce over the rice garnished with the sesame seeds. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE Use tamari instead of soy sauce.