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Dec 31, 2018

How to make falafel in Japan

There are certain foods that I really miss eating, and one of those is falafel. In Australia there are loads of Mediterranean restaurants that sell them, but here in Japan? Not so much. I recently stumbled across Falafel Brothers in Tokyo when I was last there, and thoroughly enjoyed my falafel fix - but that's a long way to travel from here in Niigata when I'm craving them.


I decided to try to make them at home and it was quite easy. All the ingredients were available at my local supermarket too, which made the whole process simple! If you'd like to make some too, here's what you're going to need.

How to make falafel in Japan photo

400 grams of canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

A handful of flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1⁄2 tsp of either harissa paste or chili powder

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp sunflower oil (for cooking)


One thing I found at my local supermarket is that the canned chickpeas only came in 100 gram cans. They were also pretty expensive - 150 yen a can! When I make this again I'm going to try and check on Amazon and see what my chickpea options are. Back home the usual can size is 400 grams and would cost under a dollar in most instances. 

How to make falafel in Japan photo

Teeny tiny 100 gram chickpea cans. Bonus points for adorableness. Points deducted for inconvenience and cost!


Drain those chickpeas, give them a rinse and pat them dry.

How to make falafel in Japan photo

Add all your ingredients to a food processor, and give that thing a whizz. We used our small hand-powered chopper and it took a while but allowed us greater control over the consistency. 

How to make falafel in Japan photo

This was part way through the chopping process. We still needed it to get a bit more "doughy" so that it would be easier to shape into patties.

How to make falafel in Japan photo

When the mix becomes pretty smooth, scoop the mix into the patty size you desire and start forming them. We decided to make smaller size patties so that we could pop them in wraps or salads, but you could even make them burger sized if you wanted to.

How to make falafel in Japan photo

Once you've made them into patties, heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a pan. Pop your falafel in and cook them for three minutes on either side. Of course, if you want a bit of added crunch feel free to cook them for longer - I think we would do that next time!

How to make falafel in Japan photo

After that, they're ready to serve however you wish!

How to make falafel in Japan photo

Next on our agenda is to make hummus from scratch to serve them with!  


The original recipe I used was from BBC Good Food and you can find the link here.

genkidesu

genkidesu

After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!


3 Comments

  • TonetoEdo

    on Jan 1

    Your falafel look delcious! I'm not a huge fan, but now you've inspired me to try my hand at humus. It and falafel are culinary wonders of the world, yes? I wonder if you can get 100 yen cans of hiyoko mame at Daiso shops that stock food, or at 100 yen Lawsons....

  • genkidesu

    on Jan 2

    @TonetoEdo ah, smart idea about checking the 100 yen stores! I was really happy with how they turned out, especially given that I'd never made them before. Super tasty, too - they were really good in wraps with some salad!

  • TonetoEdo

    on Jan 2

    @genkidesu I’m impressed you pan fried them. I thought they had to be deep fried. Maybe I’ll have a go on my day off.