Cookbook Snapshot: Recipes from Cinnamon Snail Food Truck

Fans of Cinnamon Snail, rejoice! While the beloved NYC-based food truck recently called it (mostly) quits, chef/owner Adam Sobel has served up a new cookbook, so you can re-create truck favorites at home. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got our eye on the New England–Style Chickpea “Crab” Cakes with Lemon Dijon Tartar Sauce, excerpted here.
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Fans of Cinnamon Snail, rejoice! While the beloved NYC-based food truck recently called it (mostly) quits, chef/owner Adam Sobel has served up a new cookbook, Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, so you can re-create truck favorites such as Fresh Fig Pancakes and Gochujang Burger Deluxe at home. Among the 150 recipes are hearty sandwiches, decadent doughnuts, and veganized breakfast classics for a crowd. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got our eye on the New England–Style Chickpea “Crab” Cakes with Lemon Dijon Tartar Sauce, excerpted below.

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New England-Style Chickpea “Crab” Cakes With Lemon Dijon Tartar Sauce
Serves 5

These cakes don’t taste like ground-up adorable sea creatures, and that’s one of the many reasons why I love them a lot. Japanese bread crumbs (panko) give them a crispy golden exterior, and they get their summer vacation happiness (and a gentle seaside flavor without the fish) from nourishing sea vegetables, fresh parsley, and plenty of lemon zest.

For the tartar sauce
2 Tbs. coconut oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small sour pickle, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs. mirin
1 Tbs. umeboshi plum vinegar
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. agave nectar
4 oz. soft tofu
1 minced scallion, green and white parts, plus more for garnish
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest

For the cakes
1/4 tsp. dried hijiki
2 Tbs. dried wakame
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1½ cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbs. white miso paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1¼ cups coarsely chopped frisée, mustard greens, or arugula, for serving

1. Make the tartar sauce: Melt the coconut oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, pickle, thyme, and oregano in the hot oil for about 3 minutes, until the garlic turns golden. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, mirin, plum vinegar, mustard, and agave nectar.

2. Scrape the contents of the pan into a blender. Crumble the tofu into the blender and blend at high speed for 40 seconds, until a mostly smooth puree is formed. Pulse in the scallion and lemon zest until just combined. Chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days in an airtight container.

3. Make the cakes: Place the hijiki and wakame in a small bowl and pour 2 cups hot water over them. Allow the sea vegetables to rehydrate for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the shallots, garlic, and celery for 4 to 5 minutes, until the shallots start to soften. Drain and rinse the sea vegetables and add them to the sauté pan. Transfer the contents of the pan, along with the chickpeas, miso, parsley, dill, lemon zest, pepper, and flour, to a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, to evenly distribute all ingredients, but leaving the mixture chunky. Divide the contents of the food processor into 20 round silver-dollar-size fritters, about ½ inch thick, smoothing the outside with wet hands.

5. Fry the cakes: Heat the canola oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and mustard, which will cause the milk to curdle and thicken; place the bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip each chickpea cake in the curdled soy milk, then in the bread crumbs, and then slip each cake into the hot oil. Working in batches, fry the cakes for about 2 minutes on each side, until each is heated through and has an even golden crust. Drain the fried cakes on a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve immediately, or reheat anytime within 24 hours.

6. On each plate, place ¼ cup mixed greens, 4 hot chickpea cakes, and a ramekin with 3 or 4 tablespoons of the tartar sauce. Garnish with lemon zest, scallions, and parsley.

Reprinted with permission from Street Vegan © 2015 by Adam Sobel. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.