Australia's Favorite Tuna Patties Feature A Protein-Packed Ingredient

Is there any limit to what canned tuna can do? When you think about it, it sure seems like the answer is no. This widely available, inexpensive pantry staple brings a hit of healthy protein (via Healthline) to such a wide variety of dishes, from classics such as tuna salad and tuna noodle casserole to more sophisticated fare such as Niçoise salad, seared ali tuna, and vitello tonnato, the elegant Italian dish that consists of thin slices of veal topped with a creamy tuna sauce, per Great Italian Chefs.

When you start with a can of good-quality tuna — a lot of chefs and home cooks prefer the kind packed in olive oil – you can pretty much add it to anything to create a delicious end result. And one dish that might get overlooked by some of us are tuna patties, also known as tuna cakes, which are basically simple fritters flavored with everything from minced onions to fresh herbs to Old Bay seasoning (via A Couple Cooks).

Popular among harried home cooks everywhere, the tuna cakes you'll find across Australia contain a special ingredient more closely associated with hummus.

That's right, it's chickpeas

If you like canned tuna, you'd probably love tuna patties, the crabcake-like fritters typically bound with eggs and breadcrumbs and flavored with a variety of aromatics, herbs, and seasonings. And if you also like chickpeas, you'll certainly love a common Australian take on tuna patties, which uses the ground legumes as the binder for the tuna mix.

As explained by The Spruce Eats, these flavorful Aussie tuna patties call for canned tuna and finely chopped veggies and fresh herbs — but they don't contain either egg or potato fillers in the mix, as many salmon and crab cake recipes would. Instead, the patties are bound with a can of chickpeas that has been drained and roughly puréed in the food processor with some olive oil. When mixed into the tuna, the chickpea purée helps hold it together and adds texture as well as a nutty component to the patties once they're fried. 

The Spruce Eats recommends serving the patties with a cooling yogurt and cucumber dip, while Taste suggests a green salad as the perfect accompaniment.