The biggest complaint about Black Bean Burgers seems to be that they tend to be mushy. You load up your bun with toppings, take a bite, and immediately the “burger” squirts out the sides.
So I went on yet another quest, this time to firm up the Black Bean Burger. The key was to remove some of the moisture from the beans by quickly heating them in the oven. 4 minutes at 350º F was just right. Any longer and they over-dried. Then I coarsely chopped half of them to expose the creamy insides to act as a binder, and left the other half whole for the heft. I added cornmeal to absorb excess moisture. Finally, the egg acted as a heavy-duty binder.
Note: The mixture for BLACK BEAN BURGERS freezes very well. If you like this recipe (try it first), next time double or triple it, then freeze in portion sizes for future use. Thaw, and fry as directed.
BLACK BEAN BURGERS – makes 2 patties
- 1 15-oz can black beans
- 1/4 cup fine grind cornmeal (if you can’t find fine grind, use medium)
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 2 T fresh minced cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black ground pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
Drain and rinse beans. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake 4 minutes in preheated 350º F oven to remove some of the moisture. Moisture = mushy burgers. (Don’t overbake or the beans will be too dried out.) Immediately pour half (it doesn’t have to be exact) the beans into a mixing bowl and the other half onto a cutting board. Don’t leave them on the cookie sheet or they’ll continue to dry from the heated sheet. Coarsely chop the beans on the cutting board. Put the chopped beans in the bowl and add in remaining ingredients. Stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, preferably several hours.
When it’s time to cook, heat 1 tsp oil on medium/high in a nonstick skillet. Divide mixture into 2 1/2″ thick patties, pressing in on edges so they’re not raggedy. They’re kind of fragile so I find it’s best to place the formed patties on a plate, then nudge them onto the skillet. Cook about 4 minutes, until bottom is well browned. (Don’t lift up to check for browning until 4 minutes or they’ll crumble.)Flip burgers and add remaining 1 tsp oil to skillet. (I flip them onto another spatula then nudge them onto the skillet.) Cook about another 4 minutes, until well browned. Once both sides are well browned, the crust holds them together.