Black Bean Burgers

On the reality cooking show, Chopped, the judges often take the contestants to task for calling their food something it obviously is not. The judges state that calling a food by a specific name invokes a specific expectation of what that food is going to be. When the food doesn’t live up to that expectation it is very disappointing.

I agree, so I think we should stop calling meatless bean, grain and vegetable patties, burgers. To most people the word burger invokes images of hamburgers. Something a meatless burger, no matter how good it is, is ever going to be. Lets give the meatless patty its own name that invokes images of the awesomeness that is beans, grains and veggies.

For years I have been trying to find the perfect meatless patty. I have tried dozens of patties made from beans, grains and vegetables and just about every combination of the three. Many of the recipes have some of the same general problems. The mixture tastes great but …..

The patty doesn’t stay together.
The mixture is horribly dry.

All of which totally kill the idea of a meatless patty for me. When I came across another recipe for another black bean burger I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised to get patties that stuck together and were actually moist. It was a good start but there were still a couple of problems to address. The patty needed some more flavor and some texture. The patties were very soft.

To improve the texture, I left some of the beans whole. I added chili powder and cumin to give it more flavor. I am also experimenting with other spice blends. As the other spice blends come together I will post them as notes to this recipe.

Black Bean Patties

15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or white beans, or a mix of the two)

1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs

1 large egg, beaten

2 tbs dried onion flakes

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbs canola oil

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

Place the black beans in a collendar, rinse well and drain. Place the black beans in a medium-sized bowl. With the back of a fork, partially mash the beans until they are able to be shaped into a patty. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and black pepper, and mix together well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (if you don’t have time you can skip this step but cold bean mixture holds together better then warm). Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use 1/4 of the bean mixture for each patty. Shape each portion into patties that are about 3/4-inch thick. Place the patties into the skillet, and cook on each side about 4 minutes, or until the patties becomes lightly browned and are firm.


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