This is my working recipe for a vegan black bean burger. While I’m not a huge “spicy” person, I love chipotle peppers because they bring the heat without the burn. And the canned chipotle peppers found at almost every grocery store come swimming in a delicious, sweet-smoky adobo sauce. In this recipe, both the peppers and the adobo sauce are utilized.
As I continue to develop recipes, it’s become clear that a food processor is basically mandatory. My favored method, particularly for vegan burgers where this is no egg to use as a binder, is to puree a portion of the beans with a bit of liquid (or, in this case, the onion, which has lots of water trapped inside it), and then coarsely mash up the remaining beans before folding the two together. This creates both glue and texture. If you don’t have a food processor, mince up the onion as finely as possible, and then vigorously mash it up with 1/2 cup of the black beans, creating an approximated puree. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.This is actually some good breakfast food, placed on toast or an English muffin, topped with fresh avacado or guacamole, some pico de gallo, a dusting of fresh cilantro, and then some scrambled tofu or (if you’re not vegan) a fried or poached egg. And a thick slice of Montery Jack cheese on top is nothing to scoff at either.
Vegan Chipotle Black-Bean Burgers
1-3/4 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, thoroughly rinsed), separated
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 T sauce
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off with a knife, or 1/2 c frozen corn
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 t dried, ground chipotle pepper
1/2 t salt
1 cup cooked brown rice
3 T rice flour, plus more for dredging (see note)
Combine 1/2 cup black beans and the onion in a food processor and pulse until coarsely pureed. Place remaining beans in a bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher or a fork. Add the bean-onion mixture to the mashed beans, and then fold in all the remaining ingredients. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Shape into 6 burgers approximately 3/4-inches thick. Dredge each burger in the rice flour on both sides (it’s a fairly loose mixture, so do this all very gently), and then cook in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a skillet until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.
Note: White rice flour is easily found—and cheap—at supermarkets, and sometimes you can find brown rice flour. But it’s very easy to make your own. Just grind up a few tablespoons at a time of your favorite rice in your spice grinder, and then sift it to remove the larger pieces.