Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

Our next question:

Why, Phil. I'm glad you asked.

Last night, I had black bean burgers for dinner:
(This is how CMU students cook and eat, at the same time as they do homework and play video games...)

I made the black bean burgers from Veganomicon (Go Isa! Go Terry! That book is a wealth of tasty...). To start, I needed some cooked black beans. But when I started cooking last night, it was already 6pm, I had no canned black beans, and the grocery store is a mile and a half away and it's uphill both ways and it's freezing; ie, I wasn't going. Not a problem, it takes less than two hours to make cooked beans from dry. 

Step One: Turn the oven on to 325 F.

Step Two: Dump a pound (or more...) in a pot that has a lid. Add about 2-3 teaspoons of salt for every pound. Add any other sort of flavorings you want (I add half a stick of kombu whenever I make beans). Put in a lot of water. I try to have the height of the water be double the height of the beans.

Step Three: Stick it in the oven, leave it there for 75-120 minutes. Start checking at the 75 mark. I usually need about 90 minutes, but some beans need more (like if they're old or really big like chickpeas).

In the meantime, I don't have a grater, so I diced up my onions and garlic for the burgers. I went a little overboard with the onions, by about half...  It makes the burgers tastier, but it's also harder to form them.

When the beans came out, I mashed them up. I'm lazy and there were some whole beans left, but the blades on my pastry blender aren't close enough to get them. A potato masher or something would probably be better, but a pastry blender's what I have.

Added the tasties to the beans: vital wheat gluten, bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, ketchup... Didn't mix it yet.

Next, the onions and garlic.

Mix it up! This is before I got in with my hands. 

Make patties. I had too much onion, so I had to add more gluten by the teaspoon, though only a little bit more, to make them hold together well. Don't be like me, mash up your blackbeans and don't use the whole onion when it says 1/2... Or double the recipe. These are about the size of a burger bun with no hangover. 

Fry them in a pan with some oil, a couple of minutes on each side, until the sides turn blackish and crunchyish. Press down a bit on them with a spatula while they're cooking to make sure the sides are flat, but don't press down so hard that they split in half (I did that for one...).

If you want to, heat up the buns a bit. If you don't want to, don't. 

Behold, the tasty yet poorly-lit black bean burger. 


  1. I love the way you eat! Also that pot, I would have killed to have one when I was at uni. Or now. I have cookware envy.

  2. I miss all your exotic aromas in our kitchen! Maybe at Christmas ...Ugh - I don't miss all that mess though...

  3. Wow, whoever (whomever? I don't know) is your roommate is lucky!

  4. I like your idea for cooking beans in the oven! I must try that... I have bad luck with dried beans... mine seem to take hours and hours and hours (even if I just purchased them). I don't know what I've been doing wrong all these years. The oven idea intrigues me, thanks so much!