I just celebrated a birthday and as I get older I realize how the food I eat affects how I feel. As much as I love cheeseburgers and fries, I know I cannot have them everyday. I have two sisters who are vegetarians and one who’s trying to limit the meat in her diet. So you can imagine the pressure I get from them when I blog mostly about non-vegetarian dishes. My sister, Mary, was bragging about a black bean burger with chipotle mayo she had recently. She went on and on about how amazing it was and I was up for the challenge to find a comparable recipe.
In order to make a good black bean burger, I knew the technique would be important. I wanted to get as close to the texture of meat as possible. It’s common for many black bean burger attempts to be mushy. I turned to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the author of one of my favorite cookbooks, (affiliate link) The Food Lab. This guy knows the science behind food and how to make it work in almost every dish. It turns out, I was doing a lot of things wrong in the kitchen. Looking through his book, I found his black bean burger recipe and knew it would be delicious before I even read it.
I have never worked so hard for a burger before, but it was worth it. I followed this recipe to a tee because I knew there was a reason for everything. You did not just simply warm the back beans on the stove top. The recipe called for roasting the beans for about 20 minutes until they started to get crunchy. There were specific instructions on how long to process the cashews and beans in the food processor. Thank goodness for Brian celebrating his 5th work anniversary last year because he was able to pick out a gift, and he picked the cutest miniature food processor. I have to admit, we had no clue how small this thing would be and when I took it out the box we were surprised. It is a perfect size for our New York City apartment.
I have never worked so hard for a black bean burger.
Once I had the patties formed, I used my cast iron pan to create the perfect sear on both sides. The cook time was about 3-5 minutes for each side and this made up for the 40 minutes of prep work. I paired the burger with cheddar jack cheese and of course J. Kenji’s chipotle mayo. I didn’t add the sour cream because every time we get sour cream more than half it goes bad. The chipotle mayo was still amazing! This is one of the things Mary couldn’t stop talking about. I could bottle this mayo up and use it on everything.
While making this recipe the second time, I took an entire Snapchat story and sent it to my sisters. Mary is still in disbelief that it was as good as the one she had, but I think it was reverse psychology to get me to make it for her. Well, played. Mama pretty much said, “Girl, please. I don’t own a food processor and I don’t got time for this,” which is fair. Mackie doesn’t have Snapchat, so the verdict is still out on her thoughts.
In order to make them believers I will have to make it for them. Brian was obsessed and would eat this burger everyday. After all, we did eat it for four days straight. For these photos we used a standard roll. But in the second time we made these, I used a potato bun. The secret to a good burger is the bun. Always go with a fresh potato bun. Overall, I thought this was success and I will definitely be making these again. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!