As a long-time vegetarian I have explored the many meat alternatives available in grocery store aisles. I like a good number of them for their flavor, but always have some concern about the contents of what I am eating. For instance, the fake soy bacon I consume many mornings is not something I would consider legitimate food. The main ingredient is egg whites followed closely by soybean oil with TBHQ and textured soybean protein concentrate. Tasty? Sure! Wholesome? Mmmm.. not so much. To this end, I’ve been looking for a good, homemade burger recipe so that I can have more control over the ingredients and processing.
I have a NYT veggie burger recipe already posted on the site (here). It is a delicious burger, but it’s incredibly time consuming to make, and it requires a blender and a bunch of dishes, meaning more clean up. I have finally found a recipe that is still delicious and filled with protein, but it only takes an hour or so to make! It also requires far fewer ingredients- another bonus in my book, as many vegetarian recipes out there involve strange and esoteric ingredients or assume you’ve got things like coconut sugar lying around the house. I took all of that out and used only things an average kitchen will have or things that can be bought at a neighborhood supermarket. In fact, my husband and I made these for the 4th of July and discovered the only ingredient we didn’t already have in our pantry was canned black beans. Easy to shop for. Easy to make. Easy to clean up. Definitely easy to eat!
I’ve broken the process down into ten steps to make the assembly even simpler. The most time-consuming part of the entire process is cooking rice. Not so bad, right?
10-Step Black Bean Burgers
makes 4, large patties
1 cup brown rice
6-12 cups water
1 15oz can black beans (roughly 1 1/2 cups, we used a can of Bush’s)
3/4 cup diced white onion
avocado or canola oil
1 1/3 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon each: paprika, cumin, bold taco seasoning (we used Penzey’s, but you could sub chili powder here)
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon honey
3-4 tablespoons BBQ sauce
Step 1: Rinse the rice and combine it in a small pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Keep boiling for 30 minutes, adding additional water and stirring as needed. The rice should be “swimming” for all 30 minutes. Take off heat and cover to steam for 10 more minutes. Finally, drain off excess water. [Note: this will make more cooked rice than you need for the burgers.]
Step 2: Rinse the black beans well and mash them thoroughly with a slotted spoon in a large bowl.
Step 3: Dice white onion (1/2 a large onion or roughly 3 baby onions). Pan fry 3/4 cup with 1/2 tablespoon of avocado or canola oil for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 4: In a small bowl, mix the panko with the spices.
Step 5: Add 1 cup of the rice to the beans and mix together. Then stir in the onions and panko mixture.
Step 6: Add in the honey and BBQ sauce. Check the texture. You want a moist, but thick mixture. You can adjust the texture by adding more BBQ sauce or panko accordingly.
Step 7: Form patties using a hamburger press or by hand with plastic wrap. We were able to make 4 patties that were about 5 ounces each.
Step 8: Brush a grill or skillet with oil. Cook patties for 3-4 minutes per side, covered if on the grill. Pack the patty with a spatula on the grill for better grill marks. For a crispier crust, leave on a bit longer (will result in less discernible grill marks).
Step 9: Dress burger with bun and preferred toppings.
Step 10: Enjoy! 🙂 [Yes, that is the 10th step!]