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Black Bean Cakes With Spicy Cilantro Sauce


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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely-chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely-chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 2/3 cups cooked black beans
  • 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped fine
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs beaten lightly
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste


Servings 4


Step 1

Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. In a bowl, mash 1/3 of the beans with a fork and stir in the remaining beans, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the eggs.

Form bean mixture into 8 (4-inch) patties (mixture will be wet and soft). Gently dredge patties in cornmeal and transfer to a large plate lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cakes for 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet to reach 1/4-inch up the side. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, cook the patties, turning once, until well browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer the cakes to paper towels to drain.

Divide the cakes among plates and serve with the Spicy Cilantro Sauce.

Spicy Cilantro Sauce: Stir together cilantro, vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, and chile. Season with salt and pepper. (Makes about 1 cup)

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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