Black Bean Cakes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  8. 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and quickly rinsed
  9. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  10. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  11. Juice of 2 limes
  12. 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  13. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, as needed
  14. 1 cup teardrop tomatoes, halved
  15. Yogurt, for serving
  16. Chipotle Chile Oil, recipe follows, optional


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion is soft and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the black beans well with the back of a fork. The bean mixture should be relatively smooth, with no whole beans remaining. Stir in the cooled onion mixture, 2 tablespoons cilantro, beaten egg, half of the lime juice, and hot sauce and mix well. Add the flour to the mixture, as needed, until the mixture binds.
  3. Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, use a 1/3-cup measure to make 8 patties and transfer the bean patties to the pan.
  4. Cook’s Note: the cakes will be delicate.
  5. Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Combine the tomatoes, the remaining lime juice, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and cilantro, to taste. Garnish the bean cakes with yogurt and tomato relish and serve immediately. Drizzle with Chipotle Chile Oil, if desired.