Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Black Bean Cakes with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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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 and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

1 cup yellow cornmeal

Vegetable oil, for frying

Spicy Cilantro Sauce, recipe follows

Spicy Cilantro Sauce:

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/3 cup vegetable oil 

3 tablespoons soy sauce 

1 clove garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 

1/2 jalapeno chile, minced 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Divide the cakes among plates and serve with the sauce.

Spicy Cilantro Sauce:

  1. Stir together cilantro, vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, and chile. Season with salt and pepper. Yield: about 1 cup