Black Bean Balls

Black beans are one of my current loves.

I can’t get enough of beans. Any kind of beans. I don’t discriminate. Kidney beans, cannellini beans, bortolotti beans, black beans, you name it – I love them all.

Recently I was trying to come up with a way to use up a packet of black beans when a recipe literally fell into my lap. I won’t go into the story because it’s kind of long and complicated and not overly interesting but it was one of those must-be-fate moments and you JUST KNOW.

So I read around, had a Google and collected inspiration for my next culinary creation – black bean balls.

I have to say, by the time I was done I was so freaking proud of myself. They were so delicious.

Somewhat similar to a black bean cake, I guess. If I’d shaped them that way I think it would be an awesome substitute for a meat patty on a burger.

Herein lies my recipe.

Side note: If you live in Australia like me, you might have trouble finding black beans in a can. I.e. pre-cooked. If any fellow Australians are aware of somewhere that sells black beans in a can, (preferably in Sydney) PLEASE LET ME KNOW! A can of black beans is going to save the painstaking task of having to cook raw black beans.

How to Cook Black Beans

If you are cooking raw beans, my advice is to soak your beans for 24 hours. Cover them so there’s at least an inch of water sitting above the beans. You’ll need to keep checking back because they absorb the water and you want to keep your beans covered at all times.

After 24 hours, rinse off your black beans then place them in a large saucepan.

Cover with water and bring to the boil.

Then reduce the heat down to medium and cook.

And cook. And cook. And cook.

This part can take HOURS.

You remember I said painstaking? Totally meant PAINSTAKING.

You’ll know your black beans are cooked because a. they’ll be soft (dah) and b. their colour will have changed. Cooked black beans are a little browner/redier than raw uncooked black beans. At least, this was my experience.

It will probably take about two hours.


Black Bean Balls

1 cup of black beans (give or take – up to you. I think I used about 1 and 1/4)
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (you might need a bit less – gauge this as you go)
1 cob of corn – cut off the cob
1 egg
1 large tomato – diced (don’t cut out the seeds)
A handful of coriander (chopped up finely)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (parmesan, tasty, up to you)
A teaspoon of cumin
A teaspoon of mexican chilli powder
A teaspoon of garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Extra breadcrumbs – about 1/4 cup
Olive oil – about 2-4 tablespoons

Place your black beans into a large bowl.

Mash with a masher (I’m getting technical here).

Mash as much as you want – you might prefer your beans to be all mashed, or you might prefer some to stay whole (ish). I guess it depends on the final result you’re after.

Throw in your corn, cheese, tomato, coriander, spices and salt and pepper. Stir until combined.

Then pop in your egg and combine.

This is the part you get your hands dirty.

Roll the mixture into balls (again, you can make them as big or as small as you like).

Next make a paste using about 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Then roll each black bean ball in the mixture, making sure the entire ball is coated.

Place on a baking tray (with baking paper of course) and cook in a moderate oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a sauce of your choice (or don’t) – I used sweet chilli – and voila! You’re done!

Would I make again? Definitely (preferably when I’ve found canned black beans).