Vegan Black Bean Cakes with Roasted Salsa from Antigua

These easy vegan black bean cakes, topped with a flavour-packed roasted salsa and fresh coriander lime yogurt, are inspired by the cuisine of Antigua. They also work great as a protein-packed vegan burger patty!

Vegan Black Bean Cakes | Antigua Cuisine

Welcome to Antigua and Barburda, a Caribbean nation known for its turquoise waters, pink and white sandy beaches, vibrant reefs and idyllic climate. The question is- does the standard of Antigua cuisine match up to everything else the country has to offer? Let’s find out!

The Cuisine of Antigua & Barbuda

Caribbean cuisine is not something I have had much in my life. In fact, the only experience that I’ve had with it when I visited Cuba. Let’s just say that Cuba was memorable for many reasons, but its cuisine wasn’t one of them. I have come into this cooking challenge with an open mind, so I am determined to not let my only experience with very average food from this part of the world taint my opinion.

Like most Caribbean islands, many of the local Antiguan dishes have a West African influence. Interestingly, there is also an evident Spanish and British influence prevalent throughout Antigua’s cuisine.

In Antigua, seafood is the main staple of the diet, with conch being one of the most popular choices. You won’t find as many traditional vegetarian main dishes, but the island does produce a large range of tropical fruits and vegetables so there are enough options to get by.

Popular Antiguan Recipes

  • Fungie– “Antiguan polenta” is cornmeal cooked with okra and stirred to give the texture of mashed potato
  • Duncana– a type of steamed dumpling made from grated sweet potato, coconut, pumpkin and cinnamon, cooked in banana leaf
  • Chop Up- mash up of different vegetables like callalo, eggplant and okra
  • Macaroni Pie– Antigua’s version of mac and cheese which is served sliced and either hot or cold
  • Roti- brought over by Indian immigrants, this flatbread is generally stuffed with a variety of fillings (including vegetables) cooked in a curry sauce
  • Black Bean Cakes– served as a side dish with salsa and yogurt

Vegan Black Bean Cakes | Antigua Cuisine

Making Vegan Black Bean Cakes from Antigua

I believe honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to food. So I am just going to disclaim right now… Our first attempt at making black bean cakes did not go well. We loosely followed a recipe that called for the black beans to be pulverized with all the other ingredients, then dipped in cornmeal and fried. The result was black bean cakes that were pretty textureless and bland. 

The last thing I want to do is post dud recipes on my blog. But, I am also committed to cooking and posting a recipe from every country in the world. Hence, I decided to remake these Antiguan black bean cakes, using the same base ingredients but with a whole new method.

Round two for the vegan Black Bean Cakes

This time around I trusted my own cooking instincts when making the black bean cakes again.  Instead of putting raw onion and garlic into the cakes, we sauteed them up first to add more flavor. Instead of pulverising the black beans, I gently mashed them into the mixture to add more texture. And instead of frying in cornmeal, I added a bit of flour to the mixture to bind it together and baked them in the oven. 

The results? Exponentially better-tasting black bean cakes.

Vegan Black Bean Cakes | Antigua Cuisine

The lesson I learned from our kitchen mishap

  1. The way in which you cook things can make or break a dish
  2. It pays to trust your own cooking intuition and not always follow a recipe 
  3. Not immediately throwing in the towel when a dish doesn’t work the first time

No doubt we will encounter similar scenarios time and time again during this cooking journey around the world, but the ups and downs are all a part of the fun and what will hopefully make us better cooks by the end.

What you’ll need to make Vegan Black Bean Cakes

  • Fresh ingredients– White, onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime plus desired toppings- I’d recommend avocado, tomato, corn, red onion and coriander
  • Pantry items– 2 tin of black beans, flour (sub for gluten-free flour), ground cumin, coriander, chilli and flaxseed
  • Refrigerated items- Yogurt of choice

How to make Vegan Black Bean Cakes

1. Dry out black beans: Preheat oven to 190˚C (375˚F). Pat black beans dry with paper towel and put on lined baking tray. Put in oven for 10 minutes to dry out.

2. Make black bean mixture: Heat oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add minced garlic, jalapenos, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and sauté for another few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add flax egg, flour and three-quarters of the black beans to the bowl, reserving 1/2 cup to add in after. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together, using a fork to mash up the black beans. Once well-combined, stir through the remaining black beans.

3. Compile vegan patties: Shape about 1/3 cup of mixture with hands and put on baking tray. Repeat until all mixture is used. Cook for 20 minutes, turning patties over after 10 minutes.

4. Make the roasted salsa: Put sliced tomatoes, onion and jalapenos on lined baking tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for 15 minutes at 190˚C (375˚F) or until turning golden (you can cook these at the same time as the patties). Transfer to a blender, season with salt and pepper to taste, and blend until a thick salsa is formed.

5. Make coriander lime yogurt: Combine yogurt, lime juice, chopped coriander and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

6. Serve: Top vegan black bean cakes with roasted salsa and coriander lime yogurt. Serve with other toppings such as sliced avocado, diced tomato, red onion + corn.

Vegan Black Bean Cakes | Antigua Cuisine

Serving Suggestions for Black Bean Cakes

We topped our black bean cakes with roasted salsa and a lime coriander yogurt. We also had them in burger form, accompanied by sliced avocado, diced tomato, red onion, and corn. 

Vegan Black Bean Cakes | Antigua Cuisine

Vegan Black Bean Cakes with Roasted Salsa

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These easy vegan black bean cakes, topped with a flavour-packed roasted salsa and fresh coriander lime yogurt, are inspired by the cuisine of Antigua. They also work great as a protein-packed vegan burger patty!

Ingredients

Vegan Black Bean Cakes

  • 2 tins black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, mined
  • 3 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed + 2.5 tbsp water*
  • 1/2 cup flour

Roasted Salsa

  • 4 tomatoes, hlaved
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 jalapenos, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Coriander Lime Yogurt

  • 1 cup coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped

Instructions

Make vegan black bean cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 190˚C (375˚F). Pat black beans dry with paper towel and put on lined baking tray. Put in oven for 10 minutes to dry out.
  2. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add minced garlic, jalapenos, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and sauté for another few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add flax egg, flour and three-quarters of the black beans to the bowl, reserving 1/2 cup to add in after. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together, using a fork to mash up the black beans. Once well-combined, stir through the remaining black beans.
  4. Shape about 1/3 cup of mixture with hands and put on baking tray. Repeat until all mixture is used. Cook for 20 minutes, turning patties over after 10 minutes.

Make the salsa:

  1. Put sliced tomatoes, onion and jalapenos on lined baking tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for 15 minutes at 190˚C (375˚F) or until turning golden (you can cook these at the same time as the patties). Transfer to a blender, season with salt and pepper to taste, and blend until a thick salsa is formed.

Make coriander lime yogurt:

  1. Combine yogurt, lime juice, chopped coriander and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Serve:

  1. Top vegan black bean cakes with roasted salsa and coriander lime yogurt. Serve with other toppings such as sliced avocado, diced tomato, red onion + corn.

Notes

*Make flax egg by mixing together 1 tbsp flaxseed and 2.5 tbsp water in a bowl and leaving to sit for 5 minutes. If not vegan, sub for 2 normal eggs.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

Other Caribbean dishes to try:

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Vegan black bean cakes with salsa and coriander lime yogurt recipe from Antigua
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I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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