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Pan-Fried Bean Cakes

You can use just about any canned frozen or leftover beans for the dish. There's nothing new about refrying beans, but typical of the current approach to regional foods, these cakes are lightened with beaten egg white and served with fresh tomatoes.

slideshow Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked beans or black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, such parsely, basil and oregano
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Peel and finely chop the tomatoes and let them drain in a sieve set over a bowl. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash the beans with 1 tablespoon of the herbs, the egg yolk, onion, garlic and chili powder; leave a few beans whole for texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until it holds soft peaks, then fold it into the mashed beans. Using moistened hands, form the mixture into 8 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Coat the patties well with the bread crumbs.
  3. In a large heavy skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Fry 4 of the patties over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining oil and bean patties.
  4. In a small bowl, toss the chopped tomatoes with the remaining herbs and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the bean cakes topped with the chopped tomatoes.

Suggested Pairing

What's needed here is a straightforward refreshing dry white, such as a Mâcon from France. Look for Georges Duboeuf Fête des Fleurs or Les Charmes Mâcon-Lugny.

Contributed By Published August 1997

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