The Gluten Secret (and black bean burgers)


IMG_5029IMG_5028Before I bought Veganomicon, one of my favorite cookbooks, I knew nothing about vital wheat gluten.

Just the name excited me. This stuff really is magic. And the best part? I just pick up a bag at the store (any health food grocery) rather than make it from hand, which is extremely time consuming.

If you tried to make black bean burgers without vital wheat gluten, they would just fall apart. See? Magic.

Black Bean Burgers (from Veganomicon)

  • 1 can black beans, drained (or 2 C black beans from scratch)
  • 1 t chile powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 onion grated (big holes on the box grater)
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 C finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 C vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 C water
  1. Smash the beans in a bowl until you have mostly smashed beans and a few half beans (no whole beans). I just use a fork for this.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir with a fork, eventually kneading the mixture with your hands for about a minute until uniformly mixed.
  3. Form the dough into 6 patties, firmly pressing together to make the patties about 1 1/2 inches thick.
  4. Heat about 2 t olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook 3 patties at a time, pressing firmly on the patty with a spatula periodically as it cooks. Spray the tops with olive oil and flip over after about 5 minutes. Cook 5 minutes more on the other side, also pressing.
  5. Serve with buns and any condiments or toppings you like.

8 Responses to “The Gluten Secret (and black bean burgers)”

  1. Oo! Oo! Oo! I can’t wait to try this! I *love* black bean burgers, but couldn’t figure out how to make them…I even have vital wheat gluten in my freezer (for making bread). This is awesome! Thanks so much!

    • 2 Mariko

      I’ve never used it for baking bread before– You’ll have to tell me how you do that.

  2. 3 Claire

    Oh, yeah, gluten flour is good stuff. I could never get my burger and veggie meatball thingies to hold together until I discovered the secret, which was courtesy of the Chickpea Cutlet recipe in Veganomicon.

    • 4 Mariko

      I haven’t tried that one yet! I definitely will put that next on my list.

  3. 5 Kevin

    This is the first that I have heard of vital wheat gluten. I like the sound of black bean burgers!

  4. Awesome recipe! Just what I was looking for. I was trying to find a way to make black bean burger hold together better and have a more firm consistency. I’m off to make some.

  5. I made them and they turned out great. My husband liked them, one picky child didn’t, and two were happy to pile on the burger fixings.

    They’re still a bit ‘mushy’ for me, I’m thinking I’ll increase the gluten and decreasing the black beans to get a firmer texture. We’ll see.

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