These crispy Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes make the perfect starter or appetizer, but they are nutritious and filling enough to make an entire meal. Serve with a fresh tomato and onion sauce for maximum deliciousness.
These adult- and kid-friendly Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes are a delicious memory of time Desi and I spent in Morelia, a quiet city nestled high in the hills of the Michoacan state of Mexico, and lined wall-to-wall with historic cathedrals and colleges.
This was more than a decade ago, but I remember the city's distinctive and even eclectic charm. A grand aqueduct that looks like a procession of arches marched around the outskirts. The streets buzzed with students, stores crammed with charming artefacts, and tourists looking to just relax or worship.
The food was just as interesting and diverse. There were traditional bakeries churning out vast quantities of cakes, candy shops selling traditionally made dolce, including a fruit-based sweet said to have originated here, modern coffee shops and cafes, and rather good restaurants where you could dine al fresco while street singers serenaded you.
When we travel, our days are a huge blur of running breathlessly from place to place. But in places like Morelia, there is little to do other than go with the tranquil flow. One of our favorite things to do was to relax at a restaurant across the street from the huge and beautiful cathedral in the city's center. We'd order a big cup of coffee, sit back and watch the world go by.
Vegetarian and even vegan food was not hard to find, with a few adjustments, and I even discovered a vegetarian restaurant where I ate a delicious burger with a potato and bean patty stuffed inside of it. That's the dish that inspired this recipe, which I first shared with you many years ago on this blog.
Instead of serving it in a bun (it would be delicious that way too), I serve it with a fresh, salsa-like sauce of tomatoes and shallots. It is so divine, you'll eat it by the spoonful.
Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us, and this would be a great recipe to snack on or serve as an appetizer. It is even very kid-friendly, as Jay would agree wholeheartedly.
If you made this recipe, be sure to stop by and let me know. Or take a photo and share it on Instagram with the tag @holycowvegan. Happy cooking!
More Vegan Mexican recipes
Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes
For the potato and bean cakes:
- 1 pound potatoes (boiled, then mashed)
- 15 ounces canned or cooked kidney beans (mash coarsely until the beans are broken down by not pasty. Lima beans or pinto beans would work just as well)
- 2 teaspoon garlic (crushed)
- 1 shallot (minced). Red onion works too.
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- 1 small jalapeno pepper (minced. Deseed for less heat)
- Salt to taste
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- ¼ cup cornmeal or masa harina
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 shallot or small red onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper (use more of less depending on your preference)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Make the cakes:
- Place all of the ingredients except the cornmeal and oil in a bowl and mix well with a fork or your clean hands.
- Pull off balls of the dough and shape into patties. I made patties that were about three inches in diameter and got nine of them. You can make yours smaller, if you wish.
- Place the cornmeal in a plate and dredge each patty in it, shaking off the excess flour. The patties are delicate at this stage, so keep patting them back into shape if they tend to lose their form.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet. You should have enough to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
- Place the patties in the hot skillet, at least an inch apart. Cook until the bottom is golden-brown, then flip over and cook the other side until golden-brown. Remove to a dish lined with paper towels.
Make the sauce:
- Place all the ingredients for the sauce except the oil into a blender and process into a coarse puree.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the tomato-onion sauce and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Check salt.
- Serve the cakes with the sauce on the side.