Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Ever heard of the "bang bang craze"? I have been seeing it in my life a lot lately. The dish is called "bang bang" because of the tangy and spicy sauce that is smothered on the protein (usually shrimp). I had just made bang bang shrimp for my pescatarian client the other day when I looked down at my phone and saw that my friend sent me a recipe for "bang bang" cauliflower! I took this as a sign that I needed to try whatever this "bang bang" was.
To sum things up, it was amazing. I made the bang bang cauliflower and was pleasantly surprised at the crunchy and spicy kick I received with every bite.
I started to brainstorm other things I could transform into a "bang bang" dish. The tangy, spicy sauce pairs really well with fishy and neutral flavors, but what about smokey and meaty? I decided to work on fostering a relationship between black bean burgers and "bang bang" sauce.
This inspiration was sparked by the recovery of a lost bottle of liquid smoke in the back of my pantry. I was worried that this recipe would be a version of "a vegetarian trying to hard to make their plant-based food taste like real meat". However, the black beans are surprisingly enhanced in a way that doesn't replicate meat. All-in-all...this burger rocks.
2 Cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 Can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 Onion, small dice
2 Adobo chilis roughly chopped + 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce
1 Tbsp. Soy sauce 1
Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
1/4 Tsp. Liquid smoke
1 Egg (flax egg for vegan option)
1 Cup Panko
Bang Bang Sauce:
1/2c Mayo (Veganaise for vegan option)
1 Tsp. Honey (agave for vegan option)
1 Tsp. Chili sauce
1 Tsp. Sriracha
1 Tsp. Rice vinegar
Buns, for garnish
Bunch of Arugula, for garnish
Tomato, for garnish
Red onion, for garnish
Mix all burger ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined. Roll and shape 6 oz. balls into 1 inch thick patties. Keep in the fridge until the grill is ready. Feel free to use a cast iron or nonstick skillet if you don't have a grill. For the sauce, add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Rub the grill with canola oil and grill patties for 5 minutes on each side. Toast the buns on the grill as well (optional). Stack your burger with the bun, patty, garnish, and bang bang sauce. Enjoy!