Subscribe Today

A meaty, greasy, tasty Frita (Cuban burger) goes Vegan. Será posible?

January 8, 2013 by Joan Nova in Beans/Legumes, Condiments, Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, Latin, Nuevo Latino, Rice/Risotto, Sandwiches, Sauce, So Good, Vegetables | 25 Comments

“Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein-based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.” That was the challenge. 

This post introduces the Creative Cooking Crew, a group of 24 fearless food bloggers who will put their kitchen chops to the test with a new culinary challenge every month. Members will post their creations on their individual blogs anytime during the month and this month, on January 30, I will present a round-up of all of them here on FOODalogue. Alternate months it will be hosted by Lazaro Cooks

January Challenge: Vegan

I’ve spent my whole adult life, most especially since I became a food blogger, living (more expressly: eating) a life of moderation, systematically cleaning up my act. I didn’t have much left in my repertoire that fell in the category of ‘rich, heavy, fatty and animal-based’.

And then I thought of “La Frita”, a Cuban burger, very popular in the Latin communities in South Florida.

Unlike Mickey D’s all beef patty, this one is beef and chorizo and topped with shoestring potatoes!

•                  •                    •

To veganize the burger and yet keep to the Cuban palate, I substituted rice and beans (black) for the meat. Each component was cooked separately and aggressively seasoned — including about a teaspoon of chorizo seasoning in the rice. I used avocado as a binder to hold the rice and beans together and to add a little fat. Once I formed the burger, I put it in the freezer to set for about 15 minutes before frying.

Doesn’t black rice resemble a burger?

While the condiment of choice for a Cuban burger is regular tomato ketchup, I decided to add a little bit more Cubanismo into it with a mango ketchup (mango, tomato, red pepper, onion, cider vinegar, dry seasonings, cilantro and red chili flakes.)When served, Fritas are always topped with raw onions, pickles and shoestring fries.

But … wouldn’t plantain shoestrings be más bueno?! :)

Sí, sí, yes!


This was so delicious!

(Though, truth be told, it didn’t hold together well once I picked it up and took a bite. A fork and knife were required.)

Please come back on January 30 when I will host the round-up of all the group’s creative dishes. Round-ups are a feast for the eyes and often a head scratcher … how did he/she think of that? :)



NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


RSS Feed Facebook

  1. Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me! says:

    Great post and a wonderful idea. Stayed Cuban all the way with the beans and rice and I just want that mug.

  2. So amazing your vegan burger Joan! Totally agree such patties need aggressively seasoned! I would love to eat it and I am sure I would not ask ‘where’s the beef?’
    Evelyne@cheapethniceatz recently posted..Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Topping for SRC and vegan CCCMy Profile

  3. Lori Lynn says:

    Looks positively delicious Joan. I would definitely order that one in a restaurant!
    I’m thinking of a sandwich makeover too…
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Taste With The Eyes FAVORITES of 2012My Profile

  4. Shannon says:

    oh wow, i want a big bite of this!! ok, ok, i’d probably gobble up the whole thing! fabulous :)
    Shannon recently posted..Best of 2012My Profile

  5. Lazaro says:

    Fantastic concept and execution. I adore La Frita, been eating and cooking it all my life, this would be a welcome diversion.

    Great job.

  6. A great re-creation Joan! Love it!
    Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Pork Souvlaki with a Pineapple and Cucumber SalsaMy Profile

  7. Denise says:

    That black bean vegan burger looks awesome! Good job Joan.

  8. Your vegan burger creation looks delicious. Love the Ceative Cooking Crew idea! Can’t wait to see the creative process in action.

  9. Erica says:

    I love this dish,Joan! My vegetarian husband is going o love it! Great idea!I love the mango sauce!
    Erica recently posted..Estofado de Pollo con Tocineta (Chicken Stew with Bacon)My Profile

  10. I’ve made bean burgers before that fell apart as well, but these look delicious nevertheless! I like the term “aggressive seasoning…” ;) Looking forward to the roundup. Now that my vegetarian son is home (husband is vegetarian as well), I am clearly in the minority and need to get my act together even more than usual!
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Parmesan and Warm Cider VinaigretteMy Profile

  11. Love this. It looks more than meaty, greasy, flavorful, spicy, addicting.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Roasted Turnips, a Lower Carb, Lower Calorie Alternative to the PotatoMy Profile

  12. bellini says:

    This is putting your thinking cap on Joan.

  13. You did a fantastic job Joan and what a challenge! How clever to use the plantain for the shoe string potatoes too. Looks just as appealing as its authentic gooey, greasy, delicious cousin.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Split Pea Soup Flavored with Ham and Rosemary + secrets to making a great soupMy Profile

  14. Very unique and intriguing and I love the look! I want to have a big bite on these burger! ;) Happy New Year Joan!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Chicken Katsu Bento チキンカツ弁当My Profile

  15. sippitysup says:

    This has that certain umami thing that made me salivate just now. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Learning to Love Wine- An IntroductionMy Profile

  16. Brilliant Joan. I constantly search for good vegetarian ideas for my daughter. I usually reach for beans or pulses. It’s good to include her in meals i.e. she eats nearly the same as the rest of us, however sometimes it’s difficult especially with the bought vege-burgers (not healthy due to too much added salt etc).
    Sally – My Custard Pie recently posted..French oysters; a quick guide to choosing, shucking and eatingMy Profile

  17. Faith says:

    I love your remake of this burger, Joan! Every component was so well thought-out…even the plantain shoestring fries!

  18. Very creative, not to mention delicious! And the mango ketchup…simply inspired!

  19. Marisa says:

    I never thought vegan dishes could be so delicious until this challenge! I want to take a big bite of this burger. Great job, Joan!

  20. Victoria says:

    Even if it didn’t hold together well, I’d still love to try it. Looks fantastic :)
    Victoria recently posted..Pineapple Upside-Down CakeMy Profile

  21. deana sidney says:

    agressive seasoning… I love the idea of lots of spice. Great burger ingredients with the beans… a knife and fork would not be much of a burden for flavors like these!
    deana sidney recently posted..Jacqueline Kennedy’s Dinner at Mount Vernon and Chicken ChasseurMy Profile

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

show trackbacks
  1. […] Kelly of Pink Apron. Baja Style Tofu Tacos with Beet/Carrot Slaw + Avocado Mash from Debi. And, La Frita, my vegan Cuban […]

  2. […] My friend Joan from Foodalogue created a Vegan Frita with Black Beans & Rice. You should really get over to her blog and read about her January Challenge. […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

CommentLuv badge

Follow Me on Pinterest