__From the archives. This is terrific freshy made and hot, but is even better cold, so it's great for bentos. Originally published in November 2007.__
Over the past couple of years as I've pursued largely vegetarian
eating, I've gradually accumulated a small arsenal of small, round bean patties or balls, which are great as snacks, for bento boxes, and just for dinner, in my regular rotation. This one was inspired by one of the first beany-round thing I made, the samosa-like lentil snacks
from The Hungry Tiger
, and a Japanese vegan cooking book called _Saisai Gohan_
(Vegetable Meals) by Yumiko Kano. (Yumiko Kano is currently my favorite cookbook author in any language, and I'll talk more about her down the line.) I've adjusted a few things to make them gluten-free.
These have the earthy, deep flavor of the black beans that is enhanced by the spices and the sauce, and they are delicious hot or at room temperature. Even diehard carnivores like them. They're really perfect for bento lunches, and I've used it in the all-vegan Bento no. 5 on Just Bento
. I also used them as a pita-sandwich filling in Bento no. 6
I have described two methods of cooking these: in the oven, which is good for making them in quantity, and in a frying pan, which is perfect for making a few at a time.