A plate of black bean & barley cakes with a poached egg and tomatoes and

Black bean & barley cakes with poached eggs

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 4

Take in two of your 5-a-day in these savoury pan-fried cakes, topped with a perfectly poached egg. This delicious brunch dish is quick to make and provides fibre, folate, vitamin C and iron

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal343
  • fat15g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs26g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre10g
  • protein20g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, drained well
  • 15g porridge oats
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 5 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 2 spring onions, the white part finely chopped, the green thinly sliced
  • 400g can barley, drained


    There are two types of barley available- pot barley and pearl barley. Pot barley is the more…

  • 2-3 tsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 200g pack cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds


  1. Tip the beans, oats, ground coriander, cumin seeds, thyme and vegetable bouillon powder into a bowl and blitz together with a hand blender to make a rough paste. Stir in 1 egg with the whites of the spring onion and barley. If you're following our Healthy Diet Plan, separate half the mix for another morning and chill.

  2. Heat half the oil in your largest frying pan and fry the other half of the mixture in two big spoonfuls, gently pressed to make flat cakes. After 7 mins, carefully turn over to cook the other side for 4-5 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, poach two eggs in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 mins, and gently fry half of the tomatoes on the vine in a little oil for a few mins to brown slightly. Slide the cakes onto plates and top with the tomatoes, eggs, a scattering of the spring onion greens and half the sun ower seeds. On another morning, repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining ingredients.

  4. If you're not following the Healthy Diet Plan and you're serving four, follow steps 2 and 3 with all the ingredients instead of only half.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Raheem D
28th Jan, 2019
I thought it was nice! I do think it could do with some dressing of some kind because it was a little dry. And remember to season the cake with salt and pepper before you put the egg on it.
26th Jan, 2019
Simply horrible – I ditched the leftovers. The only good things were the poached eggs and the tomatoes. Moreover, it was quite time-consuming to actually make the cakes: A really dreary Sunday breakfast it was.
Emilie Maddison's picture
Emilie Maddison
16th Jan, 2019
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (subbing chickpeas for the barley and oats), but it was very quick to make and well seasoned. I think I would prefer to eat this un-mushed, as whole seasoned beans, the texture was not to my liking.
13th Jan, 2019
Really good recipe. The cakes are very tasty. I'd make it again. The recipe had canned barley in the ingredients list, but we cooked ours as canned one wasn't available (takes about an hour to do that).
6th Jan, 2019
The two people who get through this amount must have HUGE appetites or have just run a marathon! And that was without using the barley (not available in Arequipa Peru in tins) Didn't turn out as cakes - mash or mush would be a truer description. Nice though. I feel very healthy just thinking of the ingredients!
7th Jan, 2019
Where can you get a CAN of barley? Just checked each of the 3 supermarkets listed and they all only offer packets of pearl barley.
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. You may need to go to a larger store to get canned barley. Tesco also sell Napolina barley in water online. Alternatively, Kristina23 (below) cooked dried pearl barley in advance and it worked well.
6th Jan, 2019
Can the mix for the cakes be frozen so it can be used the following week?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. We'd say ideally not for consistency but you can if that helps you to manage leftovers better. Give it a really good stir once defrosted, before cooking.
4th Jan, 2019
Googled Canned barley. Tescos do it. But probably only in larger stores so thats useful.
3rd Jan, 2019
What can be used instead of barley to make these gluten free?
Noor Sheba
18th Jan, 2019
I’ve used cooked buckwheat grits. Worked well for me.
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question - we haven't tested any alternatives but we think cooked brown short grain rice would make a great swap.
Alix Evans's picture
Alix Evans
3rd Jan, 2019
I've never come across canned barley. Can you tell me who sells it?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. We used Napolina (who also do chopped tomatoes) - it's available from larger Tescos.


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