This veggie burger is the bomb. That’s all you need to know.
Really- it isn’t the easiest thing to make. You do need a food processor. BUT this is the veggie burger to rule all veggie burgers. It is the most meaty, savory, filling alternative I have ever encountered in my 18 years as a vegetarian.
It is absolutely incredible, fairly low in fat, obviously low in cholesterol, but not your average brown rice-health-nut-veggie option. I use cheese in this, I use lots of seasonings, and I use white rice. Yes, I am a vegetarian, but as a Southerner and a Sicilian I refuse to eat anything I don’t think is delicious just because dietary fads tell me to.
Brown rice tastes like cardboard- kinda like brown breads and…tree bark. Lots of brown things are not yummy (with the exception of Coca-Cola)…. but I digress. I used white rice because it’s soft and buttery, and I want my burger to taste soft and buttery, not tough and cardboard-y.
I used porcini mushrooms along with the crimini because porcini have this amazingly indescribable flavor that is strong and brings tons of meatiness to the burger. (I would say umami, but let’s face it, who really knows what that means?) That being said, if you don’t like porcini, or find them too expensive (they’re not cheap), feel free to use a different type of mushroom.
As always, I use Duke’s mayonnaise and veggie friendly Worcestershire sauce. I am not sure that this recipe would be easy to adapt for vegans, but if anybody has any suggestions for how to replace the eggs and cheese, I’m all ears!
(Makes: about 8 burgers)
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (4 ounces, rehydrated)
4 ounces crimini mushrooms
7 ounces extra firm tofu
8 ounces frozen or fresh edamame
kosher salt, pepper
¾ cup almonds
⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup queso fresco
2 tablespoons mayo
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon hot paprika
¼ cup uncooked white rice (½ cup cooked)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
First, prepare two baking sheets. Cover them with tin foil, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Begin rehydrating the dried porcini in a bowl of hot water (let it sit for about 10 minutes).
Wash and slice the crimini mushrooms.
Drain the rehydrated porcini. (You can save the liquid and use it as a rich, meaty, vegetarian friendly stock or broth!) Add the crimini mushrooms to the porcini bowl and bathe them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet.
Drain and cut the tofu into slices. Pat the slices dry with a towel and place them on the baking sheet. Rub them in olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.
Microwave-cook the edamame, and then use the porcini bowl to lightly mix them with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Place the edamame on the second baking sheet along with any extra mushrooms that wouldn’t fit on the first one!
Bake the mushrooms, tofu, and edamame in the oven for 30 minutes. At this point, if you are using uncooked rice, you should cook the rice (¼ rice, ½ cup water).
While everything else is baking, pulverize the almonds in a large food processor.
Chop the queso fresco, and add that into a large bowl. Add the mayo. Chop the scallions and the garlic. Add them into the bowl with everything else. Add the paprika.
Finally, add in the cooked rice and Worcestershire. Stir everything together very well with a rubber spatula.
After the mushrooms, tofu, and edamame are done cooking, let them cool for at least ten minutes. You do not want them to cook the eggs!
Put the baked ingredients into your food processor with the eggs and blend it all together very well. You may need to stir everything a few times.
Add the rice mixture in and blend everything together. You may need to do this part in batches!
Add in the panko and mix that in.
Form the patties and wrap them. Freeze them for an hour or two before grilling.
They keep very well in the freezer, and make for a delicious and hearty vegetarian meal!
We use a grill pan, because I live in an apartment complex with a public grill. Public grills are no bueno for vegetarians, and a grill pan is a great alternative that still gives the burger nice grill marks. If you’re looking for a good deal, you can check out Comparaboo’s list of the best grill pans here (I’d recommend the Lodge cast iron, it’s what we use and it works like a charm).
Dress your burger like you would any meat burger, and enjoy!
I find that grilling the buns and melting the cheese onto the patty is the best!