Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vegan Burgers... That Don't Fall Apart!

Vegan Burger

There are two types of vegan burgers. The healthy beans/grains/seeds/vegetable kind and then there's the junkie solid patty kind. I prefer the latter.

Most vegans, regardless of burger preference, are always on the hunt for a burger recipe that doesn't fall apart and holds up to the grill or a pan. Some time ago I stopped buying store-bought burgers and buns (and bread) because of the cost, ingredients and taste. I've tried several burger recipes, but this one so far is the best (recipe for patties and buns follows). Here's a cross-section so you can see how compact the patty is -- almost like the commercial brands.

Vegan Burger

The recipe is not mine. I found it on this blog but it is credited to Bryanna Clark Grogan with, I assume, permission to repost (if I'm mistaken, please let me know) . So I am reposting with my own directions and commentary to (hopefully) make it easier to follow, with the credit to this blog and Bryanna Clark Grogan. It is a good base recipe and provides lots of room to customise to your tastes.

If you are going to make this, go ahead and double it and make 8 decent-sized patties. You can freeze them for later use. Also, it is a good idea to make these a day before you want to grill them. Because they need to cool completely before frying or grilling, it is a bit of a hassle to make the same day and then play the waiting game. If you are sensitive to sodium, cut the soy sauce in the cooking liquid. It really seems to permeate the outside of the patties.

Vegan Burger Patties

(Original recipe found here with credit to Bryanna Clark Grogan)

Dry Mix

2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup soy or chickpea flour (I used chickpea flour)
4 tbsp oatmeal / rolled oats
1 tsp dry marjoram
1 tsp onion powder

Wet Mix

2 tbsp soy sauce (I used Japanese soy sauce)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sesame seed oil (optional, I used dark toasted sesame oil)
cold water (enough to make 7/8 cup mixed with the soy sauce, sesame oil & ketchup)
1/2 cup dry TVP crumbles rehydrated in 1/3 cup boiling water and then cooled completely

Cooking Broth

1 cup hot water
3 tbsp soy sauce (cut back a bit if you are sensitive to sodium)
1/2 tbsp sesame seed oil (optional)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

  2. Mix the dry mix ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. Mix the wet mix ingredients in a separate bowl. Before you mix with the dry ingredients, make sure everything in your wet mix is cold or room temperature, especially the rehydrated TVP. If it is not cold or room temperature, then your final dough/mix will be stringy and unappealing.

  4. Mix the wet mix into the dry mix and knead for a few minutes until the mixture starts to firm up. The more you knead, the firmer it will get since you are developing the gluten. The firmer the dough is, the less likely it will fall apart during cooking.

  5. Form the dough into 4 equal sized patties and put them in an oiled baking dish that is big enough for them to remain one layer and high enough to accommodate the cooking liquid. If you have doubled the recipe, a little overlap is okay. I was able to fit 8 patties with a slight overlap in an extra larger glass lasagna pan.

  6. Mix the cooking liquid ingredients and pour over the patties in the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Take them out and flip the patties (be gentle because they are really delicate when half cooked), re-cover with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. The cooked patties out of the oven should feel a bit firm in the middle but kind of sludgey on the outside because of the cooking liquid. If they still feel a bit doughy and gummy in the middle, throw it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Even though they are firmer than when they were raw, they are still pretty delicate until they've gone through the cooling stage.

  7. Set the patties on a plate or pan and COOL COMPLETELY in the refrigerator until cold, preferably overnight. They will be super firm when they are cold.

  8. FINALLY, take your cold patties and fry them or oil them slightly and grill them.
Whew. That was a lot of steps, eh? Trust me, if you're into burger patties like Yves or Boca, this recipe is worth the trouble.

Oh right, I also promised you a bun recipe. The recipe I use for buns is my own combination of a bread recipe in this book and this bun recipe. I'll save my combo recipe for another day. For now, use the bun recipe and split the dough into 8 pieces for 8 buns.



Anonymous said...

I have not done burgers in months now. Those look great. I planned to do about 3 for the book but I am not a big burger person even in my omni days so that's why I was a little lazy to getting to them.Really great pictures

Sandra @ Pepperberry & Co. said...

Oh, YUM! I'm sooo hungry now :-)

shado said...

Oooh, look so good! Think it could be successfully turned into a meatloaf? I love my "neatloaf" recipe but it tends to fall apart really easily.

Does this still have that "ground meat" mouth feel?

I might make this soon! Thanks!

ms. veganorama said...

Thanks guys. This recipe is really good and has a great texture like a Yves burger patty.

shado, you could probably try it as a freeform loaf as long as there is enough liquid to surround it.

Anonymous said...

Well, after reading this I am quite certain that these burgers must be made and eaten in my kitchen this weekend. In fact, why wait? I'll be making these on Friday for dinner when I know I will have ample time to fuss over them and make them perfect!

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