It has been a long term mission of ours to make the perfect tofu burger. It had to taste great, look the part and hold together whether you shallow fry, grill or barbecue. There have been disasters along the way. More than one burger has ended up looking more like tofu scramble than burger, delicious but patched together with ketchup or vegan mayo and hidden in a pitta. They key is to use the right amount of flax seeds and porridge oats to bind it and enough spices to impart a good flavour. These burgers, we believe, do exactly that. They look like your traditional burger, the kids love them and THEY STAY TOGETHER. Finally our mission is complete.
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 cups mushrooms
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ cup oats
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp onion gravy (Bisto onion gravy is vegan) or vegetable stock
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp celery salt
1 tsp English mustard powder
½ cup plain flour
1 tbsp tamari
½ tsp black pepper
Dice the onions and garlic and finely chop the mushrooms. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan until soft, reduce the heat and add the mushrooms. Cover the pan and cook until the mushroom have wilted and released some liquid. Take off the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl.
Crumble the tofu into the bowl and add the oats, nutritional yeast, gravy powder or vegetable stock and flax seeds. Mix well to combine. In a separate bowl mix the spices together; celery salt, mustard powder, ground coriander and pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the tofu and stir in and then add the olive oil and tamari.
Put the mixture into a food processor and whizz until well combined, it should have the texture of a slightly dry, sticky cake mix.
Sprinkle some flour on a plate, take a golf ball sized amount of the burger mix in your hand and mould into a burger shape, it’ll be sticky so use the flour fairly liberally.
Do the same with the rest of the burger mix – you should be able to make about 8 decent-sized burgers. Heat up some vegetable or sunflower oil in a frying pan and shallow fry on a medium heat until brown on both sides, turning half way through cooking. Drain on a kitchen towel and serve in a bun with salad and pickles.
Alternatively cook on the barbecue as these burgers WILL stay together.
[Picture credit: Kimberly Espinel, The Little Plantation]