This basic recipe, a mix of pulses, grains, vegetables, and flavor makers, follows the simple structure just outlined. Adjust the amounts of each ingredient group to create a sticky mixture that holds together well. Add more starchy ingredients, such as grains and beans, for a firmer hold, and adjust the amount of flavor makers after tasting. Select your combination of ingredients from the suggestions, or use a variety of similar ingredients to create your own burger.
- Yield: 4 Burgers
- 10½ ounces (300 g) roughly chopped sautéed mushrooms, eggplant, onions, or beets, plus more as needed
- 10.33 cups (298 g) drained and rinsed canned beans or lentils, mashed with a fork, plus more as needed
- 0.33 cup (2½ ounces, or 70 g) cooked brown rice, bulgur, or freekeh, plus more as needed
- ¼ cup (40 g) rolled oats or other flakes, plus more as needed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons (8 g) nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce or tamari
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Herbs, spices, cheeses, or other defining tastes (optional)
- Olive oil or ghee, for frying
- 4 buns, halved and lightly toasted
- In a large bowl, combine all the patty ingredients, except the oil or ghee. Working in batches, pulse the mixture in a food processor for a few seconds to get a crumbly texture don’t over blend into a flour. Transfer each batch back to the bowl. Make a test patty to see how it holds together. Adjust firmness by adding more dry grains if the mixture is too wet; add juicy elements if the mixture is too dry. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or other flavoring ingredients if the mixture tastes too plain make it exciting for your palate.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours covered. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each of them into a patty.
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Fry the patties for 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the patties on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through the cooking time.
- You could also use a combination of cooking methods: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet and fry the patties carefully 2 to 3 minutes total, turning, until golden. Transfer the patties to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through the cooking time. This method adds a nice frying surface to the burgers and bakes them through.
- Lightly toast the buns and assemble the burgers with the buns and toppings.