The Perfect Grain & Veggie Burger

7 tips&tricks for success 

There are a couple crucial moments in the process of making vegan burgers where a small mistake can make a difference between a perfect burger and a burger mix that ends up in the trash! So, dear foodie friends, it is my duty to reveal all my tips & tricks and help you make the perfect vegan burger/patty/croquet, and I sincerely hope you’ll find this tutorial helpful!

Ingredients:

3 cups short grain brown rice, cooked (2 water to 1 rice ratio)

1 bigger carrot

1 small celeriac or parsley root

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

¼ cup finely grated smoked tofu (optional)

3 tablespoons fine rolled oats

2 tablespoons chopped parsley greens

Salt, pepper, oregano, chili, sweet paprika

Flour and oil, for rolling in and frying

Rice (or other grain you're using) has to be properly cooked, neither soggy not hard. For best burgers use freshly cooked rice, and in case you’re using leftover rice make sure it’s room temperature and not straight out of the fridge!

Tip no.1:  Never use cold rice, bur freshly cooked or rice at room temperature

Finely grate carrot, celeriac/parsley, onion and tofu. Use the finest grater you have (the one for lemon zest is best). Press garlic cloves.

Tip no.2: Veggies should be very finely grated otherwise the bigger pieces might cause the burger mix to fall apart during frying

Put rice, grated veggies, tofu, rolled oats, garlic, parsley greens, some salt and spices in a big bowl. First use your hands to knead the mixture until the ingredients are well combined. Taste and add more salt and spices if needed- the burgers are usually a spicier part of the meal so don’t make the mixture bland. Now use an immersion blender to quickly blend the grain mixture- this is not an essential step but people usually don’t knead long enough so by blending the whole thing it’s more probable the mixture will be well mixed and sticky enough.

 

 

Tip no.3: knead the burger mixture for a while, and use and immersion blender so that the stickiness of the grain is developed and all the ingredients are well combined!

Wet your hands and try to shape a small burger- if the mixture is a little sticky and soft but the burger keeps its shape that should be it. I am always tempted to add a little more rolled oats at this point, just in case, but don't add anything or the burgers might turn out too dry or floury. Never add breadcrumbs to the burger mixture!

Now is the time to leave the mixture to set.

Tip no.4: Never use breadcrumbs to bind the burger mixture or your burgers will fall apart and soak up loads of oil

Tip no.5: The mixture has to sit on room temperature for at least half an hour to allow the oats to soak up any access moisture from the veggies

Put some warm water in a small bowl to wet your hands during the shaping of the burgers. After you’ve used up all the mixture, roll burgers in wheat flour and place them on and tray.  Now let the frying adventure begin!

I use a small,heavy-bottom stainless steel or cast iron pan for frying.  Add oil to the pan (cca. 3 cm up the pan), since deep-frying is the easiest way to get evenly friend burgers. Heat the oil until it starts ‘moving’. Throw in a small piece of the grain mixture: if it immediately starts ‘boiling’ you’re ready to go.

Tip no.6: The right oil temperature is really important! If the oil isn’t hot enough the burgers will sink, soak up a lot of oil and start falling apart; if the oil is too hot burgers will burn form the outside and stay uncooked on the inside!

Fry only a couple of burgers at a time, how many exactly depends of the size of your pan. There should always be some free space left in the pan. If you’re making a big batch of burgers, you’ll probably need to filter the oil through a steel strainer to remove burnt flour and food particles.

Tip no.7: Overcrowding the pan will result in a dramatic drop of oil temperature and your burgers will fall apart and/or turn very oily and uncooked!

Once the burgers are golden brown, use a skimmer to take them out and place them on a kitchen towel-lined plate. The oil mark on the towel should be small and not widely spread around your burger- that’s a sign you did a good job!

Your burgers/patties/croquets should be golden, compact, with a thin crust and a juicy inside and should only lightly grease your fingers.

Now that I’ve revealed all my tips&tricks can you guess what you were doing wrong in the past and what you have to change in order to get a perfect vegan burger?

And remember: practice makes perfect!

This recipe was adapted from my cookbook The Vegan Pantry.

  • Posted on   03/30/15 at 12:50:32 PM   by LeAnna  | 
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Posted in Chef's Corner