There are a lot of burger recipes floating around – but what does it take to make one truly great? We compiled a list of tips, technique and ingredients options if you’re searching to perfect your ultimate veggie burger for your next barbecue.
What makes the ultimate veggie burger?
- Structurally sound enough to hold together on a grill
- No single ingredient overpowers the other (an excellent veggies, grain, rice or bean ratio)
- Capturing the unique hamburger texture (well-seared for a crunchy crust
- Soft & tender interior, but with enough texture to make it feel like you’re biting into something substantial
- Nicely contrasting toppings – smoky cheese & bitter greens
- Buttery, toasted bun
- Not too dry, not too chewy, not too salty! Just right!
Beans for Binding – Beans are a good way to add starch to your burger as a binder. You can try experimenting with black beans, cannellini, kidney, fava and pinto beans – all of which have a strong flavour. For a less forceful bean, try lentils and chick peas. Both are mild enough not to overpower your patties.
Nuts for Texture – As with beans, most nuts are pretty assertive. If you’re looking for a soft crunch, try cashews and pine nuts.
Grains for Volume – Cooked rice? Quinoa? Oats? Bulgar wheat? Try barley – it’s cuisine-neutral, texture (the Switzerland of grains). For an added crunch, try adding Japanese-style panko crumbs – but don’t let it sit too long or your patties will turn to mush!
Veggies for Flavour – The flavour of your veggie burger should probably feature… drum roll please… vegetables! Onions are obvious – try leeks and shallots to mix things up a bit. Sauté your onions and garlic a bit to soften them, maybe with a stick of celery.
A great way to bring a savoury taste to your burgers is to add mushrooms. Meat is full of the chemical compound “glutamate” (that’s what’s responsible for our sense of savouriness). Mushrooms are also high in this compound. Roasting your mushrooms (and eggplant, if you fancy) will reduce some of the excess moisture these veggies carry.
What else? Boost your savouriness with a bit of Marmite (or the Australian equivalent, Vegemite). Marmite is made from the spent yeast leftover after fermenting alcohol. It’s a concentrated source of savoury goodness to give a final shot of flavour to your patties.
Read the full, original article from Serious Eats here
Get the recipe from Serious Eats here.