I like veggie burgers but have never got into the habit of making them at home because they’re a bit of a hassle to make and my occasional veggie burger out would always be enough to satisfy my burger cravings. The fact is, veggie burgers always taste better when you’re not the one cooking them.
About a year ago, my son became obsessed with burgers of the non-vegetarian kind. In his pursuit of the perfect burger, we’ve tried quite a few of the gourmet burgers joints and, in the process, I’ve sampled quite a few veggie burgers. The most common vegetarian burger option in Sydney seems to be the portobello mushroom and haloumi burger, which I think is kind of a cheats veggie burger. As much as I love a portobello mushroom and haloumi roll, I don’t really consider it a true veggie burger and it annoys how much I have to pay for it at the local gourmet burger joints. If you’re going to set yourself up as a burger expert, you should at least try and perfect a veggie burger pattie and not try to fob people off with a grilled mushroom ‘steak’.
Even at a good cafe, the veggie burger tends to be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair and, lately, we’ve started having burger nights at home and I’ve started experimenting with homemade veggie burgers. So, what makes a good veggie burger?: they can’t be too soggy, nor can they too much like a fritter – they need to have enough heft and bite to provide a textural contrast to the bread. Personally, I like to have a crusty exterior with a creamy (not soggy) interior. A veggie burger shouldn’t be dry but you will never mimic the juiciness of a meat burger, so you will always have to add some juiciness with condiments. Most of all, they need to freeze well because nothing makes a veggie burger taste better if you can just defrost a couple burgers for easy summertime eating.
This recipe comes from the Whitewater ski resort in the Canadian Rockies. It makes quite a lot of burgers so halve the recipe if you’re not feeding a crowd. This version uses eggs but if you’re a vegan Oh She Glows has perfected a vegan version here. I’m not sure if I would say this was the ultimate veggie burger but it comes very, very close.
Whitewater veggie burgers
From Whitewater Cooks by Shelly Adams
Makes about 12 veggie burgers
- 1 tablespoon of light olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1½ tablespoons of chilli powder
- 1½ cups of cooked black beans (1 x 450 grams can)
- 1 tspn of oregano
- ¼ cup of parsley or coriander chopped
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- ½ cup almonds, roasted and chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and chopped
- 3 cups of fine bread crumbs (I used Panko)
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 2 cups of oats
- flour for coating burgers
- oil for shallow frying.
- Saute onions and garlic in a skillet and set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Shape into patties and let rest in the fridge for half an hour.
- Just before frying, coat burgers in flour, heat skillet and fry burgers in pan until golden brown on both sides. I like to press down with a spatula and flatten the burgers a little in the pan, to maximise the crunchy crust of the burger.
- Serve in burger buns with condiments of your choice – aioli, lettuce, avocado, lettuce, tomato relish, along with pickled red onion and quick pickled cucumber, are among my favourite fixings.