Saturday, May 28, 2011

Best Burgers - Seriously!

Everyone loves burgers right?  I sure do.  And these burgers really are the best.  And by best I mean delicious, nutritious, satisfying, versatile and very easy to make.   I think that even die-hard meat eaters will love these, especially if you don't mention they contain soya beans and chick peas!  They really are tasty and the texture is just perfect.

I have the wonderful Dame Alison Holst and son to thank again for this one!  I have made just a few changes to the original recipe found in "Meals Without Meat".  Unfortunately this fantastic cook book is currently out of print.  I got my copy in a dusty second hand book shop in Christchurch a few years ago and have baked many delicious dinners from it.

Vegan Best Bean Burgers
Makes 8-12 depending on the size.

½ cup (80gm) chick peas
½ cup (75gm) soybeans
½ cup (60gm)sunflower kernels
½ cup (35gm)rolled oats
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
¼ flour
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon salt

About 1 cup water
1½ tablespoons sweet/dark soya sauce (30ml)
2 cloves crushed garlic
Optional - ½ onion very finely chopped
Oil to cooking them in

1. Use a food processor, or blender, or coffee grinder to grind the first 4 ingredients to the consistency of dry bread crumbs.  Depending on the machine you use, it will probably be best to do a little at a time.  I found that my blender worked best, especially on the "ice" setting.  The chickpeas and soyabeans do take a bit of grinding (and therefore noise making).  Process the oats just a little - not too fine (or you could just use quick oats instead). 
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.  It comes to about 3 cups of dry ingredients.
3. Add most of the water, soya sauce, garlic and onion if you are using it.   If the mixture doesn't come together easily then add a little more water.
4. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes.
5. Shape into burgers.
6. Generously coat a fry pan in oil and bring to medium heat.
7. Cook the burgers for 5+ minutes on each side.  It is best to cover the pan with a lid as the steam will ensure that the burgers cook through properly without burning the bottom.
8. Enjoy!

You can prepare these burgers up to step 2 and then store the dry ingredients in an airtight container until required.  So next time I am going to grind up multiple batches worth while I have the blender out so that I can have the burger mix ready to go for quick and easy dinners.

Also, I only cooked 4 burgers the first night and then cooked the rest fresh the next night.  The mixture held together even better when it had soaked over night.  We had the burgers with jacket potatoes and other veggies the first night.  And then we had them as "burgers" in buns with lots of salad.  The bean burgers worked really well for both these meals.

If you use onion it really does have to be chopped finely.  The onion is weakest link in the binding of these burgers.  So leave the onion out if you will find it distressing to have a little piece crumble off.  I think I would leave the onion out if I was taking these burgers to a BBQ so I wouldn't have to worry about a heavy handed burger flipper possibly damaging my creations.

The original recipe calls for pea flour.  Pea flour!!  Certainly not at my local supermarket.  But a sweet lady at my local organic store kindly ground up some split peas to flour consistency.  I think the pea flour does add to the flavour but don't worry if you can't get it - the burgers will still be wonderful with regular flour.


Sarah said...

I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but chickpea flour(also called besan) is fairly readily available. You can get it in health food stores and I've even seen it in Coles!

Mandy Gardener said...

Cool! Thanks Sarah. I will have to try that. :)

robyn said...

Can't wait to try them tomorrow :) I keep thinking of making it a peanut butter curry burger ... But I will try it this way first.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying these in Sweden right now :)