After trying a couple of recipes recently, I decided to work on my own veggie burger recipe. Although the results weren’t perfect, I’m sharing the recipe and how it turned out here. I’ll also mention how I would change it in the future. If you decide to give it a try yourself or make any changes, let me know how it goes! I’d be interested to see if anyone could refine it a little and eliminate some of the issues that I experienced.
These are the ingredients that I used for my very own Mexican veggie burger:
- 1 egg
- 1 red onion
- 400g kidney beans
- 400g pinto beans
- 400g green lentils
- 1/2 handfuls of coriander
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
First of all, I mashed the beans and lentils up together after draining and rinsing them. Then I sliced the red onion up into small pieces and added them to the mix. I shredded up the coriander and mixed it in as well, along with a spoonful of the hot sauce. Last to go in was one egg, which I stirred in to the mixture. This was all done in one bowl, so it made a minimum of mess. The hardest part was actually getting the beans to mash. However, it was much easier to use pinto and kidney beans than a few other combinations that I’ve tried before. It made quite a sticky mixture that I was able to shape into burgers, so that was a good start. I created six burgers – I do like them quite large so you could possibly make more with the same mix. I’m not particularly impressed by a burger being a “perfect” shape and smoothness, so I do just leave them looking a bit lumpy and messy. It makes them look more interesting from my point of view!
Cooking was something of an experiment. I set the oven to 200C and then basically kept an eye on it. I figure it would need a good 15 minutes at least, and after that I was judging by eye. When it looked as it it might almost be done, I followed my normal trick of taking the burgers out and adding cheese on top of them in thin slices. It was good old cheddar in this case. Then they were returned to the oven until the cheese was bubbly and oozing down the sides, which makes them all the more fun to serve and all the better looking!
At this stage I also put some aside to cook again later. One word of caution is that you can’t just put them straight back in the oven with cheese on top next time and take them out when the cheese bubbles. They will be starting from cold, especially if stored in the fridge, so they need a little extra time to warm up. Still, they did heat up very well the next day, without losing any taste or texture. I only kept them for a day, so I’m not sure how long they would last for otherwise.
When they were ready, I served them in seeded buns with a bit of dressing as per taste. I also put them with egg fried rice – this may seem a bit random, but we don’t really have traditional burger accompaniments in the house very often. We try to stay away from chips and other potato products where possible, and salad tends to get eaten very quickly. Sometimes a bit of rice is all that’s left! I wouldn’t say they matched perfectly, but it was somewhat interesting to have a contrasting taste and texture alongside the burgers.
I can’t say I was overly impressed with the outcome of this first experiment. There was a little less flavour than I was expecting, and the patties weren’t as solid as I would have liked. Still, for an experiment, they turned out fine. They were certainly edible and even enjoyable. The lentils were perhaps the best part, as they really improved the texture and flavour over what we have tried before. On the other hand, the pinto beans maybe didn’t contribute enough. Cheese is a definite must have, and the coriander helped with the flavour as well. There’s room for improvement here, but it feels like we’re on the right track.
On the VegBurge scale, I give this:
Taste – 6/10
Price – 8/10
Rest of experience – 7/10