Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Experiment Day 5 - Mushroom-Walnut Burger

As I already mentioned in my previous post, I searched the internet for some vegan recipes. I wanted to cook something that is not too crazy ingredients-wise, but also not too common, like pasta with tomato sauce. It had to be something I wouldn't normally cook, or let's say, I haven't cooked yet.
I did find a lot of vegetable based burgers and patties. 
This seems to be a very popular thing when cooking vegan.
The reason is probably that those burgers are quite savory and substantial. You actually eat something that fills you up, whereas just salad as a main dish can be quite unsatisfying.

On epicurous.com (a great recipe-website!), I found this recipe for Mushroom-Pecan Burgers.
They turned out pretty well , even though I had to adjust a couple of thing.
I didn't have sage, hoisin-sauce and pecans.
Therefore I decided to leave out the hoisin sauce and took a bit more soy-sauce instead. No sage but I decided to add dried thyme instead. I also added some chopped up rosemary (needles of ca 4 twigs) to the parsley mushroom mix, since rosemary is always a good choice when cooking with mushrooms. 
Oh yeah, and I replaced the pecans with walnuts. You won't really taste the nuts in the end anyway. They just add a nice crunch. You could probably also try it with other kinds of nuts or seeds.

Last but not least, I have to say that after frying the patties for 3-5 minutes at medium heat from each side the inside was still very soft and creamy, or one could say "medium rare". If you like that, fine. I thought it was a little groce. Therefore I cooked them in the oven afterwards for another 20 more minutes at approx. 160°C, and ate them "well done".

I served them with a salad of arugula, tomatoes, radish, cress and figs. 
The figs added a nice subtle sweetness to the rather savory burger patties.

Anyway, here is the full  original recipe!

  • 1 1/2 pounds (685 g) cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 2 large-size yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large-size garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (165 to 220 g) bread crumbs or cracker meal
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) tahini
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste


In a food processor, mince mushrooms and parsley. Remove and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil and cook onions and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a large-size bowl, and combine with minced mushrooms and parsley, bread crumbs, tahini, hoisin sauce, chopped nuts, tamari, oregano, sage, salt, and pepper.
Place mixture in refrigerator for at least half an hour. Mixture will be soft, but you should be able to form patties. Add additional bread crumbs or tahini, if needed.
Create patties using your hands. In a sauté pan, warm remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, and fry patties over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and crispy. 
Be careful to keep patties intact.

For dessert I had a vegan version of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

I didn't like it at all. The soy milk flavour is very dominant, the cookie dough bits are mushy and don't taste very good either, and the chocolate tastes like cheap chocolate. The ice cream itself is not creamy at all and is completely lacking the richness that you would want in ice cream.

Completely disappointing!

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