One of two patty options at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Mass., this burger by chef Brian Van Etten is packed with umami, thanks to the mushrooms, tamari and nutritional yeast, a vegan cheese substitute. The chickpea flour and wheat-free tamari keep it gluten free (if you use gluten-free bread, of course), but if that isn't a concern, wheat flour and regular soy sauce can be used instead.
Baking the patties before frying helps them hold together and prevents a mushy interior. (After baking, you can also grill these over direct heat, if desired.)
Make Ahead: The patty mixture must be chilled for at least an hour or up to overnight before baking. The baked patties can be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in plastic freezer bags and frozen for up to six months, or refrigerated for up to a week. Thaw them thoroughly before pan-frying.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms or portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded and caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup cooked no-salted-added chickpeas, lightly mashed with a fork
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium wheat-free tamari (may substitute low-sodium soy sauce)
- 3/4 cup chickpea flour, plus more as needed (may substitute all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (may substitute grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 hamburger buns
- Condiments and accompaniments of your choice
Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat, and when the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are tender and lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add the thyme and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms exude their liquid, 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
When the mushroom mixture has cooled, add the chickpeas, tamari, chickpea flour, cumin, nutritional yeast and lemon juice, and stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, and add salt if needed. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour or up to overnight. If the mixture is too loose to form patties, add up to 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick cooking oil spray. Form the vegetable mixture into 8 patties, about 5 inches across and ¼ inch thick, and place the patties on the baking sheets.
Bake the patties until they feel firm to the touch and are just barely browning on the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large skillet, and when the oil starts to shimmer, carefully add as many patties as you intend to eat, working in batches if necessary and being careful not to overcrowd them. Fry them on each side until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to a cooling rack set over a plate, and blot them dry on top with paper towels.
Serve them on the buns, with your favorite condiments and accompaniments.
Adapted by Joe Yonan from a recipe by Brian Van Etten.
Tested by Jim Webster.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.