Mushroom-Blended Graffiti Burgers 8.000

Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

Aug 6, 2014

A mix of mushrooms, vegetables and spices brings lots of moisture and flavor to these meaty-tasting burgers -- a signature dish at Graffiti in New York.

The mixture can be shaped into 24 thick, slider-size patties instead, or grilled over a moderate, direct-heat fire.

Make Ahead: It's best not to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for more than the recommended 4 hours, as its mushroom content will exude liquid. The uncooked patties can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost on a plate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then drain before cooking.

Where to Buy: Tomato powder and dried lemon grass (that can be processed in a spice grinder) are available at Spice & Tea Exchange stores in Old Town Alexandria, Georgetown and Annapolis. Dried lemon grass is also available at Asian markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 2 1/2 ounces portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
  • 2 1/2 ounces king trumpet mushrooms (may substitute a gourmet mix of sliced mushrooms)
  • 1 ounce white button mushrooms
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably 85-15 (lean meat/fat)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon seeded, finely diced tomato
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red bird's eye chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/3 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon tomato powder (optional; see headnote and NOTE)
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon lemon grass powder (optional; see headnote)
  • Kosher salt
  • Brioche buns, for serving (optional)


Clean the portobello, king oyster and white button mushrooms; stem the white button mushrooms. Finely chop them, or grind them in a food processor, to about the same consistency as the meat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; add the ground beef, onion, tomato, cilantro, ginger, garlic, red chili pepper, turmeric, onion powder, tomato powder, if using, ground coriander, chili powder and lemon grass powder, if using.

Use your clean hands to gently blend the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours.

Spray a grill pan with cooking oil spray; heat over medium heat.

Meanwhile, shape the mixture into 8 thick patties of equal size. Lightly salt both sides of each patty; place on a plate or paper towels to catch any juices.

Working in batches as needed, arrange the patties in the hot grill pan, leaving at least an inch of space around each one. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until a good crust forms on the bottom, then use two spatulas to carefully turn each one over. Cook on the second side for about 8 minutes or until firm to the touch and cooked through. The burgers should not be pink inside.

Serve on buns, if desired.

NOTE: You can make tomato powder by grinding freeze-dried or dehydrated tomatoes. Look for Just Tomatoes at natural-foods stores and at some Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Jehangir Mehta, chef-owner of Graffiti and Mehtaphor restaurants in New York.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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