Tofu Burger Patty

First of all, I just want to say that after 3 days of researching and experimenting on how to make a great vegan tofu patty, I have the utmost respect for those who gave up meat and decided to follow a more environmentally sustainable path. When I made this recipe, I tried my best to keep it simple with easy to find ingredients, while mimicking the taste and texture of meat, with a similar amount of essential nutrients. Since this recipe has a lot of steps, you can make a lot of them and keep them in the freezer, and reheat them when you need them. This recipe makes 3 -4 patties.

You’ll need:

  • 340g/12oz firm tofu
  • 110g/4oz crimini mushroom
  • 85g/3oz breadcrumbs
  • 50g/2 oz dried kidney beans (or any beans you like, I choose kidney beans because they are rich in iron)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed & 3 tbsp water(if you are vegetarian, just use an egg)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp marmite or vegemite (it’s a yeast extract that adds a meaty flavor to the patty, it’s also very salty, so don’t put any salt in the mixture. It might be hard to find them in the US (Amazon maybe?), but they are pretty common in Europe and Australia)

Hot to make this

  1. Soak the kidney beans overnight in cold water, rinse and boil them the 2nd day, drain the beans then mash them into a thick paste
  2. Ground some flax seed into a fine powder, then mix 1 tbsp of the powder to 3 tbsp of cold water, mix evenly, then place in the fridge for 15 min or until it thickens
  3. Mince the mushrooms and cook them in a pan with some oil over medium heat for about 5 min
  4. Wrap the tofu with a tea towel or linen/cheesecloth, then squeeze out as much water as you can, an easy way to do this is to twist the 4 corners together and continue twisting them, the water will be pushed out slowly due to pressure. In the end, the tofu should have the texture of very wet sand
  5. Then, mix the dried tofu, mushroom, bean paste, flax water mix, breadcrumbs, olive oil,  black pepper, garlic powder, salt and marmite/vegemite(optional), mix them until everything are evenly distributed. You can blend them a little more in a food processor for a smoother texture, but the difference is not very significant
  6. Press them in a large cookie cutter into the desired shape and size, you can use your hand but the result tends to crack and crumble at the end
  7. You can either place them on an oiled parchment paper over a baking tray and bake them in a 175C/350F oven for 20 min, the advantage of this is that it’s healthier and you can make a large amount of it at once. Or you can pan fry them in some oil over medium-high heat for about 3 min each side, you get a better crust this way, but’s not very efficient if you are making these in large quantity
  8. Serve them over some buns or bread with whatever you want
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Plantin & Lentil Tacos

So, someone suggested that I should do some vegetarian or vegan dished, so, after some research and experimenting, I made this! It’s a “taco” has a bit Caribean kick to it, the lentil is cooked in a jerk spice mix, with some crunchy fried plantain. It’s easy, fast, and vegan, so lets’s make it! (this recipe makes about 8 tacos)

You’ll need: 2 ripe plantains; 1 onion; 3 cloves garlic; 1/2 cup lentils; 1/2 tbsp garlic powder; 1 tsp cayenne pepper; 1 tsp onion powder; 1 tsp sugar; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp paprika; 1/2 tsp ground allspice; 1/4 tsp black pepper; 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper; 2 tbsp tomato paste; 2 lettuce heart or Belgian endive; 8 tortillas

How to make this:

  1. Mince the onion and garlic, then in a deep pan, add some olive oil and cook the onion and garlic for 5 min, then add the garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, paprika, ground allspice, black pepper and dried crushed red pepper, toast the spice for a minute before adding the lentil, add the tomato paste and mix it into the toasted spice. Then add 2 cups of water with sugar and salt, cook it uncovered for about 30 min or until most water is gone
  2. While the lentil is cooking, peel the plantain, slice it into 1/4 inch thick sliced. Then in a large pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat and pan-fry them for about 3 min each side. You can also deep fry it in 170C or 340F oil for 5 min
  3. Toast some tortillas, place on some lightly seared lettuce heat or Belgian endive, then some a layer of lentil, topped with fried plantains. You can serve it with some chili sauce, fresh fruit (like pomegranate or blood orange)

Aloo Tikki Chole

Since it was Diwali a couple days ago, and like many holidays around the world, a major part of this Hindu holiday is food, so I decided to make this delicious and easy North Indian chaat (savory desserts). I severed it on some Amritsari Chole, which is like a curry chickpea. Also, since there’s no meat or dairy in this dish, it is vegetarian.

photo-oct-31-7-02-25-pm

You need (for Aloo Tikki):

  • 3 medium size potatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro

You need (for Amritsari Chole):

  • 2 can chickpeas
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup canned chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

How to make this:

  1. Boil the potatoes for 40 min (while the potato is boiling, we will cook the Amritsari Chole)
  2. Chop the onion into fine bits, cook them in oil on medium until they turn translucent, mix in the salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder
  3. Add the tamarind paste and chopped tomato, keep stirring until it mixed evenly, add a splash of water if the mixture is too thick
  4. Cook the chickpea, bay leaf, cloves & brown sugar with the lid on, let it simmer on low
  5. While the chickpea is being cooked, take out the potato, peel off the skin, mash the potato
  6. Mix the potato with salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel, red chili powder, ginger powder, bread crumbs and chopped cilantro
  7. Divide the mixture and form them into 6 small patties
  8. Fry the patties in oil on medium high for about 5 min each
  9. Sever the Aloo Tikki on top of the Amritsari Chole, with some mint chutneys and chopped red onion