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Help w/ Veggie Burger Recipe

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Still attempting to perfect a veggie burger recipe (must be vegan actually) for my Deli.

Am using Black bean, rice, and vital wheat gluten as base.
While the "kneading" the dough develops the gluten and gives the burger a a meatlike texture, when cooked it is still too mushy for my liking.

I am going to try pre-baking them and finishing them on a grill or flattop but am open to suggestions and perhaps ditching the vital wheat gluten to avoid a gummy texture.


Am open to any and all tips for getting nice firm texture.  Assuming that the commercial brands use lots of artificial stuff to achieve their texture.

post #2 of 10

What kind of rice are you using?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Long grain brown.  Took advice from other threads here and tried Cooks Illustrated recipe and was very pleased.

They use bulghur, cashews, mushrooms, leeks, onions and breadcrumbs.  Worked out very nicely.

post #4 of 10

I've used cooked barley or raw oatmeal with good results.


post #5 of 10

I've been working on my recipe for a while, and am still in process. The big question is: does it need to be vegan? I'm using an egg in mine, so I can't help you there. You definitely need a binder to glue things together. I use some ground flax seeds, which help. I've also heard mashed lentils work well. Your mushiness comes from the mix being too wet. I freeze my patties on a lined sheet pan, and then frozen straight to a cast iron pan. Low heat, covered, and a long cook gives it time to bind together and firm up.

I would think the type of rice you use would impact as well. I'm hoping short grain so the starch can seep out and help bind things?

Since you are going for a commercial use, speed is important. I would cut the gluten, add another binder, and try pre-baking.

post #6 of 10

I love this recipie from cooks illustrated.. very verisitile too


3/4cup dried brown lentils , rinsed and picked over

  • 2 1/2teaspoons table salt
  • 3/4cup bulgur
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions , chopped fine (2 cups)
  • 1rib celery (large), chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small leek , white and light green parts only, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (2 teaspoons)
  • 1pound cremini mushrooms (or white), cleaned and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 6 1/2 cups)
  • 1cup raw unsalted cashew
  • 1/3cup mayonnaise
  • 2cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 12 burger buns for serving


  1. 1. Bring 3 cups water, lentils, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just beginning to fall apart, about 25 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer. Line baking sheet with triple layer paper towels and spread drained lentils over. Gently pat lentils dry with additional paper towels; cool lentils to room temperature.

  2. 2. While lentils simmer, bring 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Stir bulgur wheat into boiling water and cover immediately; let stand off heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer; use rubber spatula to press out excess moisture. Transfer bulgur to medium bowl and set aside.

  3. 3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, leek, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Spread vegetable mixture on second baking sheet to cool; set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet; heat over high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet with vegetable mixture; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

  4. 4. Process cashews in food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses (do not wash food processor blade or bowl); stir into bowl with bulgur along with cooled lentils, vegetable-mushroom mixture, and mayonnaise. Transfer half of mixture to now-empty food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, fifteen to twenty 1-second pulses; mixture should be cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer processed mixture to large bowl; repeat with remaining unprocessed mixture and combine with first batch. Stir in panko, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Divide mixture into 12 portions, about 1/2 cup each, shaping each into tightly packed patty, 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick; set patties on baking sheet; paper towels will absorb excess moisture.  (Patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

TO COOK ON THE GRILL: Build medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill on high. Using tongs, wipe grate with wad of paper towels dipped lightly in vegetable oil. Grill burgers, without moving them, until well browned, about 5 minutes; flip burgers and continue cooking until well browned on second side, about 5 minutes. Serve.

TO COOK ON THE STOVETOP: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering; cook burgers, 4 at a time, until well browned, about 4 minutes per side, lowering heat to medium if browning too quickly. Repeat with additional oil and burgers. Serve. (Cooked burgers can be kept warm in 250-degree oven for up to 30 minutes.)

TO FREEZE: With freezing and defrosting, the patties increase in moisture content; it is therefore necessary to add more bread crumbs before freezing. For each burger to be frozen, add 1 teaspoon panko or 1/2 teaspoon plain bread crumbs to the mixture before shaping. Thaw frozen patties overnight in the refrigerator on a triple layer of paper towels covered loosely with plastic wrap. Before cooking, pat the patties dry with paper towels and reshape to make sure they are tightly packed and cohesive.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sticking with vegan recipe.  Have been using Egg Replacer, using about 2T.  It's mostly potato starch and it seems to do the binding trick.  I am going to try the pre-baking idea too, should help with texture.


Been serving it with pickled red onions and a variation of Michael Symon's ShaSha sauce.  It's getting a good reception.

If you've never seen that recipe Google it, wild stuff.


Thanks for the help.

post #8 of 10

I have used TVP in veggie burgers before and it has bound them up fairly well.  You could also play with Garbonzo beans or lentils (Think someone mentioned that up there.  We make them at the restaurant I work at currently and I have found that after getting everything mixed it is good to cover them with some plastic-wrap and let them set for 30 minutes or so at room temp.  This helps binding fairly well with the recipe I am working with these days.  Same went for when we made them utilizing the Textured/ized Veggie Protein, if they set for 30 minutes or so they came together much more nicely. Though I'm not the biggest fan of the smell, I believe it was a 1 to 1 ratio on the liquid to the dried protein flakes to rehydrate.

post #9 of 10

Sorry, saw something further down on here that helps, the pre-baking works immensely well.  We did something like 10 minutes then flipped for another 8 or so. 

post #10 of 10

The gluten gives it a meatier texture because gluten is a protein. If you don't like the doughy texture and taste use chic peas or another high protein type substitute. There are other vegan binders out there that do a better job and are actually natural. vital wheat gluten is your problem.

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