Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Tofu burger Version 1, Creamy and Zesty Lemon Broccoli Ae
Tofu burgers often get a bad wrap. I’m not sure why but I’m guessing it’s because people expect them to taste like meat. If you make them full of flavor, you can enjoy them for what they are, and not as a substitute for meat.
When I think of burger alternatives, I think of Boca burgers or garden burgers. I was’t a big fan of garden burgers because they are usually quite starchy and taste like a weird meat-like-substance. The gourmet garden burgers are much better but they usually fall apart in your hands and are really messy. Regardless, I never thought about trying to come up with either versions. Then one day, I was wondering around Tokyo and came across an organic restaurant! An organic restaurant in Japan? I couldn’t resist and I popped in to check out their menu. I quickly decided on a tofu burger that was topped with organic grated daikon (radish) and served with organic veggies and organic brown rice. I could’t believe how delicious it was! My only complaint was that it was a little crumbly (which wasn’t that big of a deal because I was eating this with chopsticks and rice. I decided that I’d go straight home and try to reconstruct this delicious tofu burger.
By the way, I almost want to delete the word burger in the name because it’s not really a burger. I should probably call it Tofu Cake Encrusted with Sesame Seeds in Ginger Infused Broth but I’m including two versions of this recipe so I’m keeping it as is. You should also note that Japanese hamburgers skip the buns, but this is not because they are trying to be carb conscious. Instead, they are accompanied by a nice helping of white rice.
Ingredients (4 Burgers but 2 servings)
Don't worry this is guilt free!
1 14 oz. (396 grams) package of Momen (firm) tofu (cut into quarters and drained with a cheese cloth)
1/4 cup of chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of chopped yellow onion sauteed
1/4 cup of shredded carrot. (packed)
1 clove of grated garlic
1 inch of grated ginger
1/2 cup of panko crumbs
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of dashi powder
few shakes of ground pepper
1/2 Tablespoon of sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon of whole sesame seeds
1/2 Tablespoon of sesame seed oil for frying.
Sauce 1 for version 1
1 cup of dashijiru
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1(1/2) teaspoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of mirin
2 slices of ginger
4 Tablespoons of grated daikon
A few pieces of chopped green onion for garnish
Sauce 2 for version 2
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons of ketchup
2 Tablespoons of Bulldog sauce.
1) Cut the tofu and cut in quarters. This makes it easier to squeeze out the water. Use cheese cloth or cooking gauze to drain and squeeze out the water.
2) In a small pan, saute the onions in a little vegetable oil until soft.
3) Grate the ginger and garlic.
4) In a large mixing bowl, add the sauteed onions, green onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, sesame seed oil, dashi powder, egg and panko crumbs.
5) Mix all together. Dig in there and use your hands. This is the fun part!
6) Pat flat into the bowl and flip it over onto a clean surface and pat into a square.
7) Cut into 4 even pieces.
8) Pat into 4 oval patties.
9) Press a fourth of the whole sesame seeds into one surface of the tofu burgers.
10) Heat a frying pan and add 1/2 a Tablespoon of sesame seed oil, reduce heat to medium-low and fry from the sesame seed side first. (Fry for approximately 3 minutes until golden brown). Flip, add a about a teaspoon of sesame seed oil and fry for another 3 minutes.
Grate the ginger and the garlic. Try to avoid all the fiber that comes out of the ginger when you grate it.
Mix ingredients and cut into four equal pieces.
Make oval patties.
Heat frying pan, add the oil and reduce to low-medium heat.
Golden brown crusty tofu burgers.
Served with ginger broth and topped with daikon and green onions.
Sauce 1 (1 of multiple ways to eat your tofu burger)
1) Combine all the sauce 1 ingredients except the daikon oroshi in a sauce pan and simmer until the ginger slices are infused into the sauce. (approx. 2 minutes)
Plating (YAY! I have a recipe that calls for plating)
1) Put the tofu burger into a shallow bowl.
2) Pour 1/4 of the sauce into the bowl, making sure not to cover the entire burger with the sauce. (Discard the ginger slices)
3) Top it with 1 tablespoon of grated daikon and a few chopped spring onions for garnish.
1) Heat the pan, add the oil and garlic and just as the wonderful garlic smell is hitting your nose, turn off the heat and add the ketchup and bulldog sauce and stir baby stir! Make sure you have a lid to protect yourself because the sauce will splatter.
Platting (Just cuz Sauce 1 got one)
1) Serve the tofu burgers on a large plate with rice and veggies. Drizzle the sauce over the burgers.
2) Serve your favorite miso soup on the side.
The Sauce 1 style is the way that I had it in the organic restaurant but there are many ways to eat this tofu burger. Since this one has a soupy sauce, I didn’t think this meal needed miso soup. If you want to eat it the Sauce 2 way, you can serve it with miso soup.