The Best Veggie Burger Ever

An umami burger with miso mayo that everyone will love.




Photo by Leah Lizarondo
 

 

Holy Cow! After many, many iterations, I think I’ve found my cookout-worthy veggie burger. This is it. The burger that won’t make me feel like a second class citizen on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Independence Day and all the other outdoor parties in between.

No! Never again! As good as Scarlett O’Hara can say it, “As God as my witness, I will never eat just sides and chips again!” I will be pilin’ on the fixins on top of my very own mouthwatering, umami-fied burger. Um-what?

Umami! The almost-mythical, hard to describe fifth taste. You know the other four: bitter, sour, salty and sweet. We know what those are when we taste them. But umami is a little bit harder to qualify. It's that “savory” taste. It results from the stimulation of our l-glutamate receptors that allows us to appreciate the “wholeness” of the dish we are tasting. Often, we look for it to give us satisfaction. That’s why MSG was created. To amplify this sensation.

We typically feel like we need meat to get this stimulation because that’s what most of us are used to eating. However, there are many non-meat sources of umami: ripe tomatoes, mushrooms (especially shiitake), seaweed, fermented foods such as soy sauce, miso and sauerkraut, and herbs such as thyme and rosemary.

So with that in mind, I piled on as much umami as I could muster in one recipe. Mushrooms. Tamari/soy sauce. Worcestershire sauce. Tomato-concentrated steak sauce. Optional miso. And Marmite. Oh yes I did! THAT confounding yeast extract that Brits and Aussies love to spread on their toast. The horror. I could never understand it and I’ve tried many times. Many, many times. Thank God I have Biscoff spread to take the taste out of my mouth each time I did. It is most definitely an acquired taste. In this recipe, it is optional BUT, oh my, it rounds out the umami cast of characters. I’ve been testing this recipe and eating this burger for two days straight. At some point, I will stop. At some point.

So here it is. My present to you. A protein, nutrient and fiber-packed veggie burger (a claim its meat counterpart can’t make) that’s completely satisfying. Rejoice, your summer savior has come!

 

  Umami Burger with Miso Mayo

Yield: Makes about 6 patties (make a double batch and freeze the patties)

  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 portabella or 6 cremini mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms (about a heaping cup), chopped fine
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • splash of red wine to deglaze pan
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
     
  • ¼ c. chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch (this is your binder. I strongly recommend arrowroot)
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, drained
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1/2- tsp-1 tsp salt (taste your mixture, umami “works” better with some saltiness)
  • 1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp steak sauce
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp savory
  • ½ tsp sage
  • 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Marmite of Vegemite (optional but recommended)
     
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. – 1 ½ c. brown rice or wild rice (or a mixture, which I used. Day old is fine)
  • ½ chopped walnuts


Miso Mayo
For the Miso Mayo recipe, click here.

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you are “finishing” the patties on the grill, no need to do this step).
2.     In a sauté pan, sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms and thyme in olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine if needed. Make sure all moisture is evaporated. Set aside.
3.     In a food processor, process the next 15 ingredients (from chickpea flour to Marmite, if using) to form a rough paste.
4.     Add the chopped onion, brown rice/wild rice and the walnuts and pulse once or twice to incorporate. Don’t over process, you want it to have texture. The mixture must be sticky enough to form into patties. If not, add a little bit more chickpea flour.
5.     Form into patties and cook on a griddle searing both sides.
6.     At this point, you can finish the veggie burgers in the oven for 8-10 minutes or put it over a grill.
7.     Serve with miso mayo and your favorite fixins.
8.     Enjoy!

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Brazen Kitchen:

How to Fancify Your Everyday Pasta

How to Fancify Your Everyday Pasta

Brazen Kitchen: Elevate your prepared marinara sauce with other pantry staples, plus enter to win free Giovanni Rana pasta sauce and tickets to the Pittsburgh Home Show!
Girl Crushes and Bars

Girl Crushes and Bars

Make these healthy energy bars and you'll never buy the junk ones at 7-11 ever again.
Pumpkin Caramel Pie

Pumpkin Caramel Pie

Become the hero of your Thanksgiving dinner with this heavenly no-bake dessert.
I Want My Brazen Kitchen TV!

I Want My Brazen Kitchen TV!

Brazen Kitchen: In episode one of 'The House Special,' Kate Stoltzfus invites us into her kitchen and teaches us how to make her special kale recipe.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

When viewed from the foot of the South Side Slopes of Pittsburgh, the stairs ascending Josephine Street form a massive image that consists of more than 7,500 individual mosaic tiles.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Café Carnegie Now Open in Oakland

The Café Carnegie Now Open in Oakland

Chefs Sonja Finn and Becca Hegarty helm the refurbished restaurant at the Carnegie Museums.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

We’ve compiled the best pumpkin patches for fall family fun.

Comments


Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

The park's winter celebration is great for families and a fine choice for anyone who loves Christmas (and/or funnel cake).

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

For some reason Ohio State is ranked No. 2 in the latest playoff rankings and Penn State is No. 7. That has to change if Penn State beats Wisconsin on Saturday night.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Locket Full of Joy

Locket Full of Joy

The handcrafted piece opens to hidden treasures.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Thinking Small: Pittsburgh Weddings That Are Intimate Affairs

Thinking Small: Pittsburgh Weddings That Are Intimate Affairs

Bigger isn’t always better, at least when it comes to these couples’ wedding ceremonies.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

The Carnegie Museum of Art is full of Christmas cheer — and great deals. Plus, get the scoop on The Block Northway’s latest retail offering.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Classic Christmas Tale Gets a Twist at Slippery Rock University

Classic Christmas Tale Gets a Twist at Slippery Rock University

An adapted version of “A Christmas Carol” will be presented during a seven-show run.

Comments

Edit Module