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:

Green Beans Two Ways

Green Beans Two Ways

Amp up the Thanksgiving table staple with recipes from the Middle and Far East.
Why General Sisters Is a General Store Like No Other

Why General Sisters Is a General Store Like No Other

The women who are opening this North Braddock spot engaged with neighbors before setting plans for the store that'll be part grocery, part community.
Garlic Ginger Jook: a Foodie Flu Shot

Garlic Ginger Jook: a Foodie Flu Shot

Brazen Kitchen: Ward off the common cold? Yes jook-an!
Building a Better French Fry

Building a Better French Fry

Go beyond the falafel with chickpea fries and garlic mayo.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments

Edit Module