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 Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Brazen Kitchen:

Get Fresh With a Peak-of-the-Season Salad

Get Fresh With a Peak-of-the-Season Salad

It doesn’t get any better than a salad of peaches, zukes and tomatoes in a basil vinaigrette.
Ask a Foodie: Are Shamrock Shakes Really Bad for Me? (Hint: Oh Yeah)

Ask a Foodie: Are Shamrock Shakes Really Bad for Me? (Hint: Oh Yeah)

Plus, five of the best recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with real food.
Ask a Foodie: Is Weed Good for Me?

Ask a Foodie: Is Weed Good for Me?

Dandelions are legal this time of the year.
Pumpkin Caramel Pie

Pumpkin Caramel Pie

Become the hero of your Thanksgiving dinner with this heavenly no-bake dessert.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Think Globally Eat Locally

Think Globally Eat Locally

Pittsburgh slowly is moving closer to becoming a global dining destination while maintaining a culinary connection to its industrial past. PM Dining critic Hal B. Klein profiles 16 international restaurants you need to visit.
Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2017

Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2017

We present this year's class of 40 people under the age of 40 who are making Pittsburgh a better place.
Chasing Rabbits: Why Tuomas Sandholm Almost Always Wins

Chasing Rabbits: Why Tuomas Sandholm Almost Always Wins

The winding career path of Tuomas Sandholm has taken detours through kidney transplants, Texas Hold ’em, windsurfing and more. Next, he’d like to save the planet.
Restaurant Review: Meet the New Crew at Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Meet the New Crew at Smallman Galley

The second class of Smallman Galley chefs offer addictive Detroit-style pizza and other works-in-progress.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


See the Video Pittsburgh Hopes Will Lure Amazon's HQ2

See the Video Pittsburgh Hopes Will Lure Amazon's HQ2

The video is part of the city's effort to snag Amazon's second headquarters, which is expected to bring 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment..

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Executive Chef Kevin Sousa and Pastry Chef Kate Carney are cooking sourdough pizza in an outdoor brick oven.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

While we all know and love the grandeur of the fountain at Point State Park, there are many hidden fountain gems throughout the city. These are a few of our lesser-known favorites.

Comments


A Mysterious (But Messy) Night at the Museum with DODO

A Mysterious (But Messy) Night at the Museum with DODO

A review of "DODO," the immersive-theater production currently taking place at the Carnegie Museums by Bricolage Production Company.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
It's What Steelers Do After Kansas City That Matters

It's What Steelers Do After Kansas City That Matters

The team is more than capable of beating the Bengals Sunday, but are they willing to keep their eye on the ball long enough to begin stacking victories again for a change?

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Firefighter Flick Only the Brave is a Moving Tribute

Firefighter Flick Only the Brave is a Moving Tribute

Reviews of "Only the Brave" and "The Florida Project," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

In honor of fall, we’re showcasing three couples whose proposals involved one of the best things about the season: pumpkins.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Interior designers share their tips on creating easy, elegant décor that will take you from Halloween through Thanksgiving.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module