Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Perfect (Tempeh) Burgers

The boys informed me today that while the cabbage roll filling from last night was "thumbs up," cabbage itself was "thumbs down." That means, overall, the cabbage rolls were "thumbs sideways." So, rather than make them suffer through mediocre leftovers, I let them choose the meal tonight. They went with burgers. A few days ago, Vegan Linda posted a comment on my Perfect Burger recipe asking if there was any alternative to the TVP I used. I really didn't have a good response until tonight. Tempeh! In fact, I think these burgers are better than the TVP version. To make them absolutely perfect, I topped them with sauteed onions and mushrooms.

- 1 8.5 oz pkg tempeh, coarsely grated
(If you find tempeh has a "taste," simmer it in boiling water with 2 tsp soy sauce for 10 mins to cut down on the bitterness. Cool before grating. This will increase the water content of the tempeh, so you might want to increase the wheat gluten to 1/2 cup, or not add any extra water.)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp HP sauce
- 1/4 tsp browning sauce (optional)
- 2-4 tbsp water
- oil for frying

1. Mix grated tempeh, bread crumbs, flour, and spices in a bowl. Add in soy sauce, HP sauce, and enough water to make a firm yet pliable dough. Knead for a few mins to mix everything well.
2. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape into patties by pressing into a metal ring.
3. Cook in a thin layer of oil on med-lo heat for about 5 mins per side. The trick is to make thin patties and to fry them low enough to cook them through before burning the outside.
I have played around with the recipe a bit--see this post.