Truly Tasty Tofu Burgers
I’m always in search of a good veggie burger that’s firm and chewy, with lots of flavor, and I like this recipe because the texture of the burgers is very, well, burger-like! It’s also really easy, and there’s lots of room for variation.
To make the burgers, you’ll need to start with some cooked rice. Rice is important because it’s part of what holds the burgers together. It’s nice and starchy, so when it gets whirled in the food processor, it turns into a kind of glue. Try this recipe if you have leftover rice on hand, it’s a good way to use it up.
Once you have your rice, turn your attention to the tofu. You want to select “firm” tofu, because it has a texture not unlike ground beef when it’s ground in the food processor. To drain the tofu, take it out of the box and put it on a clean plate. Put another plate on top, and something heavy like a bottle of juice or more plates. You may want to lean your leaning tower of Pisa against a wall so it doesn’t crash and fall over. After 30 minutes, take off the weight and pour off the extra water.
The recipe calls for parsley, but you can throw in dill, basil, arugula, or even fresh mint. If you like beans, use 1/4 cup less tofu and add 1/4 cup of cooked beans. You can always make these burgers more rich by topping them with cheese a few minutes before they’re done cooking in the oven. I like to slather these burgers with Dijon mustard. For a light snack, serve the burgers on crisp red cabbage leaves or lettuce leaves instead of burger buns.
Makes 6 burgers
1 cup cooked rice, white or brown
1 cup diced firm tofu, well drained
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2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, whisked
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the rice, tofu, garlic, scallions, parsley, and paprika in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Taste and season with salt and pepper until the mixture has a lot of flavor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the whisked egg to form a thick dough. Shape the dough into 6 patties.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Cook the burgers on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden, then gently flip and cook on the second side for 5 minutes. Transfer the burgers to the baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, or until they’re firm and cooked through on the inside.
Serve hot on buns, cabbage leaves, or lettuce leaves, and top with your favorite condiments.