Sometimes, a burger is EXACTLY what you crave, even if you’re vegetarian or vegan. I have a habit of watching Food Network while on the treadmill. I know! Seems like an oxymoron to watch yummy food being prepared while trying to counter the effects of eating-sins past. Anyway, at one of those times, Anne Burrell prepared the yummiest sounding turkey burgers since using the Turkey Balls recipe in burger form. These turkey burgers had all sorts of Asian ingredients and spices, and I just knew I could vegan-ize them, as well as keeping them low-fat. So, so yummy!
I had to do a bit of shopping for things not usually in my pantry.
- 1 (14 oz) package Gimme Lean Ground Meat (This is a soy-wheat gluten product–find it at a natural foods market)
- 1 package mushrooms, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces. (I get sliced, because I’m lazy. These are creminis, but button mushrooms would be yummy, too)
- 1 onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 TBSP sambal oelek, optional, but really yummy (This spicy hot sauce is found in the Asian foods area of a grocery)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 TBSP cilanto puree (From a tube found in the produce aisle) or 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
- any burger-y condiments you like–buns, mustard, red onion, tomato, lettuce…..
Saute onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a 1/4 cup-ish of veggie broth until translucent–about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook until softened and the water they release is cooked off.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl (except condiments) and mix with your hands to combine.
Flatten the mix in the bowl and mark grooves to indicate portions. I thought 4 would be perfect–this made really large burgers–not that there’s anything wrong with that! 6 might have been a little easier to work with.
Lightly spray a non-stick fry pan with cooking spray and place it over medium heat.
Form each portion into a burger and place into the pan, working in batches as needed. Cook 4-5 minutes, and flip, cooking 4-5 minutes on the second side. (If you really want to cut the fat, bake them on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment or a silicon mat.)
Place on a bun, top with your favorite burger stuff and voila! Just what you needed! Such a delicious combination of flavors, with a bit of crunch from the water chestnuts. I’ll be making these again for sure!
After dinner was all cleaned up, I got to thinking about this mixture, and how yummy it would be transformed into little appetizer meat(less) balls, baked, skewered on decorative picks, served with some sort of dip–maybe a hot sauce, maybe more soy. OR! Maybe serve the little meat(less) balls in butter lettuce wraps, maybe with an Asian slaw….what do you think?!