Food stylist, photographer and home chef based in Cape Town, Kauthar Noor shared tips for whipping up the ultimate vegan burger at home using pantry staples.
What vegetables should you use?
Sweet potato, carrots, kidney beans, mushrooms, peas? Practically any combination of veggies that you can think come together for a scrumptious vegan burger, according to Noor. “The great thing about vegan burgers is they’re so versatile, you can really make it your own and add pretty much any vegetable that you enjoy.”
If you’re after that meaty pink colour that hamburger patties tend to have when you bite into them, Noor recommends using finely grated beetroot. As for that juicy meaty flavour, Noor said: “Use cooked finely-diced mushrooms, a splash of soy sauce, minced garlic and tomato paste for that great umami flavour.”
To create the ultimate vegan burger, there are four main elements:
1) Some form of legumes such as brown lentils or beans
3) Great flavour
4) A binding agent.
Noor explains how all the elements come together to create something delicious: “Legumes make a good vegan burger because of its high protein content, making it more satisfying (this is something many store-bought vegan burgers lack as they are not high in protein).Then, there is nothing more disappointing than a burger that lacks structure and falls apart completely at the first bite so a binding agent such as flax or chia seed eggs is essential. To create a meat-like texture, add thinly-chopped walnuts, leftover brown rice, black beans and mushrooms.”
Three tips from Noor for spicing up vegan burgers:
Toppings: Use toppings that compliment your vegan patty, as well as, add more flavour and texture, such as sliced avocado and caramelised onions or crunchy, tangy pickles.
Sauces: Cook your vegan patties in some vegan BBQ sauce. As a topping, the simplest yet most satisfying sauce on a vegan burger is some vegan mayo mixed with a bit of sriracha sauce.
Do not overcook your patty: Most vegan patties are made with ingredients that are already cooked so 2-3 minutes on each side is all that it needs – cook it any longer and your patty will dry out.
For more easy and delicious homemade recipes, please visit Noor’s cooking Instagram page @cooking_with_ko.