Thursday, September 1, 2011
I made a tofu burger for lunch yesterday ... a REAL tofu burger, one that was made from scratch and using the freshest ingredients. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to try and I am kicking myself for it because it's so, so delicious!
Many years ago, out of curiosity, I tried Burger King's much-advertised tofu burger, and after that unfortunate episode, concluded that all tofu burgers must taste like that - leathery and laden with artificial flavouring.
I wasn't completely wrong, you know. For as long as you use frozen and heavily processed store-bought soy patties, you will end up with exactly that.
However, if you invest some time - and I am talking just 30mins - you can enjoy a really tasty tofu burger ... possibly the best you'd have ever eaten in your life. ;) I gave my burger a slight Asian twist by using coriander and kaffir lime leaves. But you can flavour your tofu patties with any herbs you like - basil, parsley, oregano ... anything at all. Go on, try making them and you will be surprised at how versatile, easy and flavourful they are.
(roughly adapted from Cold Storage's Savour The Good Life magazine)
- 1 piece firm tofu (taukwa), approximately 350g
- 1 small red onion, sliced finely
- 1 sprig coriander (leaves only), sliced finely
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced very, very finely
- 1 red chilli (deseeded), sliced very finely
- 1/3 cup sharp cheddar or parmesan, grated
- Pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of salt (taste test as you go because sharp cheeses can be very salty)
- Breadcrumbs (I toasted 4 slices of bread and blitzed them in a food processor)
- Vegetable oil
- 4 burger buns
- Butterhead lettuce or baby romaine leaves
- Tomato slices
- Condiments of your choice - mustard, relish, or like my daughter - good ol' ketchup!
I saw a packet of breadcrumbs selling for $4.50 and I balked. Do you know how many loaves of bread I can buy with $4.50? All you need are 4 slices of bread to make enough breadcrumbs for this recipe.
1. Mash tofu till crumbly. Add copped onions, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, chilli, cheese, breadcrumbs and paprika. Mix well and taste test.
2. Season with salt and pepper accordingly (at this point, I added more parmesan! Yum!).
Idea: How about drizzling a little sesame oil, shallot oil or even chilli oil to give it some kick?
3. Shape mixture into 4 patties, and flatten them gently using your palms.
Remember to flatten the patties! In this photo, I haven't yet flattened them yet.
4. In a frying pan, under a small-medium flame, heat the vegetable oil. The oil/pan must not be too hot because the bread crumbs in the patty will burn.
5. Panfry the patties till crisp and golden brown on both sides.
6. Slice your burger buns horizontally and lightly butter both halves. You can also use other spreads like mayonnaise or dijon mustard. For me, I mixed a dash of wasabi with Japanese mayo, and used that in lieu of butter.
7. Now it's time to assemble your burger! Place some lettuce leaves on top of the bun, followed by the tofu patty, and then with tomato slices. Then cover it with the top half of the bun, and you are ready to dig in!
On a completely random note: IT'S SEPTEMBER ALREADY?!