Vegan burgers can be as interesting as you want them to be. You can experiment with various beans, lentils and other legumes as a base and then add a flavour twist to them.
We were recently out and about and passed by a food truck selling seaweed burgers. We were intrigued, unfortunately we had already had lunch and had to skip it. We have not returned to that area yet. However, the thought of a seaweed burger never left my mind.
After working on the possibilities of what may go into this burger, I started testing out the recipe and here is what I have come up with. I am using kombu, a type of seaweed high in umami flavour, which gives another layer to the dish. Kombu is used in Japanese cuisine to make dashi (seaweed broth) for ramen and other dishes.
Personally, I found the seaweed taste to be very mild in this burger but next time I would consider adding more nori sheets in the burger mixture itself to enhance the flavour. Besides being a vegan recipe, this burger is also gluten-free.
Vegan Seaweed Burger
A healthy, delicious, vegan and gluten free burger which even meat-eaters would love.
For the kombu:
- 2 sheets kombu
- 1l water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
For the burgers:
- 525g chickpeas, cooked
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tbsp flaxmeal
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 nori sheets
- For the kombu: Soak the kombu sheets in cold water for at least 4 hours preferably overnight.
- Place it in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Take the kombu sheets out and reserve the water. Chop the kombu into very small strips. Place it in a small sauce pan, add 250ml of the reserved water. Add 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp rice vinegar and 2-3 tbsp soy sauce. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer until all liquid has been evaporated.
- For the burgers: In a food processor, place the cooked chickpeas, and pulse until smooth. Add the carrot, flaxmeal, parsley, coriander. spring onion, miso paste and lemon juice. Pulse until everything is well combined. You might need some of the reserved kombu water to loosen up the mixture. However, make sure that it is not too wet.
- Add half of the cooked kombu strips to the mixture and combine.
- Divide the mixture into 12 roughly equal portions.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Take 1 portion and flatten it out into a circular shape. Place pieces of nori sheet on top, and flatten another portion of the burger mixture on top of the nori sheets. Place it on the prepared baking tray.
- Repeat with the remaining burger mixture.
- Bake 15-20 minutes in the prepheated oven, flipping them half way through.
- Serve in a burger bun topped with teriyaki sauce, fresh tomatoes and the rest of the cooked kombu.