White Bean Umami Burger
With Beyond, Impossible, and all the other company making meat-free burgers, when was the last time you had a good handmade bean-based burger? In our house, veggie burgers are one our go to quick meals. But over time we had slowly gotten into the rut of only picking between our low-plastic family sized box of Beyond burgers in the freezer or making spice forward black bean burgers. This recipe came about because I wanted a neutral savory bean-based burger that would be baked up in a large batch, freeze well, and would not fight whatever flavored toppings I throw on it.
When creating this burger, I pulled out all my go to umami flavor ingredients, so though the ingredient list might be slightly longer than most veggie burger recipes, do not me intimidated. If you do not already have these ingredients in your pantry, you will surely find many other uses for them.
Good bean-based burgers use a variety of other ingredient to help bind and give structure to the burger. I am sure you have had the experience of a veggie burger that completely squashed out the sides of the bun leaving you with nothing but toppings between bread. That is why I include almond butter, flax seed, and flour to this recipe as a binder. I also include grains as a textural element. That being said, over time we have learned that bean-based burgers are best eaten on English muffins. Why might you ask? Because the nooks and crannies grip the burger and give it somewhere to go rather than out the sides. English muffins also are not as soft and lofty, so when you bite through it there is less of an outward squishing pressure.
White Bean Umami Burger
Yields: about 8
266g / 9 oz Mushrooms of Choice (chopped)
2 c Cooked White Beans
2 c Cooked Grains*
½ tsp Salt
¼ c Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal
¼ c Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
2 Tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
2 Tbsp Miso**
2-4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour (of GF alternative)
Optional: ½ tsp Monosodium glutamate***
* I use 1 cup leftover brown rice and 1 cup leftover quinoa (for the extra protein) and textural variety, but any grain or mix of cooked grains will work from black rice, to Farro, to barley.
**Any miso will do. We prefer for this a richer red or dark brown, but white or sweet will also work.
***This can be left out, but see my view on this ingredient in last week’s post.
Heat your oven to 375F degrees.
Then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of neutral oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook stirring every few minutes until browned and reduced in size by half, concentrating their umami flavor for about 5-8 minutes.
While the mushrooms cook down, in a large mixing bowl mash the beans with a potato masher.
Then add in the dry flavor and binding ingredients including the 2 cups of cooked grains, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, flax seed meal, and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Stir with a rubber spatula or spoon.
Then add the remaining liquid ingredients and cooked mushrooms. Different grains and mushrooms may have more or less moisture. At this point you should be able to form a burger patty. If your mixture is too wet, then add another tablespoon or two of flour.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Then divide the mixture and form into tight patty shapes. Spray or brush the surface of the burger with a neutral oil.
Bake for 15 minutes before flipping. Then spray or brush the side now on top with oil and bake for another 10-20 minutes depending on how firm you like your veggie burger.
Suggested Topping Combination – Make a Bánh mì Inspired Flavors
- Quick Pickled Carrot and Cucumber (instructions here)
- Arugula or Spring Mix
- Siracha Mayo