In this age of vegetarianism, veganism, and other restrictive diets, veggie burgers have become nearly as ubiquitous as regular hamburgers, and unfortunately, mediocre versions are rampant. While we find the premade frozen patties OK, we prefer to make our burgers ourselves. A sampling of house-made restaurant burgers left a lot to be desired, so we set off on a mission to create the very best veggie burger. The following is our stab at the perfect formula.
What to buy: TVP, short for textured vegetable protein, is a meat substitute made from soybeans that is low in fat, high in protein, and has a pleasingly chewy texture. It is often found in dried, flaked form in the bulk foods section of grocery stores.
Panko is coarse Japanese-style breadcrumbs, available in many grocery stores.
Game plan: Be sure to have the lentils and rice cooked before starting the recipe (leftover brown rice from your Chinese takeout works great). For the lentils, start with 1/4 cup dry lentils and cook according to the package directions. For the brown rice, use 3/4 cup uncooked rice.
You’ll also want to make the kaiser rolls before you begin.
This recipe was featured as part of our Hamburger Through Time story.
Beverage pairing: Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Chile. The Casablanca Valley in Chile is one of the coolest places to grow wine grapes in South America. Consequently, this Sauvignon Blanc is zingy and bright, with grassy, citrus, herbal flavors that will complement this earthy burger.