I’m kind of a pig. I’m the kind of person who gets a Big Mac as a side dish for a Double Quarter Pounder. I’m also a dad, so I would love to not die before my kid graduates high school, so I need to work to not be a fat-ass. So I’ve been switching a lot of food over to vegetarian/vegan substitutes in order to keep the reaper at bay. My favorite food is cheeseburgers. I would beat the shit out of that fat-bastard Wimpy to get his free burgers.
So I decided to give tofu another try. God help me, I HATE tofu. Hate it. The kind I had tried every time had a weird, sour green flavor. So recently I tried Nasoya firm tofu and it’s not repellant. It’s actually like really bland, kinda squishy fresh mozzarella. Mozzarella is great, everyone loves it but nazis and Emperor Palpatine, so that’s not bad.
So here we go; this is the recipe for 1 burger. Scale up as you see fit.
- 2 1/2 inch slices of firm tofu
- 5 button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 leaf of kale
- small sprig of celery leaf (or 1 tablespoon of celery, chopped small)
- pinch of salt
- a few pinches of pepper (fresh ground, go the extra mile, you’ll thank yourself)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- sprinkle of ground sage
- sprinkle of thyme
- sprinkle of garlic salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of soy sauce
- Dash of tabasco
- 1// Teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
Before anything else, wrap the tofu in a paper towel or (clean) washcloth and put something heavy like a skillet on it. While that’s being squished (it gets rid of excess water which makes it feel like white Jell-O) chop the mushrooms, kale, celery leaves, onions, garlic, etc and throw them in a mixing bowl. After the tofu has sat for at least 30 minutes, chop it into small pieces.
Add the spices, mustard, hot sauce, flour and mustard (basically all of the rest) to the celery/kale/mushroom/onion/garlic mix. Once the tofu is adequately squeezed, chop it small and toss it in with the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all up, then toss it in a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse it a few times, so it looks like brown paste with flecks of green.
Scrape it back into the bowl and form it into a patty (you might need to flour your hands to avoid getting paste all over you). Heat a pan (Medium/Medium high) and add a nice healthy layer of olive oil to it at coat the bottom. Put the patty in the hot pan, and throw your skillet (or whatever weight) on top and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. It will probably char a little and may even smoke some. Open the windows, don’t be a wuss. Remember, people think of barbecue as MAN food, partially because it smokes. This is vegan with balls, suck it up.
After 5, flip it and do the same thing. Keep an eye on it, over time it will flatten out a bit more; you want it to be firm, so if you poke it, it only gives a little. In steak terms, it should feel the same as medium well. You should be able to flip it as easily as a burger, since it has a similar texture. Throw it on a bun or a plate. I tried mine with russian dressing and sriracha because they are the two best condiments available on earth.
If you like it, let me know.I might come up with some other non-terrible healthy food.
(The title picture shows it with a side of sriracha and Ken’s russian dressing. I HIGHLY recommend them)