Throw down those brown-colored starch discs! Free yourself from the flesh-esque mystery tubes that taste of Bandaids! Yes, either you or some of your barbecue guests will require a meat-free option this 4th of July, but that’s no reason to load your freezer down with over-processed, artificial-tasting burger-like-products. In the new Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook, out this week by Los Angeles magazine contributor Randy Clemens, you’ll find a recipe for a homemade patty that you can whip up yourself with wholesome ingredients like button mushrooms, black beans, and flax seeds. And, like everything else in this cookbook, it stars plenty of the locally made Thai hot sauce, Sriracha. Topped with a cooling avocado and crisp arugula, it’s just the thing to satisfy even the most patriotic vegetarian. God bless America.
Ultimate Sriracha Veggie Burger
By Randy Clemens, The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook
Remove any preconceived notions you may have about veggie burgers. This is not some frostbitten hockey puck of a patty that’s been sitting in your grocer’s freezer section for an eternity. Nay! This is a delicious handmade treasure, bursting with moisture and flavor thanks to the mixture of black beans and fresh mushrooms. Topped with arugula, roasted red bell pepper, avocado, and aioli seasoned with cumin and Sriracha, all I can say is . . . you’re welcome in advance!
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
13/4 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Sriracha
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 11/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
4 sesame seed buns or ciabatta rolls Arugula leaves, for serving
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into long strips
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and sliced just before serving
1. To make the aioli, combine the vegan mayonnaise, Sriracha, cumin, and garlic in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. To make the patties, spread the rinsed and drained beans in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Cover with an additional towel or more paper towels and pat dry.
3. In a small bowl, mix the flaxseeds and water and let sit for several minutes, until a gel forms.
4. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have given off their moisture and begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
6. Transfer to a food processor and add the beans, flaxseed gel, cilantro, garlic, Sriracha, liquid aminos, pepper, and 1 cup of bread crumbs. Pulse just until combined, with some chunky bean bits still intact. Form the mixture into 4 patties and let sit while you preheat the grill. If the patties aren’t firm enough to hold their shape, incorporate additional bread crumbs by hand, then form into patties again.
7. Lightly oil a grill or grill pan and preheat to medium-high heat. Using a metal spatula, gently transfer the patties onto the grill. Cook until well browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total, gently flipping once about halfway through. Lightly toast buns in the last minute or two of cooking if desired.
8. To assemble the burger, spread the aioli on the top and bottom of each bun. Load each up with a patty, a small handful of arugula, and one-fourth of the red bell pepper and avocado. Serve immediately.
Note: For a gluten-free burger, substitute almond flour for bread crumbs. Use gluten-free hamburger buns, or wrap your topped burgers in large leaves of iceberg, Boston, or Bibb lettuce.
Reprinted with permission from The Veggie Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens. Copyright © 2013 by Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.