A great burger is a thing of great beauty and this vegetarian spicy lentil & bean burger is a real stunner on every level!
The Perfect Veggie Burgers
Most veggie burgers I have eaten fall into one of two categories, a soggy mushy mess or a dry slab of polystyrene. Unless of course, they are halloumi burgers, which always have a great texture!
Now most of them have been very tasty, just texturally disappointing!
For me, texture in food is just as important as flavour and aroma.
You have to tread a fine line to get the texture right. My ‘secret’ to achieving this is adding uncooked couscous whilst the bean ‘mix’ is still warm.
It helps to draw out some of the moisture from the beans and lentils but still allows them to hang together.
The couscous almost ‘cooks’ in the moisture and steam from the pattie mix but gives it all back when you bite into the burger.
I use white beans in this recipe but you could replace them with black bean or even kidney bean if you like.
A burger recipe always lives and dies on its toppings and this one is no different.
Whilst I have a few ‘traditional’ toppings for burgers on my site I love to play with different ideas.
I always aim for sweet, salty, sour and often spicy.
This recipe goes Asian using honey, mirin and soy sauce to achieve that flavour profile.
It is really quick to make and goes superbly with the burgers, it is also a recipe I have used on all sorts of sandwiches.
How to Cook a Bean Burger?
Unlike a “meat” burger, all of the ingredients are already cooked.
As a result, we do not need to cook in a conventional sense.
We need to get the pattie hot all of the way through and get a nice caramelisation on the outside.
2 minutes per side over a high heat is plenty!
You also need to be a little more careful than you would with a meat-based burger.
It is a little more fragile than meat but so long as you take care when flipping you will be fine.
If you are cooking on a BBQ then you should not cook over the fierce direct heat initially. There is no fat in this recipe to protect the pattie from scorching.
Begin by placing the pattie on the indirect heat and then move to the direct heat just before it is ready to add colour and a bit of BBQ flavour.
For the Pattie
- 200 g Cooked White Beans
- 150 g Red Lentils
- 125 g Onion
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
- 5 Pickled Chilli Peppers
- 75 g Walnuts
- 50 g Couscous
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- Salt, To taste
- Black Pepper, To taste
- 4 Burger Buns
For the Topping
- 2 Peaches
- 2 Onions
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 2 Pickled Chilli Peppers
For the Patties
- If using dried beans soak them over night and then cook in boiling water until cooked (1-2 hours depending on type of bean).
- Cook the lentils in boiling unsalted water so that the finish at the same time as the beans, these will take around 20 minutes.
- Finely dice the onion and fry until golden brown the oil.
- Combine the beans with half of the lentils and blitz to a paste using a food processor.
- Chop the pickled chilli and walnuts.
- Add the cooked onion, pickled chilli, walnuts, remaining lentils and paprika to the paste and mix.
- When the mix is thoroughly incorporated add in the uncooked couscous, it is important to do this when the mix is still hot.
- You should taste test at this point for seasoning. Be prepared to add quite a lot of salt as none of the grains or pulses have been seasoned as ye!t
- Form into 4 patties around 150g (5oz) in size.
- Wrap them in cling film and refrigerate to firm up for an hour.
- Finally, fry the burgers over a high heat until hot all of the way through.
- This should take 2 minutes over per side.
For the Chutney
- Cut the onions for the chutney into 8 segments.
- Remove the seed from the peaches and again cut into 8 segments.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a searing hot pan and throw in the onions fry for 2-3 minutes, you are aiming to get a nice caramel dark edges.
- Add the peaches and a pinch of salt and stir fry for one minute.
- Then add the chillies and fry for a further minute.
- Finally add the honey, soy and mirin and boil for just a minute and it is ready
Build your Burger
- Choose your bun, add some salad leaves to the bottom bun. I used some baby kale that we have growing in our garden and flash-fried it for 30 seconds, but sorrel or spinach would work really well
- Add your burger and top with a little more green stuff.
- Then generously heap on the chutney and you are good to go.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 744mg Carbohydrates: 76g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 12g Sugar: 25g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 19g