Saturday, 11 June 2011

Tofu burgers- perfect for vegan/ veggie barbecues

These are so quick and easy to make! They are not round like conventional burgers (unless your tofu comes in a cylinder) but are nevertheless delicious with bread, relishes and salads. I got the inspiration from a vegan cafe in Glastonbury where I worked many years ago. We made tofu in cylinders (pieces of plastic drainpipe with drainage holes drilled through!), so they did come out round. We used tandoori spices and rice flour for the seasoning, but I have changed this to my daughter's "Cajun" blend. (I have also used Chinese 5-spice with extra ginger, and also chilli/ curry powder in the past.)
  • Rinse, squeeze and cut firm tofu into portions about 1 1/2cm thick.
  • Marinate in soy sauce/ Liquid Aminos diluted with a little lemon or lime juice and some fresh ginger grated in.
  • Meanwhile, mix rice/ wheat flour with your chosen spice blend. I've been using salt, pepper, hing, chilli powder (Mexican, with cumin), paprika, Chinese 5-spice and oregano. Taste to ensure you haven't used too much flour and the coating is tasty enough.
  • When the tofu looks like it has soaked up a fair amount of the marinade (pick it ip and see), coat in the spice mixture.
  • You can shallow-fry the burgers, but I made a lot, so for speed- and health- reasons I placed them on a well-oiled baking tray and cooked them in a hot oven (225C, if I remember rightly) and turned them halfway through cooking. Be careful how you turn them, so as not to remove the coating. When fully cooked, the burgers should become quite crispy on the outside, while remaining soft inside. (Tip: You can use the leftover marinade as a salad dressing, or pour on rice or couscous.)
Possible tweak: Many times I have prepared these as small cubes and deep or shallow-fried them to be served with brown rice and steamed vegetables. You can make a thick tomato sauce/ chutney for them too.

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