by Oliver Pau
I like to add a little more flavor and texture to my meatless patties. This recipe includes fennel seed, cumin, smoked paprika, onions and chopped walnuts. Feel free to play around with the ingredients for a blend that suits your tastes. It’s a little more work than our “easy” recipes, but it’s still fairly simple and worth the extra effort.
1 cup (120 g) plant protein mix
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each fennel seed, cumin and smoked paprika
1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt
Oil for pan frying
Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add fennel seeds and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add onions, cumin, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft. Take pan off heat and allow ingredients to cool.
Put the plant protein mix in a bowl. Add onion mixture and walnuts. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Gradually add water to the bowl, stopping frequently to stir. When the mixture is just moist, stop adding water. If the mixture is still dry, add one teaspoon of water at a time and stir until the dry mix is no longer visible. The mixture may still seem a little crumbly.
Place the mixture onto a large cutting board or clean counter. Knead the mixture until it forms a dough. This step takes a little effort and some of the onions and walnuts will try to escape. You can knead them back into the dough. For a small batch, mixing and kneading by hand works well. Using a stand-up mixer can make these steps easier, especially for a larger batch.
The kneaded dough should have a sturdy consistency. The texture is correct if you can pull off pieces with a little bit of give. If pieces break off too easily, sprinkle the kneading surface with a little more doutan mix and knead until you get the right consistency. Cut the dough in half and shape into two balls. Press the balls into the shape of patties.
Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a simmer. Lightly grease the steamer basket or place patties on parchment paper. Lay patties in steamer basket in a single layer and steam for 25 minutes. The steam function on an Instant Pot can be used, as well. Allow the patties to cool to touch before frying. The patties can be refrigerated at this point until ready to use.
To use the patties for a burger: heat a pan over medium to med-high heat. Add enough oil to create a thin layer in the pan.. Add the patties to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is brown and crisp. Flip the patties and fry for 2-3 minutes to brown the other side. Remove the pan from the heat and let the patties rest for about 10 minutes.. Assemble burger and enjoy..
Note: there are other ways to cook the patties. Instead of steaming the patties, you can also place the patties in simmering water for 25 minutes. Drain the patties, allow to dry and pan fry to crisp. If the patties are thin, you can skip the steaming/simmering and pan fry them directly. The key is to control the heat to make sure the interior is cooked before the exterior burns.