The Wellness Blog 

Tempeh and Shiitake Mushroom Burgers

Tempeh is a traditional fermented food originally from Indonesia. It is now widely available at supermarkets and health food stores in a variety of flavours. It is made by culturing and fermenting soy beans to form a small dense block. Tempeh uses the whole soy bean, making it higher in both protein and fibre than tofu.

This recipe combines three nutritious foods - tempeh, brown rice and shiitake mushrooms. A good source of vegetarian protein, these burgers are high in magnesium, potassium, iron, and several B vitamins. Tempeh's process of fermentation results in an increased bioavailability of minerals iron, zinc, and calcium. Fermentation also improves digestibility of soy beans via breakdown of the oligosaccharides that make digesting beans difficult for some people. Shiitake mushroom strengthen the immune system, protect against cancer and assist in reducing cholesterol.

Tempeh and Shiitake Mushroom Burgers

Serves 3 - 4

1 cup of brown rice, cooked*
225g of tempeh, grated
1 tbsp of miso paste
100g of fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 organic/biodynamic free range egg
2 tbsp of unhulled sesame seeds
1-2 tbsp of wholegrain flour
Extra virgin coconut oil, for frying

1. Mix the brown rice, tempeh, miso, shiitake mushrooms, egg, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Once combined, add a little flour to bring the mix together.

2. Form small flat patties in the palm of your hand. The trick with these burgers is to keep them small and flat, as they will tend to break if too large or thick. Lightly dust each side with flour.

3. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan with a little coconut oil. Lightly fry patties on a medium heat for several minutes each side until golden brown. Rest on paper towel before serving.

4. Serve with tamari sauce and grated daikon salad.

* This recipe works best with brown rice cooked with the absorption method. This creates a more sticky consistency and allows the burgers to hold better. For the absorption method, use 1 part rinsed brown rice to 2 parts water. Cover and simmer on a low heat until all water is absorbed. Turn off heat and leave covered as it cools. Keeping the rice covered after the heat is off allows the rice to become more plump and sticky.

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