I love vegetarian burgers because they're usually packed with lots of vegetables and other yummy ingredients, and there are so many ways to enjoy them - you can put them in between a bun and dress them up with your favourite toppings, but they are often just as good or even better on their own, without the bun!
These patties definitely fit into the latter category. They are so flavourful that I preferred to just eat them with a fork rather than hiding them in a bun underneath other toppings.
The patties themselves are actually made with tofu, but you would probably never guess just by looking at them (and you could probably serve these to a tofu-hater without them knowing either!) They are also filled with spinach and asian flavours like sesame oil and soy sauce. I decided to add some peanut butter to mine too, to go with a sort of asian peanut sauce theme.
Once cooked, they held their shape well (which can be a problem with other veggie burgers), but they were still soft and easily broke apart with a fork when eaten that way.
The original recipe didn't include a sauce to go with them, but since I love my condiments, I brainstormed what type of topping I could make for them. I immediately thought of a yogurt sauce, like the tahini yogurt sauce that I made for my beet burgers. I still think that would go really well with them, but I ended up choosing a different sauce. To keep with the asian flavours, I made a peanut chutney using a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while. It's actually meant to be a dipping sauce so it's quite thick, but it was really good!
I loved eating the patties on top of naan bread with the peanut chutney spread on top, but feel free to use another sauce or just eat these plain!
Spinach Tofu Patties
Adapted from Joanne of Eats Well With Others, as seen on Marcus Samuelsson's Blog
1/2 lb spinach
1 scallion, minced (I left this out)
1 clove garlic, minced
175 grams tofu (about half a block)
1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
2 tbsp sesame seeds (I used the toasted kind)
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1.5 tbsp peanut butter
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for one minute. Then drain the spinach and plunge it into a bowl of ice water. Once it has cooled, drain the water and squeeze out as much additional water from the spinach as you can with your hands. Chop the drained spinach finely and place aside in a bowl.
Add the minced garlic and scallion (if using) to the spinach. Crumble half of the tofu with your hands into the bowl with the spinach mixture. Process the other half of the tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the pureed tofu to the bowl, along with the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, and a dash of salt and pepper.
Stir everything together until it is fully mixed. Form into 4 patties (or less if you want larger patties), flattening the top and bottom.
Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Carefully flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
Serve warm with buns or pitas, or simply top with your favourite sauce (like the peanut chutney recipe below)
Makes 4 patties (the original recipe said it made 4, and I cut the recipe in half and still got 4).
Peanut Chutney Sauce
Recipe from Smells Like Home
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp mango chutney
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 small clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt and red pepper flakes
1-2 tbsp of water to thin if necessary
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
Makes enough for 4 patties.