Yes, I realize I am on a burger kick these days. And very happily so. A mushroom burger has been on my mind for a while, and no time like the present, right?
I don’t live in an area where I have a dozen choices among mushrooms in any grocery store – national chain or local natural foods. That said, quite honestly, I have a feeling that some of the more tender varieties just might not be suitable for what I’m thinking of. So I’m pretty content to have crimini, button, and shiitake mushrooms to work with. Their textures and densities are similar, while their colors and flavors are quite distinctive. Each brings something unique to the mix.
I’m thinking of giving it an Asian
slant, so I’m going to add some grated daikon radish along with some chives. Bright, tender spring chives, oh yes. And how to dress it? I’m going to mix up some mayo, grated ginger, lime juice, and . . . fresh horseradish (!!) and see what happens.
While mushrooms are long on flavor and texture satisfaction, they are short on protein. To boost them in that regard, I’m going to add both chia seeds and toasted sesame seeds. Chia seeds in particular are wildly high in both protein and fiber, and both seeds should add a nice, subtle crunch to an otherwise tender combination.
Makes 2 patties
FOR THE PATTIES:
8 each medium-size button, crimini, and shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
3/4 cup Panko (very dry Asian breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup peeled, grated daikon radish
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
Several grinds of pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sesame oil for frying
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh horseradish
Sea or kosher salt and grinds of pepper to taste
TO FINISH THE BURGERS
Slices of peeled cucumber
4 hamburger buns
- Gently wipe all the mushroom caps with a dry paper towel. Pop the stems out of the button and crimini mushrooms, and trim them from the shiitakes with a paring knife. Tuck the stems into your stock bag.
- Place the mushroom caps in the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse switch to break them into small pieces. Do not purée them! Scrape the mushrooms into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the sesame oil. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the water in the mushrooms to be absorbed by the Panko.
- Meanwhile, make the spicy mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and adjust any other flavors as needed – I added another teaspoon of fresh horseradish. It wants to taste warm on your palate, not as if you’ve just eaten a firecracker. Peel and thinly slice about 1/2 of a cucumber for garnish.
- Using your hands, separate the mixture into quarters. Shape each into a patty about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick.
- Film with sesame oil a skillet large enough to accommodate the patties. Warm it over medium heat. When the oil shimmers or forms ribbons, use a metal spatula to place each patty in the pan. Fry to a golden brown on each side, turning gently.
- While patties are cooking, heat oven to Broil. Place hamburger buns on a baking sheet and broil until gently browned, about 3-4 minutes. When done, remove to plates and slather with Spicy Mayo.
- When patties are browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, serve one onto each bun. Garnish with cucumber slices. Serve immediately, of course. And fall in love with yet another burger.
The Solitary Cook Method:
I fried up one of the patties for lunch, then fried the others. When cool, I wrapped them individually in plastic. I’m planning to use one in a salad tomorrow, and I popped the other two into the freezer for times when I need a really quick, really good burger.