I refer to the term ‘meaty’ quite loosely here. It’s intended meaning being something of substance, something that you can chew on. Once you’ve been vegan for a while you lose any taste you once had for meat, but it still is nice to get something with some real texture, especially when it comes to burgers. To achieve this, I’ve turned to vital wheat gluten, which provides an incredible amount of texture to any patties, or sausages that you might be making. You can buy vital wheat gluten online, or at health food stores. I’ve got mine on an Amazon subscription, so it gets delivered to my door every two months. In my house I have to be careful with it, as my daughter is coeliac. She thinks I’m a whole new breed of evil for buying the very thing she’s allergic to in concentrated form, but I keep it in a sealed container and am ginger with its application.
This recipe uses soya mince, as well as vegan mozzarella, which is mixed in with the patty to allow it to melt while cooking. It is very much a vegan replica of the tradition way of making burgers and, as a result, produces a deeply satisfying meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes.
Makes 4-6 Patties
150g dried or fresh vegan soya mince (if using dried, rehydrate in hot water for 10 minutes then drain well)
1 small onion, finely diced
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ cup (75g) vital wheat gluten
3 slices granary bread, blended into crumbs
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 ½ tsp English mustard
Pinch black pepper
1 tsp harissa paste
50g grated vegan mozzarella style cheese
Oil for frying
Put all the ingredients, apart from the oil, into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Shape the mixture into burger patties of your desired size (I use a mould for this) and set aside on greaseproof paper.
Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the burger patties, in batches, for about 4 minutes each side, until they are nicely browned and sealed. Place the sealed burgers on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or so to finish off. Serve in burger buns with your favourite dressings.