I absolutely loved tempeh the first time I ever tried it. But I quickly discovered that not everyone feels the same. In fact, in the world of vegetarian foods, tempeh is pretty darn dividing. That’s a bummer for someone like me who adores tempeh, because it’s such a good source of protein, and there’s so much you can do with it!
When I first met my husband, he was firmly seated in the tempeh-haters camp. I viewed that as a challenge, and I’m happy to say that by now I’ve managed to win him over on tempeh. I’m also extremely proud to say that he declared these tempeh burgers to be his favorite veggie burgers ever.
I’ve found there are a few tricks where tempeh is concerned. Most people’s big objection to tempeh is it’s bitterness, which can be taken away by steaming. I actually recommend steaming the tempeh for these burgers even if you don’t mind the bitter flavor, because it precooks the tempeh so you can taste test as you prepare the burger mixture (you should never eat raw tempeh).
The other trick is to add lots of additional flavors, which is why I went with spicy sriracha sauce, sweet maple syrup, and a nice hit of garlic to season up these burgers. Some black beans and oat flour help to bind the mixture while keeping the option for gluten-free burgers available, and carrots add an extra bit of texture and sweetness that goes really nicely with the heat from the sriracha. Because I like my food extra spicy, I topped my burger off with a mix of ketchup and some more sriracha, but feel free to go with plain old ketchup for a milder burger. Either way, you’ll end up with a hearty burger that’s loaded with flavor, carries a nice dose of protein, and is relatively low in calories. It might just make tempeh into your new favorite thing.
For a lighter meal, skip the avocado and serve the patties wrapped in lettuce leaves, like we did with these millet burgers.
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