Entrees/ Make It Meatless/ Recipes/ vegetarian recipes

Thai Veggie Burgers

Thai Veggie Burgers

Thai Veggie Burgers
I’ve lived in a vegetarian household for over seven years now, and it’s fair to say I’ve made my share of veggie burgers. Some have been insanely good, some meh, and some downright disgusting.

Two qualities are necessary for a good veggie burger: The right texture and, of course, incredible flavor. If you achieve only one of these, your burger will probably fall into the “meh” category — you don’t like it and you don’t hate it, but you probably won’t ever make it again. And if you’re missing both flavor and texture, forget it.

Then you have the veggie burgers that have it all, like these sturdy Thai veggie burgers — made all the better because they’re piled high with Thai pickles and finished off with a generous smear of curried cashew cream. They’re a little bit involved, so they’re not your everyday kind of veggie burger, but they’re perfect for a Saturday evening when you’ve got time on your hands and you want to make a dinner that will impress.

Thai Veggie Burger Ingredients
Inspired by a Thai Turkey Burgers recipe from Epicurious, these veggie burgers are packed with flavor thanks to Thai spices, toppings, and sauces. And the texture is just right — nice and firm so that they hold up to being topped, sauced, and manhandled in the bun. You know, like a burger should be!

When I was developing this recipe, I knew I wanted to use a blend of beans and oats to achieve the texture and flavor that would make this burger unforgettable. After a few failed attempts, I finally stumbled on a combination of edamame, oats, and — most importantly — dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours to soften them. The beauty of the soaked chickpeas is that there’s no need to cook them first. Just grind the soaked beans in your food processor along with the rest of the ingredients, form your patties, and cook.

Soaked chickpeas are my secret to nailing the perfect texture in falafel (see my Sweet Potato Falafel recipe!) and they work for burgers too. The soaked chickpeas have a texture that’s almost closer to a nut than a bean, so you avoid that mushy, bean-y texture that some veggie burgers can have. In a pinch, you can use cooked chickpeas from a can, but they may throw off the texture, so if at all possible, give this method a try because it’s worth it! There really isn’t much more prep time involved; you just have to remember to set the chickpeas out to soak the day before you make the burgers.

Print

Thai Veggie Burgers

Thai Veggie Burgers

Thai-inspired homemade pickles and curried cashew cream top off these spicy veggie burgers. Adapted from Epicurious’s Thai Turkey Burgers.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients

For the curried cashew cream:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Salt to taste

For the Thai pickles:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 large carrot, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 16 mint leaves, chopped
  • 8 large basil leaves, chopped

For the Thai veggie burgers:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed and core finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste)
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Thai Chili & Ginger sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Zest of 1 lime and 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • Grapeseed oil, or other neutral-tasting, high smoke point oil for cooking

For serving:

  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Additional cilantro for topping (optional)

Instructions

For the curried cashew cream:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor fitted with the S-blade. Blend, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary, until it’s smooth and has a consistency similar to hummus. If your machine seems like it’s struggling, add more vegetable broth, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s running smoothly. Season with salt to taste and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

For the Thai pickles:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, and orange juice until the honey dissolves. Add the cucumber and carrot strips, cilantro, basil, and mint. Toss to combine. Set aside to marinate while you make the burgers.

For the Thai veggie burgers:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine the garlic, lemongrass, and green onions. Process until all of the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, edamame, oats, egg, Thai chile & ginger sauce, salt, and lime juice. Process, stopping to scrape the sides once or twice, until the ingredients are combined and are about the same size as small grains of rice. Fold in the lime zest and chopped cilantro.
  2. Line a small baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper. Divide the burger mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment and shape them into 1/2-inch thick disks. Place patties in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to firm up while you toast the buns.
  3. When you’re ready to cook the burgers, place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of oil and heat until shimmering. Gently place the patties in the pan — you want to hear a loud sizzle when the patties hit the oil, otherwise it’s not quite hot enough yet. Fit as many patties in the pan as you can without crowding them. Cook the patties for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. The exterior should be crisp and golden brown with slight charring around the edges.

To build your burger:

  1. Spread a generous amount of the curried cashew cream on each side of a hamburger bun. Set a patty on top of the bottom bun, place a heaping mound of Thai pickles over the top, scatter cilantro over the pickles if using, and place the other half of the bun on top. Repeat with each burger and serve.

Notes

The pickles and curried cashew cream can both be made in advance to save on prep time.

If you can find Thai basil leaves, buy them for the pickles! They have a stronger flavor than regular basil. If you’re unable to find Thai Chili & Ginger Sauce, we’ve tested this recipe successfully using 2 tablespoons of Thai chili garlic sauce and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger instead (cut the sauce down to 1 tablespoon for milder burgers!).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 burger

You Might Also Like

31 Comments

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    May 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I agree, veggie burgers have to be juuuust right to hit the spot, but these look perfect! I love the pickles and the cashew cream, they look like they put it over the top : )

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks so much Abby!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    May 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Well colour me intrigued! I am a chronic battler of sub par veggie burgers, but this chickpea soaking thing sounds interesting. I’m going to give it a try! When you soak chickpeas for so long do you usually keep them in the fridge or out?

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Katie, you crack me up! Ha! So, I live by the beach and my house is usually cool not hot so I soak them at room temperature. If you have major temperature fluctuations in your house or you are just concerned about soaking for that long at room temp you can soak them in the fridge. Also, just FYI, the soaking liquid after 24 hours is STINKY! Be sure you rinse the beans really well.

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    May 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’m not so well-versed in the art of veggie burg making, so I’m definitely going to try these out! They look like they are packed with flavor. I could easily see this recipe becoming a staple in my house!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Julia, I hope you really love them. I am such veggie burger snob when it comes to taste and texture. I have a really hard time even ordering them out anymore.These are going to BLOW your mind:)

  • Reply
    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
    May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Pinning this to make ASAP! I love veggies burgers and this Thai version sounds wonderful.

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Yay Gwen!! I hope you really like them:)

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Whole Plate Wellness
    May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    It never occurred to me to try soaked beans instead of canned… thanks for the tip!! I am a veggie burger fanatic so I can’t wait to try these!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Natalie, it doesn’t work with all beans, but it works GREAT with chickpeas. I use the same method to make my falafel. It’s a total game changer!

  • Reply
    Catherine McCord
    May 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    This is one of those recipes that’s perfect whether you vegetarian or not. So filling and satisfying! My kids will love it!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Catherine, thank you SO much!! My kids went nuts for them and my 12 year old has even been breaking the patties up and making wraps out of them for her lunch. I hope your kids love them too!

  • Reply
    Baby June
    May 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Mmm, those look great! I love Thai flavors, so I’ll have to try this soon.

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do:)

  • Reply
    Kris
    May 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    This looks like a recipe I could really enjoy. I would like to know what I could replace the curry with though, I really don’t like it but everything else sounds wonderful! I was wondering if anyone had some other spices that would still give it the same Thia flavor without the curry?

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 21, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Kris, the only part of the recipe that has curry paste in it is the sauce. You can either leave the sauce off completely and simply spread sriracha on the bun or you can make the cashew cream and substitute 1/2 tablespoon of sriracha in the sauce.

      • Reply
        Kris
        May 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Thank you, going to get some from the store and get on this recipe! 🙂 Also, I saw the vegan carrot muffins this morning. I’ll gluten free that recipe for my
        daughter and we will have an awesome late lunch. 😉

        • Reply
          Meg van der Kruik
          May 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

          Yum!! Kris, I will be right over:) I am sure you know this, but sriracha is pretty spicy stuff, so just season to your liking:)

  • Reply
    Connie at Bird and Seed
    May 22, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Oooh! Pickles and Cashew cream! That is an impressive list of ingredients in those burgers, but I think their tastiness will overcome the effort. Plus, you can always double the recipe and freeze the extras for next time. I can’t wait to make this!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      May 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Connie, I hope you love this as much as we do! There are quite a few spices in the mix here, but in case you are in a time pinch the patties are equally good without the cashew cream and pickles. They just add a extra flavor and texture kick.

  • Reply
    betsy shipley
    May 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    This will be on my to do list after our kitchen remodel; however, I will use either chia seeds or flax meal as a binder since I don’t use eggs. Thanks for the yummy looking picture.
    betsy shipley

  • Reply
    Ann
    May 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Do you think you could freeze these burgers? I’m single, so I’d only eat one a day at most. I could make less cashew cream at one time, but I’m not sure about how well the burgers would keep (either frozen or just in the fridge). Any idea on that?

    • Reply
      Lauren
      January 2, 2016 at 6:06 am

      I didn’t freeze mine but I think they’d do fine frozen.

  • Reply
    Miquel
    May 22, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    These burgers sound delish! Any thoughts as to whether or not they would turn out okay without the egg? If they wouldn’t, is there anything that could be used as a substitute?

    • Reply
      Lauren
      January 2, 2016 at 6:04 am

      These held together really well for me with chickpea flour in place of the soaked whole chickpeas. I think if you did that and maybe used a flax or chia egg, you could not use a chicken egg.

  • Reply
    Kate @ Veggie Desserts
    May 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Indeed, a meh veggie burger is such a disappointment. But when they’re good, they’re goooood. This one sounds so delicious. 🙂

  • Reply
    Joanne
    May 23, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Good veggie burger recipes are definitely hard to find!! I would never have thought to add soaked dried chickpeas! I’m sure they make the texture all kinds of awesome.

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    May 27, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I am right there with you! I try to include meatless monday recipes as often as I can! I am an athlete, who pays close attention to my diet to ensure I can perform on race day, yet I know if you are smart about it, you can make a meal just as nutritious….if not more, without the meat! These look wonderful, and I love the combination of flavors!

  • Reply
    lisacng @ expandng.com
    May 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Oh, I gotta try! Just love me some Thai flavors. Question, is the addition of the curry paste essential? Substitutes? I’m afraid it might be too spicy for my little ones.

  • Reply
    Karen @ SoupAddict
    June 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I completely agree about chickpeas – they solve so many texture issues! And lemongrass in a veggie burger … {swwoooon}

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 2, 2016 at 6:01 am

    We made the burgers last night and they were awesome! I substituted 3/4 c chickpea flour for the 1/2 c whole chickpeas (that’s the conversion I found online) and 1-1.5 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste for the ginger chile sauce. They held together REALLY well and were super flavorful, but there were two slight problems with them. (1) They were a bit dense for my preference, but, if a problem, that might have been due to my substitutions. Next time I might try adding just a little (1/4 c?) grated carrot or zucchini. Or I’ll try to see if the soaked whole chickpeas improve this. (2) I had trouble cooking them through, as they started burning in the pan. My stove top tends to run hot, as does my cast iron, so it might have been due to my equipment. Next time I will try making them a little flatter (closer to 1/4″) and maybe bake in the oven with a quick sear on the stovetop.

    But excellent, I’ll definitely make this again and next time ensure i have time for the pickles!!

  • Leave a Reply