Deluxe tempeh burgers will end your search for the perfect plant-based burger. This is burger nirvana achieved. Best of all, they are easy to make, with only a few ingredients.
Tempeh, fermented soybeans, has a distinct taste on its own. I found tempeh rather bitter when I first tried it and decided it was more of an ‘acquired’ taste. Because I loved the chewy texture of the stuff, I kept experimenting. I steamed it, which helped to soften it, but the bitterness remained. And then, I decided to simmer it in broth and tamari (or soy sauce) and other spices relevant to my recipe (check out loaded tempeh stew) and voilà! Gone, the bitterness, enter the soft meaty texture that I was looking for. Another burger nirvana moment in the making.
Pulse, mix and roll
5-6 pulses in the food processor for the tempeh, onion and mushrooms is a magic touch that makes tempeh burgers special. That little bit of processing will smooth out the bigger pieces while allowing the burgers to maintain texture integrity. The simmered tempeh will be moist, so take the time to press on it in the colander to get it as dry as possible. Once you get your pulse on, you will be in a better position to decide how much seitan you’ll need to add.
Hail Seitan (say-tan)
Seitan is a staple for plant-based recipes and it helps to give deluxe tempeh burgers a ‘meaty’ texture. Seitan, wheat gluten, looks like flour, but when mixed with a liquid, it becomes a true meat substitute. Seitan adds this same property to burgers or cutlets. Look for bags of Seitan at natural food stores or in the healthy food sections of some of your bigger supermarkets.
I’m not sure about a lasting state of nirvana. I do think we can grab bits along the way that achieve momentary states of perfect peace and happiness. Maybe it’s not just one action that achieves lasting nirvana, but a series of small things that adds up to happiness. The more the better. At any rate, it smells like the deluxe tempeh burgers around here. Eating nirvana awaits. Peace.Print
Deluxe tempeh burgers are uncompromisingly good. Don’t take my word for it – you are just 6 ingredients and 4 steps from burger nirvana. Go for it.
- 8 oz (250 gm) package of tempeh
- 4–5 cups vegetable broth (or use water and a few veggie cubes)
- 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- ½ cup onion diced large (you’ll be putting this in the food processor, so it doesn’t need to be so small)
- 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (yes, another one)
- ½ – 1 cup seitan (wheat gluten)
- ¼ tsp. black pepper (if desired)
- Slice the tempeh 1 inch slices for easier handling. Crumble it into small pieces (aim for thumbnail size) and place it in a medium pot.
- Cover the tempeh with vegetable broth and add 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce.
- Bring the pot to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer the tempeh for 20 minutes.
- While the tempeh simmers, prepare the onion and mushrooms and measure out your seitan.
- When the tempeh is done, drain it and press it down a bit to get as much moisture out as possible.
- Put the tempeh, onion, mushrooms, black pepper and another tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce into your food processor. Pulse 5-6 times just to break it into smaller pieces. You don’t want it smooth.
- Take a moment to preheat your oven to 4250F (2200 C) and dig out your baking tray. Line the tray with parchment paper if desired.
- Place the tempeh mixture into a medium mixing bowl and then start adding the seitan a quarter cup at a time until you have a mixture that will easily form into a balls and hold. I recommend mixing it with your hand.
- Make 4 burger balls and press them into patties and put them on your baking tray.
- Place the burgers in the oven in the middle-top middle of your oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes more until the burgers are slightly brown on the top and are firm, but not hard.
- Dress up your burgers as desired. We love them with aioli using ½ cup of awesome vegan sour cream and adding 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. garlic powder.
- You are going to get your hands dirty making the burgers so mix in the seitan with your hands. It’s seriously therapeutic.
- Deluxe tempeh burgers can be reheated in the microwave or wrap them in foil and steam or reheat in the oven.
- Make the simmered tempeh ahead, drain, press and keep it in the fridge for several days before using.
- Category: Burgers & wraps
- Method: Stove top/Bake
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: Deluxe tempeh burgers