Sunday, August 24, 2014

Brown Rice Hippie Burgers

I call these "Brown Rice Hippie Burgers" because, well, that is clearly what they are.  They're burgers which are vegan and include hemp seeds.  What more can I say?

I thought it would be fun to experiment with some different burger options.  We like our Better Burgers and kidney bean bugers, but so many people have come up with so many different types of burgers I thought it would be interesting to play around with some different ideas.  Like brown rice burgers!  Rice is a whole food which is both cheap and easy to make.  That seems like reason enough for me to give a rice burger a try.

So I read a gazillion recipes for brown rice burgers, ruminated on them, and came up with my own version which I proudly present as Brown Rice Hippie Burgers.

They are remarkably flavorful.  They have mustard and ketchup and herbs and pepper built right into the burger.  Yummy!  They are very tender.  You can really sink your teeth into them.  Its a nice contrast between the soft, tender inside and the crisp, crunchy outside.    Forming them up is a bit trickier than the Better Burgers, say, because of this tenderness.  That seems to be the way it goes with rice burgers.  Once one side is cooked though its easy street.  Its just got to start to form that crisp outer crust first.  Refrigerating the mixture before forming the patties is critical.
Brown Rice Hippie Burgers                           Makes about 10 patties.

3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice, separated
1 1/2 C onion, diced
1-2 bell peppers, diced  (substitute in some jalapeno for some heat if desired)
1 cup shelled hemp seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T ketchup
1 T tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T olive oil, plus more for frying
1 t brown, spicy, or Dijon mustard
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried sage leaves
1/8 t sea salt, plus a pinch or so to taste
black pepper, to taste
Breadcrumbs, as needed for consistency
1/4 cup flour, for dusting patties

Saute onions for 3–5 minutes until the onions start to become tender.
Add bell peppers, salt, and black pepper and saute for another five minutes, until onions are translucent.
In a food processor, combine 2 cups rice, hemp seeds, garlic, ketchup, tamari, mustard, and herbs.
Process until fairly smooth.  Add additional salt, if desired.
Transfer to a bowl and add in remaining cup of rice.
Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so that they firm up and easier to work with.
Form patties and dust lightly in flour.  Add breadcrumbs if the mixture is too soft to work with.
Heat additional oil over medium-high heat and add patties.
Cook for 5–10 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp on the outside.

Serve alone or on a fresh, soft wheat roll.

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