I’m starting to realize that everything tastes better with gochujang. I’ve been eating gochujang all my life, so the West’s recent love fest with this “condiment” was more of a curiosity than anything else. But, since becoming vegan, I’ve realized that the best way to make a recipe more “homey” to me is to add gochujang. It goes with EVERYTHING. And the COLOR is so gorgeous–it provides an instant “look at me I’m so awesome” factor to whatever you’re making.
Including a brown lentil burger.
So, I wanted to make something with this can of lentils that has been sitting in my fridge for like 3 months. I finally decided, let’s add it to some rice and call it a day. But then, I did some research and there’s this delicious looking middle eastern dish called “Mujadarra”–basically, rice, lentils and caramelized onions. SOLD.
Once I got home, I decided, “meh, why make another old boring rice and beans dish? Why not fry it???” Because what thing doesn’t get more perfect after being fried? Nothing.
So, the Fried Majadarra Gochujang Burger was born. I mixed some gochujang ketchup (yup, it’s a thing, did you know?) with some thick and creamy coconut milk, along with some soy sauce to make a quick “aioli” which my boyfriend happily slathered over what he called “one of the tastiest things [I’ve] ever made.” I honestly think this is my best veggie burger, to date. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and dense on the inside, and the flavor is out of this fucking world. Try it. You won’t believe it until you do.
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Recipe Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings Amount: 6
- 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 5-6 shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/4 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 serrano chili (seeded and chopped)
- 1/2 can lentils (cooked)
- 2 cups short grain brown rice (cooked)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tbsp gochujang*
- 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup potato starch (you can substitute all purpose flour but potato starch is best)
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (I just reserved some of the liquid from the can of lentils)
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
- 2 tbsp gochujang ketchup sauce* (you can also use regular gochujang)
- 2 tsp coconut milk
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp mirin (optional)
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley (chopped)
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to sauté pan (do not use non-stick) over medium-high heat. When oil is nice and hot, add onions and mushrooms. Let them cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that they get nice and caramelized. If necessary, add water if they start sticking to the pan or burning.
- Add garlic, serrano chili and red bell peppers and cook until they soften. Season generously with salt.
- Add lentils and rice, as well as cumin, turmeric, and gochujang. Stir until all ingredients are well coated in spices and gochujang.
- Add a little water and 1 tbsp of potato starch. Stir until water is cooked down and the bean/rice/veggie mixture is thick and sticky.
- Place in large bowl and throw in some parsley. Stir until well incorporated and let it cool. You can even refrigerate this overnight, since it’s much easier to work with the “meat” when it’s cold.
- Once the rice mixture has cooled, form into patties. I molded them into 6 patties that were fairly small (like sliders). You can make 4 traditional sized burgers.
- Set up a factory style workstation: (a) one bowl of potato starch, (b) one bowl of aquafaba, and (c) one bowl of panko. Then, dip the patty in the potato starch and coat. Next, dip the coated patty into the aquafaba, followed quickly by a dip in the panko bow. Repeat for all patties.
- In a NON-STICK pan, add 1-2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Once skillet is nice and hot, gently place patties and cook until they are nice and brown (~2 minutes). Flip and repeat.
- For the gochujang aioli, simply mix all the ingredients together.
- Serve with or without bun (if you’re low carbing it tonight).