Posts tagged ‘hamburgers’

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

I’ve always been a fan of veggie burgers since I discovered them.

I do love my hamburgers (homemade, not fast food burgers. Bleh), but sometimes I just want a veggie burger.

When I was a college student, one of the restaurants on campus had these really good veggie burgers and curly fries. *sigh* I used to get those all the time as a student. They were great. At least in my memory they are, lol.

I’ve tried various veggie burger/black bean burger recipes in the past, and they were okay, but not fabulous.

I found this recipe for black bean burgers on Annie’s Eats, and I was impressed with the result! These were really good southwestern style black bean burgers. They hold together well, have great flavor, and will please even the meat eaters of one’s family I believe.

They’re easy to make to. You just mash your beans up, and the rest of the ingredients, form them into patties, refrigerate them for awhile (to help them firm up and absorb the flavors), and then cook them on a skillet. I recommend making these in the morning or the night before you want to serve them. Then all you have to do is pop them out of the fridge, and cook them. Fast

I served these with baked sweet potato fried, but they’d go great with normal french fries, cole slaw, potato salad, tossed salad, etc.

recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

(makes 8 – 9 burgers)

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 3/4 c. panko bread crumbs

To serve:

  • Hamburger buns
  • lettuce
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced onion
  • pickles
  • sliced cheese
  1. Pour beans into a large bowl. Mash until somewhat smooth, but some whole beans still remain.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well.
  3. Form mixture into patties of desired size, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours (optional).
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Cook burgers until browned on one side (about 5 – 8 min), then flip and cook on remaining side until browned (5 – 8 min).
  5. Serve with toasted hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, sliced cheese, etc.

April 26, 2012 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

Teriyaki Tofu Burgers


This one word can arouse all sorts of feelings in different people. Delight, hunger, indifference, curiosity, and for some, disgust and revulsion.

I love tofu. I’ve been eating it ever since I was a kid (thanks Dad), so it’s nothing new to me.

Due to its very mild flavor, tofu is rarely ever eaten plain. But because of it’s almost nonexistent flavor, it’s extremely versatile. You can add it to just about anything.

In case you don’t know, tofu is made from soy milk (which is made from soy beans). The soy milk is coagulated so that curds form (much like when you make cheese from milk), and the curds are then pressed into cakes.

It originated in Ancient China (although exactly when and where in China is a bit fuzzy), and then spread to Japan and Korea.

In Japan, tofu is an extremely common food. It’s also very cheap, unlike its American counterpart. I’ve noticed that in the U.S., people usually eat tofu as an alternative to meat. This, however, is not the case in Japan. More often than not, tofu is used together with meat in a dish. It’s also usually added to miso soup, served as a side dish cold with some sort of topping in the summer, etc. But it’s not considered a meat substitute by most.

Enter the tofu burger. Many Americans will automatically consider this a vegetarian alternative to hamburgers made with beef. Tofu burgers (and tofu hamburger steaks) in Japan, however, almost always contain ground chicken. While most Japanese people think of tofu burgers as a healthier alternative to hamburgers, they don’t consider it a vegetarian alternative.

Honestly, unless your a Buddhist monk living in a monastery, Vegetarianism is not common in Japan (compared with the U.S.), and it’s very difficult to find real vegetarian food (even dishes that appear to be vegetarian dishes are often made with fish stock, fish flakes, small amounts of meat/fish, etc.).

My tofu burgers also have ground chicken in them. I think this not only improves the flavor, but it also helps them stay together a lot better. Feel free to leave out the chicken if you want a real vegetarian tofu burger.

Also, I find it’s easier to use two skillets when making these. That way I can cook all the burgers at once (rather than in batches), so it goes much more quickly, and everything is hot when it’s done.

Teriyaki Tofu Burgers

(makes 9 – 10 patties)

  • olive oil
  • 1 package firm tofu (drained)
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/3 onion, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • good dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • hamburger buns

for the teriyaki sauce:

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. mirin
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking sake
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and garlic until tender, about 4 -5 minutes. Turn of heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tofu, chicken, onion mixture, ginger paste, soy sauce, salt and pepper, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix well.
  3. Using your hands, form tofu mixture into patties, and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this will help the patties stay together when you cook them).
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the tofu burgers and cook until browned on one side (about 5 – 6 minutes), then flip and cook until browned on the other side (another 5 – 6 minutes). Place burgers on a paper-towel lined plate, and then cook the remaining burgers in the skillet, adding more oil if necessary. After cooking the remaining burgers on both sides, remove burgers to the plate. Use a paper towel to quickly wipe off the excess oil in the skillet (being careful not to burn yourself; use a spatula or wooden spoon to move the paper towel around the skillet if necessary).
  5. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce.
  6. Return skillet to stove over medium heat. Add half the burgers to the skillet. Pour half the teriyaki mixture over the burgers. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and move the burgers around in it. Flip them once so both sides of the burgers are well coated with the sauce. When the sauce is almost completely gone (it will reduce, thicken, and stick to the burgers until there’s almost no sauce left in the skillet), remove the burgers to a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining burgers and the remaining teriyaki sauce.
  7. Serve with toasted hamburger buns, mayonnaise, and any condiments you want.

November 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Today’s Lunch

I made hamburgers for dinner last night, so I made sure there were extras to put into today’s lunch.

Today’s lunch: Hamburger with my homemade hamburger buns, edamame, and a persimmon

October 12, 2011 at 10:22 am 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday for Oct. 10 – 14

I’m actually posting this Tuesday afternoon here in Japan, but it’s still Monday in the U.S., so that counts, right? Ahaha…

Monday was a national holiday here in Japan, so Hisa and I went up to his parents’ place for the weekend. Sunday we climbed Mt. Nasu, which is about an hour drive from his parents’ place. It was so much fun! The leaves had all changed, so the mountain looked bright red. It was beautiful.

Hisa and me. We later climbed to the peak of the mountain behind us.

Beautiful, right? I took this when we were almost to the peak of the mountain in the previous picture.

The mountain actually had multiple peaks, and we climbed two of them. The first peak we climbed is actually an active volcano, and smoke was constantly coming out of it.

See the smoke? Every once in awhile we would hear a loud whooshing noise that was steam escaping from the volcano.

It looked just like Mount Doom near the peak, so I decided we should take some Lord of the Rings themed pictures while we were there… Because I’m cool like that…yo.

I was chosen for this task! If I don’t destroy the ring, no one will!

(Actually I was holding my wedding ring, and as I like my husband and wanna keep him around for awhile, I decided I probably shouldn’t throw my ring into the fires of Mount Doom. Sorry Gandalf.)

At this point, I told Hisa to crouch down in the shadow of the big rock and act like Gollum, but somehow he just ended up looking like a kid who’s been bullied…

The closer we got to the peak of the volcano, the more smoke there was. When we finally reached the peak it was like being in a cloud. A cloud that reeked of sulfurous gas that is. I hope it wasn’t toxic…

Wheeeeeere’s Rachel? (volcano peak version)

The second peak we climbed was both higher and harder, but beautiful and a lot of fun in my opinion.

A lot of the trail consisted of climbing along a cliff face while holding onto a chain that was drilled into the side of the mountain. In some places you had to brace your feet, grab the chain with both hands, and pull yourself up over huge rocks. It was awesome. Climbing back down afterward was kinda freaky, but it was worth it. 🙂

Hisa and I at the second peak. Let me just add that the wind was really strong there, and it was really cold. Also, I had a lot of stuff in my pockets, so no, that isn’t my gut sticking out. I just wanted you to know that.

It was a really fun day hiking, but we were both exhausted by the time we got home, and still tired the next day. I’m really glad we were able to go though! I hated hiking when I was a kid, but I love it now! Especially hiking in mountains! Fun!

Menu Plan for October 10 – 14:

October 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for July 11 – 15 (and my recovery from the cold from hell)

Apologies for the week-long absence, but as post title says, I’ve been recovering from the cold from hell. Or perhaps I should call it “the cold that would never end”. Either way, last week was definitely not fun.

Since the 4th of July is obviously not a holiday in Japan, we were planning on celebrating over dinner some friends. It may seem just a small thing, but considering I haven’t celebrated the 4th of July since 2007, I was pretty excited about it. I was planning on making hamburgers (with homemade buns), coleslaw, and blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Sadly, I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat, and feeling absolutely terrible. I refused to be defeated by the untimely cold (my illnesses are always untimely, and always seem to occur around holidays and important events), and informed my husband that I would be okay, and would could still have company come over for dinner. I would persevere!

Determined to carry on, I decided that I should get everything ready in the morning; that way I could spend the rest of the afternoon resting. It was brilliant. And everything I did do. I vacuumed our apartment, cleaned everything, made hamburger buns, made the coleslaw, got the meat marinating, and assembled the cobbler so it would be ready to bake.

I was quite pleased with the fact that I finished everything before lunch, and thought I had managed quite well…until I actually sat down. Then everything caught up with me, including my cold. And by catching up with me, I mean it punched me in the face and laughed at my curled up, sniveling self.

By about 2pm, I texted my husband from the bubble I had created inside of my futon, and told him that I felt like poo, and we needed to cancel tonight’s dinner.

We still ended up having hamburgers for dinner, although it was just the two of us, since I had done all the food prep in the morning. I didn’t enjoy it all that much, however, and I only managed to eat one hamburger. Alas, such is life. At least my husband really enjoyed the food.

The rest of the week was pretty much a blur. Tuesday, my husband took me to the doctor, and I got some medicine. Wednesday, stage 2 of my cold set in, and I began sneezing and blowing my nose continuously. Thursday, in addition to the sneezing and blowing of the nose, stage 3 began with coughing and my ear feeling stuffy and hurting. By Friday, the sneezing was over, and my throat was actually feeling somewhat better, but the blowing of the nose and coughing was continuous. Saturday, I finally began stage 4 in which I actually started feeling better. I spent the weekend blowing my nose and coughing up crap, but each day I feel a little better. Today I’m not coughing or blowing my nose quite so much, and I’ve been able to get some things done around the house, but I decided (with the help of a little motherly wisdom from my mom) that I probably shouldn’t go to karate today. I hate it, because I missed it all last week, but if I tried such an intense workout today (and in this crazy heat) I’d probably pass out and/or make myself sick again. So I’m erring on the side of caution. Best to be completely well and strong before I start punching things again.

Menu Plan for July 11 – 15:

  • Sloppy Joes and mustard potato salad (I haven’t had sloppy joes in years, and Hisa has never had them before, so I’m looking forward to this)
  • Hot dogs and leftover potato salad (I also haven’t had a hot dog in years, so I’m looking forward to this as well)
  • Thai stir-fried veggies and shrimp with steamed rice
  • Chana masala (Indian chickpea stew) with tumeric rice
  • Lemon caper chicken pasta and tossed salad

Here are some pictures from our 4th of July dinner (yes, despite feeling like crap, I still took pictures!).

Burgers and coleslaw! Mm, mm good!

After much experimentation, I finally have both a hamburger bun recipe and a hamburger patty recipe that I really like.

Homemade blueberry cobbler.

It doesn’t get much better than this folks.

Here’s hoping this week is a better one! Stay cool everyone!

July 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I have a confession to make.

I’m horrible at frisbee.

I wouldn’t even go near a frisbee for years, because I was traumatized during my junior high school years.

It’s all my brother’s fault.

Well partially at least. In one experience, my class was playing frisbee tag during gym class, and I got hit in the eye with a frisbee. It left a red line across my eye and face the rest of the day. That was the less traumatic experience.

In my other experience with frisbee, me, my dad, and my two brothers were playing with a frisbee in a big parking lot. Every time my dad threw the frisbee at me, however, my brother, Nathan, would run in front of me and catch it before I could.

After this happened so many times, I finally got mad enough that I chased after my brother in an attempt to catch it before he did or grab it out of his hands. The result was that I didn’t even touch the frisbee (figures), and instead grabbed the back of Nathan’s shirt with my left hand (I’m a leftie). My left ring finger got caught in my brother’s shirt, twisted, and made a horrible ripping sound. Nathan immediately turned around and started inspecting his shirt, thinking I’d ripped it. He then noticed that I was bent over, clutching my hand, and squealing in pain, and that it was my finger that had made the ripping sound, not his shirt.

Long story short, there’s a tissue that surrounds ours bones, and that’s what ripped in my finger (thus, the ripping sound). My finger was also fractured at the same time. The doctor didn’t catch the fracture on the x-ray, however, because my finger was so swollen. As a result, the joint gradually slid down and made my finger crooked.

And it’s still crooked to this day.

And it’s Nathan’s fault.

And frisbee’s fault.

So that is why I stopped playing frisbee, and thus, cannot throw one of those things to save my life.

My psychological wounds have healed enough now, however, that I decided to pick up a frisbee once more recently. These days, Hisa and I sometimes throw a frisbee around in the park when the weather is nice.

I think Hisa enjoys it, not so much because throwing a frisbee is so fun, but because it’s so funny to watch me (try) to throw a frisbee in his general direction.

It’s harder than it looks. Whenever I throw the frisbee, I somehow accidently turn it so it goes sideways and ends up rolling on the ground. Either that or I end up throwing it sideways and almost hit a tree, bush, small child, or old person. I also still get a little nervous if the frisbee comes flying at me at eye level.

I have been getting better, just very very slowly. In an attempt to keep my arm and the frisbee level when I throw it, I do something that looks like a slow-motion yoga pose whenever I throw it. Like I said, Hisa enjoys it immensely.

Whenever it starts warming up, I start wanting to have a burger.

Although hamburgers are super popular in Japan, it’s really hard to find hamburger buns in a super market, so I don’t think people usually make their own. I guess it’s more of a fast-food only type of food for people here.

I’m not a fan of fast-food burgers (or fast-food in general), so when I’m craving a burger, I usually just make my own. Or course that also means I have to make my own buns. Homemade buns are always yummier than the store-bought ones though, so I don’t mind the extra effort.

This Monday, when I made hamburgers for dinner, I decided to try a new hamburger bun recipe, and I found one that came out really well.

This will give you light, fluffy buns, just the right size and thickness for burgers.

The original recipe is here.

Hamburger Buns

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 4 1/2 c. bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. milk (optional)
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, and butter, until the butter melts and mixture is very warm (but not boiling). Turn off heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 c. flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm, and it to the flour mixture and mix. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into the shape of a ball, and place on a greased baking sheet. Press each piece down with the palm of your hand until in is about 1/2 in. thick. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  7. If you want sesame seeds on your buns, right before you put them in the oven, lightly brush the tops of the buns with milk, and then sprinkle on sesame seeds.
  8. Bake buns 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Now go have yourself a good ‘ol homemade burger and some slaw y’all!

April 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm 5 comments

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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