If you saw my post about making homemade tofu then you know I have an abundance of okara on my hands. Okara is the soybean pulp leftover after making tofu or soymilk. You can buy okara at Asian markets or potentially get it for free if you know a place making tofu. It has a lot of nutritional value and a myriad of uses. Just doing a quick Google you’ll see it has a long history and there’s even a vegan blog dedicated to making stuff with it.
I asked one of my coworkers what I could do with the okara and he mentioned making a burger. I’ve been on the hunt for a good veggie burger FOREVER. I’m sick of eating mushed up bean cakes with the consistency of mashed potatoes inside. With my okara at hand I went to work testing out 4 variations. One was mostly gluten and totally delicious but I wanted something more complex. I settled on this variation and it did not disappoint. It doesn’t crumble, has great flavor, and a good texture all the way through!
A couple notes:
- You want dried/dehydared okara, not fresh. If you’re handling it at home then you can spread a thin, even layer on a baking sheet and put it at the lowest temp for several hours.
- If you can’t find okara try using TVP (textured vegetable protein) or a dehydrated/roasted nut like a walnut, something that can absorb some liquid.
- Use whatever dehydrated mushroom you can. I chopped it up a little to try and measure out a half cup, then blended it into basically a dust.
- If you want it to be saltier add another tablespoon of soy sauce and remove a tablespoon of water
- I used black rice but if you don’t have it/can’t find it then use long grain brown rice. It has a more similar texture than white rice.
- I cooked my rice like this.
- 1 cup okara
- 1 1/8 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup dehydrated mushroom dust
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp vegan worcestershire
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp beet powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- dash white pepper
- 1/2 cup (heaping) cooked black or brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black lentils
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp rice flour
- Pre-heat oven to 375º F
- Mix the okara, mushroom dust, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and white pepper together in a bowl.
- Add the hot water, soy sauce, worcestershire, and oil. Let site for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl mash the rice & lentils together. After the 10 minutes are up combine this with the okara/mushroom mixture and mash altogether.
- Add the chickpea & rice flours and continue mashing.
- Form into 8 patties on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375º for 15 minutes on each side.
- Cooks well in a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon or 2 of nice high-heat oil. Sautee on each side for just a couple minutes.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and a half!