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The Inspiration For This Tofu Burger
Recently we selected the film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" for our Sunday movie night. This film is about a friendship that develops between Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) and a cynical and jaded journalist assigned to do a story on him. It's a lovely film, and highly recommended.
Fred Rogers was a beloved figure of the American public. I discovered that he was actually a Presbyterian minister, and a vegetarian. From HuffPost.com: "Rogers was one of the rare Christian ministers at this point who believed that treating animals nonviolently and embracing a vegetarian lifestyle are deeply spiritual practices that bear witness to God’s love for animals." He once told the editor of the Vegetarian Times magazine (which he co-owned) that he loved tofu burgers and beets!
On movie nights I'll cook a meal that has something to do with the film we are watching. So I made tofu burgers and beets to accompany this film!
Spicy Thai Flavors!
I love spicy food! Therefore I decided to spice up my tofu burger with irresistible Thai flavors! This means I used the following ingredients in this burger:
- Sriracha sauce
- Thai chilis
- Thai basil
The dressing was made up of a Thai fish sauce flavored mayo, along with garlic, and more Thai chilis!
Let's make some Spicy Thai Tofu Burgers!
The Method To Make Spicy Thai Tofu Burgers
It's really quite simple to make these burgers! Here we go!
Drain the Tofu
You will need to use Extra Firm Tofu for these burgers. Then you will need to drain the tofu.
Draining the tofu is a big deal. You are aiming to get as much water out of the tofu as possible. Basically I placed a heavy object on top of a plate on top of the tofu, and let it sit for a couple of hours. This will help to draw the water out of the tofu.
Every so often I would drain off the water, and then place the heavy bowl on top and apply some pressure. After a couple of hours your tofu should be ready to go!
Prep Tofu Burger Ingredients and Combine With The Tofu
Prep the tofu burger ingredients (shallot, Thai chilis, Thai basil, and cilantro) by mincing them finely. This is easily done using a food processor.
Next combine this beautiful mince with crumbled up tofu and add Sriracha sauce to taste, followed by a bit of salt and flour.
Then combine everything by hand, and assemble into 2 tofu burgers.
Now Bake And Then Fry!
It seems that baking tofu burgers helps to firm them up a bit! So, I baked these at 350F for around 30 minutes.
The last step is to pan fry them! This gives them a nice lovely browned color. 😍
Assemble and Get Ready To Enjoy An Absolutely Delicious Vegetarian Burger!
These amazing burgers are best served on some toasted burger buns! I chose sliced tomatoes, cilantro, and sliced onions as garnishes for our burgers. But use what you like! Slices of cool cucumber would also work fabulously!
Be sure to slather on lots of the Thai infused mayo dressing! One bite, and you will be head over heels in love with this burger. 😊 They are spicy, savory, and the aniseed taste of the Thai basil helps push this over the edge of delectable fare! I daresay even non vegetarians might enjoy it as well!
Thank you Fred Rogers for inspiring this meal! I hope you will enjoy some of these awesome tofu burgers soon!
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
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Spicy Thai Tofu Burgers
- Non stick or cast iron pan
- 12 oz extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 small handful cilantro leaves minced
- few leaves Thai basil I used just a few of these leaves, use more or less to your liking! minced
- 6 Thai chilis minced
- 1 small shallot minced
- ½ ts salt minced
- 5 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
Thai Infused Mayo Dressing
- ½ cup mayo
- 3 Thai chilis minced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- ½-1 tablespoon fish sauce adjust the amount to your tastes
- 2 good sized burger buns
- spreadable butter for toasting
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Remove the tofu and drain as much water from it as you can. Place a heavy object on top of the tofu (tofu should on a surface that can contain the drained water so it doesn't go everywhere). Gently apply pressure from time to time and drain any water you get from this each time. I left it for around a couple of hours..it may take you less time.
- Place the shallot, Thai chilies (I used 6...you can reduce or add the amount to your liking), Thai basil, and cilantro in a food processor and mince finely.
- Once the tofu has been drained of as much water as possible, then crumble the tofu in a large mixing bowl. You may also want to see if you can squeeze some more water out during this process. Then add the minced herbs, chilis, and shallot to the tofu mixture, along with Sriracha sauce, salt, and flour.
- Gently combine with your hands, and then shape into 2 even sized burgers. Press together as firmly as you can so that they don't fall apart.
- Place these burgers in your preheated oven (350F) and allow to bake for around 30 minutes. Remove.
Toasted Burger Buns
- While the burgers are baking, get your toasted buns ready! Spread some of the spreadable butter on each side of the burger buns. Heat up a nonstick or cast iron pan on medium heat. Once hot toast each side, pressing down a bit until you get each side nice and toasty! Set aside.
Prepare Garnishes and Thai Infused Mayo Dressing
- Slice some onions and tomatoes, and have a few cilantro leaves ready. Combine the ingredients for the Thai Infused Mayo Dressing together. Set aside.
Pan Fry The Baked Tofu Burgers
- Heat up olive oil in a cast iron or nonstick pan on med to med-high heat. Once hot, then pay fry the baked tofu burgers on each side for around 2 minutes to get a nice golden brown color.
- Assemble your burger by spreading the Thai infused mayo on the inside of each burger bun, then place cilantro on the bottom bun and top with the tofu burger and your garnishes. Add more mayo if you like!!