Vegan mushroom burger with tahini mayo

  • 5

  • Prep time

    undefined 20'

  • Prep time

    undefined 90'

  • Prep time


  • Prep time


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  • 5

  • Prep time

    undefined 20'

  • Prep time

    undefined 90'

  • Prep time


  • Prep time


Remember when all veggie burgers were either made of beans or were essentially a mushroom masquerading as a burger? So do we. But the renaissance of the burger in recent years has fortunately also spilled over into the vegan and veggie varieties. Cue sophisticated, subtle flavours, generously topped with fresh, flavourful pickles and relishes, but still retaining the messy magic of our favourite fast food treat.

Finding the perfect texture

Perhaps the most common criticism levelled at a veggie burger relates to its texture. If you’re moving over to a more plant-based diet from a meat-eating one, replicating the texture of meat always a bit tricky.

The best veggie and vegan chefs will tell you that the best thing to do is to stop looking at foods as a meat replacement. Instead, appreciate them for their own virtues.

While we wholeheartedly agree with that, we also insist on a toothsome texture for our veggie burgers. And this requires a bit of tinkering.

The bean burger, while it holds a special place in our hearts, was always a touch too soft and squishy to hold up to the burger bun and toppings.

Meanwhile, soy protein versions can turn out a touch on the rubbery side.

The answer? Find the perfect balance of ‘bite’ and flavour. Here, we think we may just have achieved a perfect equilibrium. Green lentils and cooked red rice provide texture and a certain resistance to the bite. Meanwhile, sautéed mushrooms, herbs and spices provide bucketloads of flavour.

Our secret ingredient? Amaranth flour. Not only does it help to bind all the ingredients together, but it brings a pleasant background hum of nuttiness; an added level of subtlety.

The unexpected herb

Back when beef burgers were made of beef (how passé!) there was little room for flavouring. Anything bright, green or fresh-tasting was a persona non grata in the burger kitchen.

However, our veggie burger thrives on the freshness of herbs. For the bass notes in the patty itself, we like to use robust, earthy herbs like thyme (rosemary, of course, is also an option).

At the last moment before cooking, we stir in a handful of fresh dill. While perhaps not the first herb that springs to mind to go in a burger, it imparts such a lovely aromatic freshness and really rounds out the flavour.

We also like to add a couple of fresh dill leaves on top of the burger before the final squishing down of the bun. Not only do the fronds sticking out from below the golden crown of the burger bun look very becoming, they provide that first burst of freshness.


A quick pickle

That herbal freshness is only accentuated by our quick marinated onions, which are bright and flavoursome enough to imply that much effort has been spent on them.

In actual fact, they come together in a snap, and the principle can be applied to plenty of other fresh vegetables. Feeling like a change? Drop the onions and pickle some finely sliced cucumber instead. Or use the same mixture to create a fresh slaw with carrot and raw white cabbage to serve on the side.

If you like things a little sharper, you can also sub in apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice, to give it a more classic ‘pickle’ flavour.

This is one of our absolute favourite kitchen tricks, and it’s almost embarrassingly easy.

Warning: tahini is addictive

In the days before Ottolenghi, tahini was a mysterious ingredient that was impossible to find on the shelves. We knew, vaguely, that it had something to do with hummus.

If you haven’t tried it before, it is a paste made from sesame seeds (sort of the equivalent of peanut butter). It is creamy, nutty, mildly bitter, and extremely addictive.

What’s more, it seems to go fantastically with everything. Mix it with soy sauce and a little water for a delicious dressing for roasted cauliflower or potatoes. Blend with maple syrup and drizzle over sweet potatoes or broccoli. Mix it into dips and dressings.

Once you’ve started down this path, it becomes quite hard to remember how you used to live without tahini.

The combination we’ve used here, of sharp apple cider vinegar, sweet raw honey, spicy mustard and creamy tahini is something of a classic. It hits all those flavour notes and will have you reaching back for second helpings.

The perfect partner

What is salt without pepper? Olive oil without balsamic? A burger without….?

Yep, you guessed it: we love to serve our ultimate mushroom burger with fries. And, in keeping with the ‘surprisingly healthy’ ethos, we suggest going with a classic baked sweet potato fry.

After much experimentation, we can confirm that it is possible to achieve a perfectly crisp sweet potato fry in the oven.

There are two tricks we recommend, in terms of experimentation. The first is a very light dusting of cornflour, which seems to help avoid moisture collecting.

The second is to space out your fries as far as possible on the baking sheet. There is undoubtedly some kind of scientific reason to why this creates a crispy chip. While we’re unfortunately unenlightened as to that reason, we can guarantee that a crisp exterior and a fluffy interior are the happy results.

And, should you have any tahini mayo left over, they make excellent dunkers.

For the marinated red onion:

  • 3 medium size red onions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp water


For the tahini mayonnaise:

  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt


For the mushroom burger patty:

  • ½ red onion
  • 30g red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 130g red rice, cooked
  • 35g green lentils, cooked
  • 3 tbsp Erbology Organic Amaranth Flour
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Erbology Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 180g brown mushrooms, sautéed 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 5 sourdough buns or burger buns
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Fresh dill leaves

  • Size: 385 g
  • Serv. size: 11 g

  1. To make the marinated onions, place the sliced onions in a jar. Add the lemon juice, salt and water. Put the lid on tightly and shake well to mix. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour (the longer you marinate it, the softer and more vibrant in colour it will become).
  2. To make the tahini mayonnaise, place the tahini and water in a bowl and mix well until smooth and well combined. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Check the seasoning and add a little more salt, if needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Put aside.
  4. To make the mushroom burger patty, place the onion, red pepper and garlic in a food processor and mix until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the dill, and pulse a few times until the mixture becomes mushy, but still has some texture.
  5. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the dill and mix with a spatula.
  6. Divide the mixture into 5 portions and form patties using your hands or a burger press. Place the patties on the baking tray and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Allow the patties to cool for 15 minutes.
  8. To assemble the burgers, take a bun and spread a generous layer of tahini mayonnaise on both sides. Add a layer of fresh spinach, then the mushroom patty. Top with a generous pile of  marinated onions and finish with 3-6 dill leaves. Place the other half of the bun on top. It’s ready to serve!

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