Jess (jessfauve) wrote in vegancooking,

Non-egg binders

Hi! I'm a long time vegetarian who is trying to transition to being "more" vegan, mostly for health reasons (and a realization of how much cheese I eat, gross!) Anyway, for some reason in the 13 years I've been meat-less, it never occurred to me to make my own veggie burgers. I've only eaten the frozen, processed stuff and whatever I've eaten at restaurants. A few nights ago, I got the inspiration to try. And man, I've been missing out. They were really, really, really good. But the recipe called for an egg as a binder. I used it and they were great and held together really well. I'd like to find a substitute though. I've heard of using ground flax seeds and water as a binder but I don't have a coffee grinder (I do have a small food processor and blender) and I don't want to buy already-ground flax seeds because they degrade so quickly. Anyone have any other ideas? Can I use some tofu? I'm sort of at a loss and these burgers are my new favorite thing in the world.

This is the recipe I used, for reference (it's from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and was also featured in one of his Minimalist columns from the NY Times).

Nut Burgers
Time: 20 minutes

1 medium onion
1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews or other nuts, preferably raw
1 cup (raw) rolled oats or cooked short-grain white or brown rice
2 tablespoons ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter or tahini
1 teaspoon chili powder or any spice mix you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.

1. Grind onion in food processor. Add nuts and oats, and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Process briefly; don't grind too finely. Add a little liquid -- water, stock, soy sauce, wine, whatever -- if necessary; mixture should be moist but not loose.
2. Let mixture rest a few minutes, then shape it into 4 burgers. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Put oil in nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet and turn to medium. When oil is hot, add burgers to skillet. Cook about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until browned, then turn with spatula. Lower heat a bit and cook 3 or 4 minutes more, until firm.

Tags: substitutes-eggs-for meatloaf/meatballs, substitutes-meat-burgers
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