Sourdough Vegan Burgers

sourdough vegan burgers

Veganism has become a very popular lifestyle recently and it seems it is not going anywhere anytime soon. With the growing concerns of animal welfare and environmental issues directly associated with animal agriculture, many choose to adopt this way of living. I am no food expert nor a vegan, so I am not going to discuss any further about veganism, but as a baker I have to take things like this into consideration when developing recipes. I love a good challenge and creating the perfect burger without using animal products or by products seems like the perfect project to undertake.

My Dad turned a vegetarian when we were small and I remember how my Mom found creative/alternative ways to include protein in his diet. Luckily he is an ovo-vegetarian so yes eggs were his savior.

It’s not just about the nutrients, but taste as well. Vegetables are actually packed full of flavor, if you know how to cook them in such a way that you bring out the best in them. I am lucky that I got to learn exactly how to do that, as Sri Lankan cuisine is all about letting vegetables shine.

So back to the burgers, The first hurdle is the bun. Well, I know my sourdough burger buns recipe can be easily converted to a vegan one. You can omit the egg and replace any milk or butter with it’s plant based counterparts. However, the resulting bun may be a little drier and lack taste. So to fix this, I have replaced some flour(and water) with boiled mashed potatoes. This resulted in a fluffier bun with a softer(yet with a good byte)crumb.

vegan potato buns
Check out the soft crumb

Following is the recipe, if you want to see the process of making these, it is similar to Sourdough Burger Buns . So check the step by step pictures in that post to get an idea. If you have already made burger buns before, then just follow the same process using the following recipe as a guide.

sourdough vegan burger buns
Vegan buns with purple potatoes

Okay so the bun is sorted out! Now for the burger patty. Well it is no secret that there are amazing ways to create a vegan/vegetarian patty using potatoes. Also I have seen burgers replacing the meat patty with a grilled or fried thick whole Portabello mushroom, which tastes fantastic by the way! But I am taking a slightly different approach here and use cooked young jackfruit in my patty. Along with this, some Chanterelle mushrooms. Chanterelle are fleshy, firm and contains less water so is perfect for this job. Feel free to substitute with other meaty, less watery mushrooms.

Young Jackfruit is something eaten often in Sri Lanka as we have plenty of these growing in our backyards. The taste of the flesh when cooked is  remarkably similar to chicken and can be shredded like meat. So this is used in many recipes, to replace chicken and sometimes in place of pulled pork. We make patties (empanada) and cutlets (fish cakes) with cooked young jackfruit and potato. But often, young jackfruit is cooked like a Red chicken curry.

vegan patty
A cross section of the vegan patty

Here is the recipe for making the patty. Now if you can’t find the jackfruit, feel free to substitute it with mashed potatoes and this will still be delicious.

vegan patty
vegan burger patty

Now that the bun and patty are sorted, lets build the burger. Following is what I used to create this burger, feel free to use whatever you like and replace or mix and match things as you wish.
– a slice of grilled pineapple
– caramelized onions
– slice of thick tomato
– lettuce
– a balsamic reduction to brush the patty to give it color (because looks matter too)
– mashed avocado in place of cheese/butter
– quick sauce made with yellow mustard, lemon juice and some olive oil (just add equal parts in a small container and shake well)

sourdough vegan burger
The finished burger

Split the bun and grill both sides slightly. Set the bottom half on a surface, spread some avocado mixture, place the lettuce. Brush the patty with a little balsamic reduction and place on the lettuce. Spread a thick layer of avocado mixture on the patty. Place the tomato and then caramelized onions followed by the pineapple. Drizzle the mustard sauce and place the top half of the bun.

There you have it!

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