Split Pea Burgers

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

As cooking show hosts go, Alton Brown is generally pretty thorough. He likes to inject a bit of research into his shows and back it up with science.

[Interject]If you want to see the world's best depiction of Science, track down a copy of the Lost Skeleton of Cadavera. Seriously, they should show this in schools.[/Interject]

Ok, um . . . science and research. But when he made Split Pea Burgers, he neglected one vitally important piece of research. He didn't ask a vegan. I used to make these things while still an omni and they tasted good, but were mushy, sometimes unbearably so. Now, when I make them, I add one of the ancient vegan secrets: Vital Wheat Gluten. They still taste great, but now they hold together and even have an appealing texture. Next time, Alton, ask a vegan. We know our burgers.

Split Pea Burger

Alton Brown's Improved Split Pea Burgers
1 tbs vegetable oil, plus more for baking
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped fine
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry split peas
1/2 cup brown rice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Heat 1 tbs oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have given off their liquid. Stir in the vegetable broth, split peas, brown rice, cumin and coriander. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the liquid is absorbed. The split peas and rice should be a bit overcooked. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, mashing it a little as you go. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the bread crumbs and wheat gluten and knead for five minutes or so.

You may cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Split into 10 evenly sized balls and flatten the balls into thin patties. When you are ready to make the burgers, pour some vegetable oil onto a cookie sheet, put in the oven and set it to preheat to 400 degrees. When the oven is heated, put the patties on the hot baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

10 Servings: 196 cal (6g fat, 25g carbs, 12g protein)

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  1. These look really good. I want to give them a try. I have two questions - Do you think they will freeze well? Are they firm enough to grill? Thanks for posting this!

  2. Haha you tell him!!
    That looks delicious!

  3. Matt Says:
  4. The mushrooms will cook down to, maybe a half cup. You should substitute some extra pepper, maybe even some minced celery or omit it completely.

    I have never grilled veggie burgers. My thought would be to pan fry them in oil, then finish them on the grill. I'm afraid they would dry out otherwise.

    If you try it, I'd love to hear how they turned out.

  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. These sound amazing! I will be making them this weekend :o)


  7. Nice trick with the wheat gluten! I could see how they would be mushy otherwise.

  8. Vegetation Says:
  9. *Gasp* These are my favourite burgers ever! Now they're even better! I can't wait to try your version.

  10. Mary Says:
  11. Those look delicious. I like the seasoning. I'll have to try them soon!

  12. Gina Says:
  13. These sound awesome! Must try them soon. I'm a big Alton fan, even though he is far from vegan, I like that he really seems open to all different kinds of food (even if he doesn't know about VWG!)

  14. YUM! This will be my new go to burger recipe--thanks! I didn't have any mushrooms so I subbed 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery. Turned out great.


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