Did you ever start making bean burgers and ended up with one big mess? Or are you afraid of the hassle? That is quite understandable, but not necessary. There are a couple of tips and tricks and I will tell you what they are.
Making beans burgers starts, of course, with a good recipe. When you process beans you will end up with a pretty sticky paste, and that is good for making burgers, but for consistency it is good to add something for extra bonding and structure. Therefore many recipes contain egg, or oatmeal and, of course, a mix of vegetables and herbs or spices. Something to think about while searching for a good recipe is how you prefer the texture of your burger; how moist and firm do you like it.
As you know there are a many kinds of beans, and they will not all give you the same results. Soft and creamy beans have reasonable binding properties, and you may not need an egg. Some beans have more bite and you need to take these properties into account for your recipe. With Dutch brown beans, Red kidney beans, Black beans or Fresian yellow forest beans you can make great burgers.
There is a handy little tool that can help you to make the perfect beans burgers. It is also used to make burgers from minced meat. Beautifully shaped burgers are made with a garnish ring and a stamper that fits exactly in the garnish ring, as in the picture. You can buy this kitchen aid in most cooking stores.
Then there is a little trick for perfect bean burgers, and that is its jacket. An appropriate coat ensures that the burger keeps its shape and that it will not stick to the pan so easily. Of course you can achieve this with breadcrumbs, but there are other options. You can think of chick pea flower, to stay in the theme of legumes. Or maybe sesame seeds, when the bean burger is seasoned in an Asian way. Finely chopped nuts for some extra crunch or maybe cooked quinoa. The possibilities are endless. You do not necessarily have to perform the three steps of breading (flour, egg, breadcrumbs), but in most cases you can directly put the burger in its jacket.
Gather everything you need: two flat plates, the 'beans dough', a spoon, the garnish ring and stamper, the jacket of the bean and a spatula. Now you can put the garnish ring on a plate. Put some of the jacket at the bottom of the garnish ring, in the picture are this the sesame seeds. Then you can put enough of the bean paste in the ring for the desired thickness. I find a thickness of one centimeter quite OK. On top some more sesame seeds, and then press the contents of the garnish ring into a perfect burger with the stamper. Move the garnish ring with the burger gently over the plate, so you are sure that the burger does not stick to your plate.
Lift the ring, leaving the burger on the plate. With the spatula you can lift the burger onto a clean plate. You can repeat this for as many bean burgers as you are going to make. Now it's a good idea to put the plate with the burgers in the fridge for half an hour, so they stiffen up slightly. That ensures easy handeling and baking in the pan.
A non-stick panpan is best for baking bean burgers. They do not need long; a minute or 5 on each side should be sufficient. Depending on the jacket be aware of the strength of the fire and the baking time. For example, chickpea flour caramelises much faster than sesame seeds, and of course you do not want a black jacket.
You can use bean burgers in all sorts of dishes. Naturally, they are very tasty on a bread roll with some lettuce, tomato and sauce, but you can also use bean burgers on a beautiful salad. Another idea is bean balls in the pasta, or as a snack. Do you need some inspiration? Check out this black bean burger with sauce of fermented black beans.
Have fun in the kitchen, and of course happy eating!