Patties are a versatile go-to dish that works well in burgers, sliders or as a standalone in meals. They also freeze well, uncooked or cooked, so make great last-minute lunch box ideas and go well with rice and stir fry veggies (bento box anyone?). In essence, they’re pretty much like flattened meatballs – so why not add them to your next spaghetti bolognese too! Unfortunately, many commercial meatballs and patties add plenty of non-meat ingredients, making the actual meat content of the food as low as 60% or even 40% of what you think is a “meat” pattie (oh dear…). So, making your own patties makes sense!
Now for a bite into these patties:
A protein pat(ty) on the back
Red meats like lamb and beef are great sources of high quality protein as well as readily absorbed sources of iron. Protein is important for muscle and bone maintenance (sound familiar, gym-goers?), skin integrity, as well as countless other bodily functions that you may not even be aware of that’s happening right now! You probably may have also heard about how protein keeps you fuller for longer – so including a piece of protein in your meals is a smart way to pack in some essential nutrients AND keep hunger pangs at bay until your next meal time.
For vegetarians and vegans, tofu is a fantastic example of a plant-based source of protein and iron! Halving the amount of meat mince in this recipe halves the saturated fat content (coming from the red meat) and provides a lower-kilojoule, high-protein and high-iron spin-off. The softness of the tofu also gives the patties amazing moisture and tenderness, almost like a melt-in-your-mouth texture that would suit young family members as well as older people (patties for your next family reunion??).
Love your mushies
Like hard cheeses, tomato and soy sauce, mushrooms naturally have a lot of umami and glutamates – which gives a rich savoury flavour to the dishes that they are used in (sounds perfect for soup bases right?). They also make amazing vegetarian substitutes for that chewy meaty texture, mmmm!
In this recipe, fresh shiitake works well with the tofu and makes a bold Japanese-style statement, but other types of mushrooms like swiss brown, enoki and oyster are also delish. If using portabello or white button mushrooms, you might see more white pieces in the patties – so it’s more about the aesthetics rather than any huge impact on taste. Mushrooms act as sponges and absorb the moisture from the patty mix, so too much mushrooms can make the mixture dry up and crumble – so hold back from getting too excited with them. Mushrooms that have been sitting around for a while may already be quite dry, so might dry out the patty dry even if you use less.
No worries! You may typically see meat-based patties in the supermarket or stores, but nowadays plant-based patties are also gaining momentum. Chickpeas, quinoa, beans, and soy protein-based patties are just some examples of vegetarian and vegan-friendly versions. Try my edamame falafels (coming soon) for a plant-based patty with a Japanese-Middle Eastern fusion!
Serves: 6 (makes around 16-18 patties)
Cost: $14.60 ($2.45 per serve of 3 patties)
Cooking time: 20 minutes (+ 10 minutes chilling time)
- 400g 5-star lean beef mince
- 400g classic tofu (I used the Classic or Original tofu from Evergreen, but most brands have a classic or original variety. The texture should be between runny “silken” tofu, and the stiff “hard/firm” tofu.)
- 2 cup (around 170-200g) mushrooms, finely diced (see Notes)
- 2 stalk spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (reduced salt preferable)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Black pepper, to season
- Canola or other cooking oil spray
Let’s get cooking!
- Mix all ingredients (except pepper and oil spray) in a large bowl. Season with black pepper. Combine ingredients with clean hands, breaking up large mince and tofu clumps. Using hands, roll and flatten 16-18 patties and line on a plate. Cover and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Spray a large frying pan with canola oil and heat over high. Arrange chilled patties in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until bottom has browned. Turn over and cover with lid to steam-fry for about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.
- For this recipe, I used shiitake, button mushrooms and enoki – so use your favourites and experiment with different textures!
- Avoid over-kneading as it will result in a dry and harder patty. If the mixture is too dry try adding one egg, lightly beaten (the egg acts as a binder).
- Steam-frying for a few minutes prevents the patties from overcooking and burning on the outside while you wait for the instead to cook through.
- You can upsize this recipe to bulk-cook by sticking to the ratio of 1:1 for beef and tofu and then adding just enough mushrooms so to not dry-out the mixture.
- To freeze, pack the cooked patties in a single layer into zip lock bags and freeze for 1-3 months. Reheat by transferring the frozen patties to a microwave-safe plate or container and heat up in the microwave (heating times will vary depending on the number of patties – start with a shorter time and work your way up!). You can freeze the uncooked patties after step 1 – transfer to zip lock bags after chilling (to help keep their shape). Defrost in fridge before cooking as per recipe.
One serve provides half a serve of veggies.
|Total fat (g)||10.8|
|– Saturated fat (g)||2.3|
|– Sugars (g)||1.0|