This post is sponsored by Kroger.
Burgers were probably my favorite food prior to going vegan. Luckily, vegan burger technology has been on the up and up these past few years, with more convincing beef substitutes on the market alongside more traditional bean- or grain-based patties.
Simple Truth’s new Emerge Plant-Based Meatless Patties are one such option. They look startlingly like real beef patties and cook up beautifully stovetop or on the grill. They’re also packed with 20 grams plant protein per patty, and are naturally gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO.
Burgers are in my regular dinner rotation as it is; typically grilled and served wrapped in lettuce rather than on hamburger buns to keep things a little lighter. So I wanted to come up with an extra-special burger recipe to shake things up from my usual.
This teriyaki burger has so much flavor! It’s sweet, savory and garlicky, with a hint of toasted sesame flavor. The patties themselves are studded with scallions and then basted with teriyaki sauce while grilled. They’re served with grilled onion and pineapple to conjure that island flavor.
Give these a try if you’re looking to branch out from the typical cheeseburger with lettuce, onion and tomato. This dish can be made gluten-free by using low-sodium tamari in place of soy sauce, using gluten-free breadcrumbs, and serving on gluten-free buns. For a soy-free option, substitute in liquid aminos or coconut aminos for the soy sauce, and select a vegan mayo that’s soy-free.
Ingredients for Vegan Teriyaki Burgers
Vegan ground beef substitute – Not any kind will do; you specifically want the kind that mimics raw ground beef. You can use Simple Truth’s Emerge Plant-Based Meatless Grind, or something like the Impossible Burger, which is now widely available at many Kroger-family stores across the country!
This type of meat substitute lends itself better to this recipe because, like real ground beef, it can be shaped into patties or meatballs that will hold their shape. Many of the lower-fat beef-style crumbles available in the freezer section will not stick together without the addition of extra binders (like flax egg or a starch-based egg substitute).
Teriyaki sauce and scallions – The homemade teriyaki sauce outlined in this recipe contains sesame, soy, garlic and ginger for tons of aromatic flavor, plus rice vinegar and brown sugar to balance out the savory with a little bit of sweetness and tanginess. If you’re in a hurry, you can certainly just use your favorite store-bought teriyaki sauce. The scallions are optional, but I think that add a nice extra “something” to the patties that makes their flavor more complex.
Panko breadcrumbs – The addition of the teriyaki sauce to the “beef” adds a lot of extra flavor, but extra moisture comes along with that. The breadcrumbs will help soak up some of that moisture and bind the ingredients together, ensuring that the patty doesn’t fall apart on the grill.
Pineapple – I’m a huge fan of pineapple for savory applications: pizzas, curries, fried rice and the like. If you’re not, feel free to skip this addition and just grill the onions. Fresh pineapple is an option, but I typically use canned sliced pineapple (make sure to get the kind in juice and not heavy syrup) because I can count on them to be perfectly ripe and sweet.
Onion – Red or sweet onions work best here. Cut them in thick slices and brush them with olive oil to seal in moisture. Don’t be shy when it comes to getting a nice char on these; you really want them to be tender and slightly caramelized to ensure you don’t get a bite of raw onion at the center of your burger! Grilled onions add a little additional sweetness to the burger.
Vegan Teriyaki Burger
For the Teriyaki Burger Patties
- 1 16 oz container Simple Truth Emerge Plant-Based Grind
- 4 green onions finely diced
- 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce homemade recipe follows
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
For the Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Teriyaki Mayo
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce see notes
- 1 teaspoon sriracha optional
For Grilled Pineapple and Onion
- 1 large sweet or red onion in 1/4" inch slices
- 1 20 oz can of sliced pineapple in juice (or sliced fresh pineapple)
- olive oil
To Assemble Burgers
- 4 vegan-friendly hamburger buns
- optional toppings: lettuce tomato, pickles, sliced vegan cheese
For the Teriyaki Sauce
- Combine all ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan, except for the cornstarch. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer over low heat.
- Whisk together cornstarch and water and add to saucepan. Whisk until thickened, then remove from heat.
For the Burgers
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the burger patties and mix until combined. Start with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs. Mixture should be thick enough to shape into patties without much of it sticking to your hands. If it's very sticky, add in additional breadcrumbs a tablespoon at a time until desired texture is reached.
- Shape mixture into four patties about 3/4" inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. This will allow the patties to firm up as the breadcrumbs absorb the liquid and bind everything together.
- In the meantime, mix together the ingredients for the teriyaki mayo and place in the refrigerator until time to serve.
- When it comes time to grill, brush sliced onions and pineapple with olive oil. Place the onions on first, as they take the longest to cook. (They will require 8-10 minutes per side, until slightly charred.)
- Brush patties with teriyaki sauce and grill 3-5 minutes per side, until there are grill marks. Baste the patties with more teriyaki sauce after flipping. If you're adding vegan cheese, do so during the last 1-2 minutes of grilling to give it time to melt.
- You'll also grill your pineapple slices with the burger patties, until there are grill marks.
- To assemble burgers, spread the buns with teriyaki mayo. Each burger gets one patty, one to two slices of grilled pineapple, and one or two thick slices of grilled onion. Add additional toppings as desired and enjoy.
- Feel free to use your favorite store-bought teriyaki sauce to save time. I enjoy making my own so I can customize it.
- You can also try sriracha mayo or wasabi mayo for an interesting twist. Just add 1-2 tablespoons sriracha (depending on spice tolerance) or 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste.