In Japan, this dish is simply called Tofu Hambagu (豆腐ハンバーグ), but that could create a little confusion to vegetarian readers so I named this recipe Tofu and Chicken Burger.
Tofu Hambagu is made from the ground chicken and tofu to make the patties. If you are not a big tofu fan, you might be surprised that you won’t probably won’t notice the use of tofu in the patties. They are lighter, softer, and juicier and the best part is that it’s healthier and economical!
Despite being a low-calorie healthy dish, it’s also easy to put together. You can make a quick teriyaki-style glaze that goes on the burger but you can make it even lighter by pouring the ponzu sauce (storebought or homemade recipe).
With the salad, steamed rice, and miso soup, my weeknight meal is complete!
Tofu and Chicken Burger
For Tofu Chicken Burger
For the Seasoning
For Slurry Mixture
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
For Cooking and Garnish
- 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for cooking)
- 10 shiso leaves (perilla/ooba) (for garnish)
- Gather all the ingredients. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together the slurry mixture in another small bowl. Set them aside.
To Make Patties
- Drain the tofu for 15 minutes. You can let it stand like the picture below, or wrap the tofu with a paper towel and place a heavy object on top to press the tofu, or microwave the paper-towel-wrapped tofu for 30 seconds or so (depending on the microwave). You will only need 5 oz (142 g) tofu here, so with the leftover tofu, make tofu miso soup.
- Mince green onions, shiitake mushrooms, and ginger. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the patties and mix all together with hands. Add the seasoning and mix well until the mixture is sticky.
- Pinch 2 inches (5 cm) off from the mixture and make oval shape patties. Toss each ball from one hand to the other hand repeatedly about 5 times in order to release the air from the ball. The meat patties will crack when cooking if the air is trapped inside and not released. We will have to cook the burger right away as tofu will start to release moisture.
To Cook Patties
- In a non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. You may need two frying-pans or cook in batches. Gently place the burgers until golden brown on one side, for about 5 minutes, without flipping or moving around. After 5 minutes, flip and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
To Make Sauce
- While cooking the burgers, in a small frying pan or saucepan, add the sauce mixture and bring it to a boil. Then add the slurry mixture to the sauce and mix it all together. When the sauce gets thicken, turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and pour the hot sauce over the burgers. Top with shiso leaves before serving.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.