Tofu and Chicken Burger is softer and lighter alternative to traditional Japanese hambagu. Here, we pan-fry patties of ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and tofu to juicy perfection and top them with a teriyaki-style glaze. It makes a delicious weeknight dinner.
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.
For Tofu and Chicken Burger, we use 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, Tofu Hambagu is 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!
Other Tofu Recipes to Try
Tofu and Chicken Burger
For the Tofu Chicken Patties
For the Seasoning
For the Slurry Mixture
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
- Gather all the ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: 3 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp mirin. In another bowl, whisk together the slurry mixture of 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch. Set them aside.
To Make the Patties
- Drain 5 oz medium-firm tofu (momen dofu) for 15 minutes. You can stand the tofu container on its side like shown below or wrap the tofu with a paper towel and place a heavy object on top to press. You could also microwave the tofu wrapped in a paper towel for 30 seconds or so (depending on the microwave). You will only need 5 oz (142 g) tofu here, so with the leftover tofu, you can make Tofu Miso Soup.
- Mince 3 green onions/scallions, 3 shiitake mushrooms, and 1 knob ginger. In a large bowl, combine the drained tofu, green onions, shiitake, ginger, ¾ lb ground chicken thigh, and 1 large egg yolk. Mix it all together with your hands. Then, add the seasonings: 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, ½ tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined and the mixture is sticky.
- Pinch off 2 inches (5 cm) from the mixture. Toss the ball from one hand to the other about 5 times to release the air; otherwise, the meat patties will crack during cooking from trapped air inside the patty. Then, form it into an oval-shaped patty. Repeat forming the rest of the patties. We will have to cook the burger right away as the tofu will start to release moisture.
To Cook the Patties
- In a nonstick frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil over medium heat. You may need two frying pans or to cook in batches. Gently place the burgers in the pan and fry until golden brown on one side, for about 5 minutes, without flipping or moving them around. After 5 minutes, flip and lower the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
To Make the 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 thickens, turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and pour the hot teriyaki-style glaze over the burger steaks. Top with 10 shiso leaves (perilla/ooba) (julienned) and serve.
- 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.