Chicken Tofu Burgers

Tender and delicious Chicken Tofu burgers are a healthy and delicious alternative to beef burgers or hamburger steak.  High in protein and loaded with flavor, this is a healthy dish you can enjoy anytime.

Chicken and Tofu burgers is a dish that a friend of mine from Japan taught me how to make many years ago.  We had gone over to her house for a dinner party, and in the kitchen I saw these white burger patties on a baking sheet with another baking sheet sitting on tip and weighted down.  I asked why she was compressing the burgers like that and she explained that the high water content on tofu made it necessary to squeeze the burgers dry.

I was a bit intrigued by the entire process, but now that I make the dish regularly, it makes total sense to me.

At the time I first tried these I was not a big fan of tofu, but these burgers were just so good, they were absolutely addictive. The tofu softens the meat and absorbs all the lovely flavors of the spices so you wind up with a tender and flavor packed entree,

Chicken and Tofu burgers are aesthetically pleasing- thin and even works of art.  The whitish coloring looks great with almost any side dish and the meal itself can be plated in many different ways to produce your own edible work of art.  The photo above is a good example of how beautiful these burgers can be when plated with care.

Although this burger is primarily an entree, you can also form very small patties and serve it on baguette slices as a unique appetizer that your guests will love.

The recipe here uses some very basic spices- additional spices and herbs to try are cayenne pepper, chopped shiso, Japanese ginger (myoga), umeboshi plum paste, parsley, or cumin.  It’s really up to you to be as creative as you want to craft your own unique burger.  Try adding your own herbs and spices and let us know what you come up with!

Chicken Tofu Burgers

The secret to making a good Chicken Tofu burger is to compress the patties after forming them to gradually drain the water our of the tofu.  If you skip that step the burgers come out a bit loose and soggy.  Compressing the burgers makes them thin and an even thickness, so the dish comes out quite beautifully.

Chicken Tofu burger with grated daikon and soy sauce

For an authentic Japanese experience, instead of catsup try these burgers with a little grated while daikon radish and soy sauce and serve it with some fresh shiso leaf or mistuba (Japanese parsley).

PREP COOKING YIELD
75 minutes 15 minutes Makes 6 burgers
PREP 75 minutes
COOKING 15 minutes
YIELD Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 small block of soft tofu (175g)
  • 3/4 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (not shown in photo)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP minced onion flakes

Optional Toppings

  • Grated daikon radish (oroshi daikon)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Wasabi
  • Chopped Scallions
  • Shiso leaf

Instructions:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until the mixture is completely integrated.
  • Form 6 burgers.  They will be very soft and wet.  Lay the burgers on absorbent paper towels.

  • Place another paper town on top and then lay a flat bottomed pan over the burgers.  Weigh down and let sit for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.
  • Remove the weight and drain any excess water.  The burgers should be thin and of equal thickness.
  • Line a baking pan with oven paper or grease the bottom.  Lay the burgers in the pan.

  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.

  • Serve with your choice of sauces or toppings.

Notes:

  • For a more intense flavor, add in some powdered chicken bouillon.
  • These burgers can be refrigerated and reheated.  You can also freeze the uncooked patties for up to six months.
  • Make sure that you allow at least one hour to allow the tofu to drain.  Use several layer of paper towels under the patties when draining- the tofu hold a lot of water.

 

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