This vegan rice burger will probably be one of the tastiest Asian sandwiches you’ll ever eat. It was made popular in Japan by fast food chain, Mos Burger.
The kinpira rice burger is made with a rice ball shaped like a bun and stuffed with nori (toasted seaweed) and root vegetables sautéed in a sweet sauce.
I have tried the kinpira rice burger before but later discovered that they are not vegan. They are said to contain eggs and dairy.
As far as I know, none of the burgers at Mos are vegan. Even their soy patties contain eggs. Also, all their burgers are cooked on the same grill, if that’s a concern for you.
After learning all of this, I decided to make a vegan rice burger complete with a meatless patty. And I’ll show you how easy it is to make them.
How to make rice burger buns
Making the rice buns will require 2 ingredients: rice and soy sauce. Sounds simple already, right? The best kind of rice to use are short-grain (sticky rice) or mochigome (glutinous rice).
Short-grain rice is less sticky than glutinous rice. But this can be improved by not washing the rice before cooking. Leaving the starchy coating behind will help the rice stick together better.
Glutinous rice binds together well after cooking whether or not it has been washed. Now that we have the rice covered, here’s how to make the buns:
1. With wet palms, scoop out 3 tablespoons of cooked short grain or glutinous rice.
2. Press firmly together into the shape of a patty about 4 inches wide. Keep wetting hands to prevent the rice from sticking to them. You could also use a circular mold. Brush each buns with soy sauce and set aside.
3. Heat a large frying pan or griddle and lightly oil. Add rice buns and cook until golden brown and crispy on each side.
4. Remove from pan.
How to make meatless rice burger patties
The vegan rice burger patties are made using the same ingredients as my Mushroom Lentil Meatballs. Full recipe included at the end of this post. Key ingredients for making these flavourful patties include:
Green or Brown Lentils – They have a nutty, earthy flavour and hold their shape well without becoming mushy.
Oyster and shiitake mushroom – These give the patties that umami or meaty flavour they need.
Liquid Aminos or soy sauce – They also help to enhance the umami flavours of the patties.
Almond flour – This gives the patties a rich, buttery flavour with a subtle sweetness. Try not to leave this out to get the best flavour.
You can also blend whole almonds to make almond flour. I haven’t tried it with almond butter but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as well. Let me know in the comments if you do try it!
How to make kinpira
Kinpira is a Japanese method of cooking that involves a combination of sautéing and simmering. This method is often used to cook root vegetables and tofu, usually with a sweet sauce.
In this recipe, kinpira will be made by lightly sautéing sliced carrots and daikon radish with garlic, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.
If you can’t find daikon radish then try using thinly sliced red radishes or turnips. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve between rice buns with nori.
Alternatives for gluten free rice burger
Many brands of teriyaki sauce are also not gluten free due to the addition of soy sauce. However, Ocean’s Halo makes a gluten free version you can try.
Alternatives for soy free rice burger
Try coconut aminos as a soy free alternative to soy sauce.
Ocean’s Halo teriyaki sauce is also soy free.
More vegan sandwich recipes
Vegan Rice Burger with Kinpira
- 1 cups cooked short grain or glutinous rice, 175g
- Soy sauce for brushing
- Oil for frying
Vegan Mushroom Lentil Patty
- 1 medium carrot
- ½ daikon radish
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce, 60 ml
- 1 tsp oil
- Sesame seeds
- 4 Nori sheets, toasted seaweed
- With wet palms, scoop out 3 tablespoons of cooked short grain or glutinous rice.
- Press firmly together into the shape of a patty about 4 inches wide. Keep wetting hands to prevent the rice from sticking to them. You could also use a circular mold. Brush each buns with soy sauce and set aside. Make about 4 buns.
- Heat a large frying pan or griddle and lightly oil. Add rice buns and cook until golden brown and crispy on each side.
- Remove from pan.
Vegan Mushroom Lentil Patty
- Heat oil in a pan and add mushrooms and onions, cooking until browned. Turn off heat.
- Next, add lentils to a bowl and mash with a fork until the mixture starts to clump together. Try not to mash until completely smooth to add texture to the patties.
- To mushrooms, add herbs, garlic, liquid aminos/soy sauce and lentils. Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in almond flour.
- Shape into 2 equal patties (2-3 tbsps of the mix) and place on a plate. Heat a frying pan and add 1 tablespoon oil. Fry the patties for about 5 minutes until nicely brown on all sides.
- You can also bake the patties. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), place them on a tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until even and brown on the outside.
- Slice carrot and daikon into matchstick pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan and saute carrot, daikon radish and garlic for 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens.
- Take one rice bun and top with 2 nori sheets, lentil patty, kinpira, sesame seeds and another bun.
- Don’t rinse short grain rice before cooking. It will hold together better.
- Bragg’s liquid aminos and tamari are gluten free alternatives to soy sauce.
- Ocean’s Halo makes a gluten and soy free teriyaki sauce.
- Try coconut aminos as a soy free alternative to soy sauce.
- More Asian recipes: Vegan Thai Red Curry with Tofu, Vegan Tofu Teriyaki Stir-fry
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