I’m a fan of burgers.
Perhaps it’s because it’s an American staple here, or that having lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and onions on top of a patty wedged between 2 toasted buns with a side of fries is a pretty hearty meal, or that the price of a good cheeseburger is usually reasonable, or that there’s so many possible combinations it would take a while to get tired of it.
Though there have been days were I’m too lazy to leave the house and want to eat a little lighter after a week of gluttony. And since that I also am a fan of mushrooms, and I’ve seen the mushroom burgers by various burger joints, I thought I’d try my hand at making the Portobello Mushroom burger, and this is the product of improvising and inspiration from this recipe and MyBurgerLab’s Shroom Shroom Burger (even though it’s vastly different). Watch the video by RealMenEatGreen here as well, they’re the ones that came up with the recipe I adapted.
It’s vegan, it can be potentially gluten-free for those that cannot take gluten, and the best part about this is I don’t feel bloated as opposed to stuffing my face with a huge cheeseburger. I don’t count calories (yet), so I can’t quote how much of calories there are in this, but hey, who’s counting, right? As for the cost, well the actual ‘patty’ is actually just a large Portobello cap, which costs less than a dollar for one here. I feel better after eating this too, though I’m not sure why specifically.
A few Instagrammable photos to get your tastebuds going:
That was the first attempt at the Portobello mushroom burger. (No Pepsi did not sponsor me, unfortunately)
Here’s the second attempt, which I scaled up and made a total of 8 burgers, with … more elaborate toppings.
I know it looks like just a pile of food with vegetables but it’s actually still a burger. (It looks so good, the piece above the sweet potato fries looks like meat, but is actually the mushroom stem!)
So I’d like to share how I made this, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to go out and attempt this as well. It makes for a fancy home cooked meal, for all those that have dates of significant others and are on a budget.
Most of the seasoning ingredients are used to marinate the mushroom cap. As for the amount, go ahead and improvise, there wasn’t a hard and fast rule for me, though you can refer to that other recipe I linked above for some guidelines if you must. List adapted from the RealMenEatGreen website.
– Large Portobello Mushroom Cap (the patty) – Lettuce – Tomatoes (Sun-dried tomatoes are a pleasant addition too) – Cheese (Provolone, American, Cheddar, I’m a fan of Provolone) – Burger Bun (they cost $0.80 at Cub Foods) – Egg – Onions
Seasoning: – Garlic (chopped, 1 clove for each cap) – Olive Oil – Salt and Pepper – Balsamic Vinegar (optional) – Oregano / Italian Herbs – Chili Powder
– Enoki Mushroom (most grocery stores have this, else the Asian market is the place to go, long chewy mushrooms) – Avocado, or Guacamole basically. – Smaller Mushrooms (Bella, White, your pick.) – Barbecue sauce for the marinade, one teaspoon is more than enough for a smoky sweet taste. – Anything else you might think works well for a burger! Bacon, Ham, or tofu perhaps?
Here’s a 15 second video for an overview of how this will be made. Fair warning, there is Carly Rae Jepsen playing in the background! She’s awesome.
Let’s begin! This should take about 45 minutes, half an hour if you’re fast.
Note to self:
Portabella, Portabello, Portobello Mushrooms, I’ve been correcting myself so much in writing this post.
Steps to Make the Epic Mushroom Burger:
Wash, Make the Marinade.
Well mushrooms are from the dirt or rotting wood so you definitely want to wash them to remove the woody taste and texture of dirt. Make sure to get inside and rinse the ‘gills’ as well.
Pull out the stem from the mushroom burger carefully, using all fingers to gently pry it out, as these are delicate things, and you wouldn’t want a broken mushroom patty. Keep the stem for now.
Pat dry the mushroom cap with some tissues, this is to ensure that the marinade will stick to the mushroom.
Combine all the ingredients listed in the seasoning section, that is after you’ve chopped the garlic (into small square cubed, think the word here is minced) and then add the seasoning. This is the part where you improvise, if you’re making only one patty then you don’t need a lot of seasoning, but if you’re making like 6 of them you need enough, so adjust accordingly. I also used water to help get more amounts of the seasoning instead of going all out with the olive oil (because we’re on a budget here!) but that’s entirely up to you. Do this in a deep enough bowl that you can move the mushrooms around in, and mix thoroughly for taste. The garlic, vinegar and/or barbecue sauce should stand out here.
Place in the mushroom caps gently into the marinade and move it around. Scoop the marinade into the mushroom gills so it absorbs all of that goodness. Also toss in that stem you had into the marinade, it comes out really good. Leave for 15 minutes at least.
Prepare everything else and grill the mushroom cap.
While waiting for that mushroom to be marinated and transformed from a bland, plain ol’ mushroom into something that tastes like meat (to me at least), go ahead and prepare other ingredients, such as sauté the onions with those little mushrooms so they’re caramelized, chop up the lettuce and tomato, fry the egg way you want it. The issue we run into here is that these ingredients will become cold while waiting for the mushroom to be roasted. If you waited till you’ve put in the mushroom to broil to prepare everything else, your patty will cook and turn cold by then, so the key here is to parallelize everything and multi-task. I wanted my bun to be toasty so I only did that when the mushroom cap was almost done, whereas I caramelized the onions and mushrooms, made my egg and guacamole before grilling the mushroom.
Note that if you’re using Enoki mushrooms, they release a lot of water and juices when stir-frying so you’ll need to pour that away or save it for something else. We don’t want soggy buns now do we.
After you mushrooms are nicely marinated, it’s time to broil or roast them. If you want to use a grill for this, go ahead! I used an oven. Go ahead and heat up the oven to Broil, no need any harsh heat. Line the tray with aluminum/aluminium foil to save yourself some cleaning up since the marinade will seep out later. Place the mushroom cap on your tray, and scoop in additional marinade (especially all that garlic) into the mushroom. Do the same with that stem, and place into the oven. You can start toasting up your burger bun (add some garlic butter to it for added goodness).
Grill the cap for only 3 minutes.
Halfway through we’ll take out the mushroom caps and add the cheese in so that it melts nicely. Of course if you prefer not to have cheese, just leave it in the oven for 5 minutes and take them out. They don’t take really long to cook.
Pull them out of the oven after 3 minutes and layer your cheese on top of it. This will cover up the juices as well. Pro-tip if your cheeses are in square slices, and you want it round like your mushroom cap, use your mug as a mold for the cheese to get the shape that you want. Presentation is important if we’re making this Instragrammable!
Place it back in for another 2-3 minutes, and then take it out. Or when your cheese starts to darken it’s time to take it out of the oven.
Assembling Your Burger.
Almost there. Assemble your burger into a tower of goodness. From bottom up I did Bun, Lettuce, Tomato, Portobello patty with cheese, caramelized onions and smaller mushrooms, egg, burger bun. If you’re making it open faced (you know, to take pictures and show your parents that you can cook more than ramen or pasta), build up the onions, mushrooms, egg on the other side of the bun (see my picture).
Here’s another combination: Bun, Lettuce, Tomato, Portobello patty with cheese, Avocado slices/guacamole, egg (sunny side up!, Enoki Mushrooms, Bun.
Substitute the ingredients, swap, remove, add more! Add bacon if you prefer, or use reduced fat cheese if you’re on a diet. The beauty about burgers is you get to put what you want, you’re the chef, you’re the one that calls the shots, my friend.
Go on, take a picture, or a bite.
The cheese that we added when grilling the mushroom cap trapped a lot of juices inside the mushroom, so when you bite it you get some juicy juiciness (yeah I’m pushing it here) that explodes into a beautiful medley inside your mouth. If you went the sunny-side-up egg like me you’d get a runny yolk join that party as well.
Also try making sweet potato fries if you want to. However this will take a while, it was what slowed the entire cookout for me, as slicing and using the broiler for the sweet potatoes took awhile. Some of them came out soggy but that isn’t because of the recipe, it was because of my inexperience.
There we have it! Hopefully this helped!