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Recipe: Achieiving plant-based burger bliss at home

After a few rounds of trial and error, I’ve nailed the formula for the most delicious homemade Impossible burger (and it’ll work with the other meatless stuff in the market too). The key is to minimize its texture and maximize its flavor.

Here’s what to do:

>> Use a skillet, not a grill: You want to deeply brown the patties, so you need the whole patty to hit a hot surface. A grill’s grates leave gaps, plus the “meat” is sticky and may fall apart when flipped.

>> Form thin patties: The nonbeef texture doesn’t feel right in a thick burger. Impossible Foods “meat” can be formed into thin patties; preformed burgers should be cut in half to make two thin patties.

>> Sear in oil: Some package directions will say not to, but you want a deeply browned burger, and scorching-hot oil is the ticket.

>> Season after cooking: Salt releases the faux blood on raw Impossible “meat,” causing it to steam and prevent a crust from forming. Season after one side is cooked, after flipping the burger.

>> Lean into the condiments: The more texture and flavor you layer into that burger, the easier it is for the “meat” to recede into the pleasure of layers of textures and tastes.

PLANT-BASED BURGER WITH SPICY SPECIAL SAUCE

By Genevieve Ko

  • 12 ounces Impossible Foods “meat” or other vegan patties
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 burger buns
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Mustard, dill pickle slices, sliced red onion, tomato and iceberg lettuce leaves, for serving
  • >> Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, vegan if you’d like
  • 2 tablespoons EACH sweet relish and ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

>> To make sauce: Stir ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside. (Will keep up to a week refrigerated.)

Divide burger “meat” into 4 even pieces (3 ounces each) and shape into thin patties to fit buns. Or, cut premade patties in half crosswise. Press firmly so patties won’t fall apart.

Heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high. Coat lightly with thin sheen of oil and put burger buns, cut sides down, on hot surface. Cook until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates.

Add more oil to hot skillet so bottom is coated 1/8 inch deep or more; heat until it looks wavy. Carefully slide patties into oil and cook until bottoms are evenly dark brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Slide a thin spatula under a patty, wiggling to help release it from pan, and carefully flip. Repeat with remaining patties. Sprinkle the browned tops generously with salt and pepper. Fry until other sides are deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes. No need to season the other side.

Divide sauce among the bun bottoms in a thick coat. Spread mustard over bun tops. Place hot patties onto bun bottoms. Layer with pickles, onion, tomato, lettuce and bun tops. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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