Seitan Harissa Burgers (almost) from Grills Gone Vegan!

Seitan Harissa Burger

Imagine this. You’ve been planning nearly a year to vacation in Asheville with some very special friends who are coming all the way from England. A few weeks before the vacation, both Grills Gone Vegan and Whole Grain Vegan Baking come out. I email Liz (the friend) and ask if I should mail them or just bring them to Asheville. “Bring them!” is the fast answer. So I do. We pick them up at the airport, grab their baggage and jump in the car. Guys in the front, Liz and I in the backseat. I grab the books out of the pocket in the back of the seat in front of me and hand them to Liz. Within about 3 minutes, Liz says “Harissa Seitan Burgers!” as she thumbs through the Grill book. I say “yes.” She tested for the book, she should know. She says it again and  it slowly dawns on me. I made a mistake. They are Harissa Tempeh Burgers, the small amount of gluten is there to bind them, not to make them a real seitan burger. Oops. It happens, but it’s never fun.

While it can’ t be fixed in the book until the next printing, I can still make it right by giving you a recipe for Harissa Seitan Burgers. How does that sound? It’s a bonus recipe!

Harissa Seitan Burgers

If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s time you changed that. It’s a spicy red pepper paste, enhanced with garlic and spices which is common in North Africa. You can find it in better stocked grocery stores (check the international aisle) in jars, or try the recipe from Grills Gone Vegan to make your own.The heat level of store bought harissa varies.  It’s especially fun to make your own, as you can customize it to your own tastes as the North Africans do. Families have their own house blends handed down for years.

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup minced shallot

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, or more to taste

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

1 tablespoon harissa, more to taste

Juice from half a lemon

1/2  cup grated carrot

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon round black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 3/4 cup vital what gluten

1 cup salt-free vegetable broth

Put the chickpeas in a food processor, and pulse a few times so that the beans are broken down but not a paste. Transfer to a large bowl. Put the almonds in the food processor and pulse a few times until they are chopped. Add to the chickpeas. Add the shallot through the cinnamon, and stir to combine. Add the vital wheat gluten and stir well. Using a fork, stir in the broth. When combined, use your hands to knead the dough a few times until it forms a cohesive dough and strands of gluten are visible. Add a tablespoon of additional gluten or broth, if needed to reach the desired consistency.

Prepare a steamer and tear off 8 10-inch pieces of foil. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Place each portion on a piece of foil. Pat into a 3 1/2 inch burger, pressing any pieces back into the burger. Fold the foil over the burger, but do not pack it tightly against the burger as the burgers will expand slightly when steaming. Steam the burgers for 1 hour 15 minutes. Unwrap carefully, and refrigerate until cold. At this point, the burgers can be cooked, or they may be wrapped in parchment paper (between the burgers) and frozen airtight.

To cook the burgers, heat a thin layer of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burger until the bottom is crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn over to cook the second side in the same way. Serve on a bun with toppings of choice.

Yield: 8 burgers
The nitty gritty on these burgers:

I particularly like to cook the burgers this way, then grill them after. Because they are cooked in oil, they won’t stick to the grill (or grill pan) at all, and  you can get a wonderful flame-broiled burger taste. I know it’s an extra step, but these burgers take so little hands on time, that I think it’s worth it.

About that harissa, you really may want to add more. But if you’re not used to your particular harissa, you can always make a harissa mayonnaise to top your burger for a little extra ooomph.

So here is one of a few bonus recipes to come! Don’t forget Jim’s Favorite Spinach Pizza that I posted here.

The Great American Vegan Cookout is coming, too! Register to take part in an online chat and the chance to win one of 5 copies in the book. If you’re cooking fromGrills Gone Vegan, be sure to be snapping photos, too…. you might need them! We’ve got a fantastic contest coming up soon.





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  1. Wayne
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Hello Tami!

    When will the next printing of Grills Gone Vegan take place? How does one know it is time to do the next printing of a certain book? Just curious, mind you.

    Thanks for posting the recipe above. It surely looks delicious.



  2. Tami
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi Wayne! Thank you for your kind words on the recipe. I wish I could give you an answer on follow-up printings, but the fact is that we are in the dark. Unless I pick up a copy when I’m in a store and check the edition, I’d never even know other printings happen.

  3. Wayne
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that is the problem with books sold at Amazon. For instance, there is no telling if a book got reprinted. What makes the matter even worse is that Amazon doesn’t often include an announcement about the reprinting in the blub. Honestly speaking, I would love to get the next printing for Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day especially with some errors corrected. Oh well! Despite some minor errors, I still love all of your books!

  4. Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Wayne, please let me know what other errors you’ve found. That way I can get them fixed in the next round, whenever it is. Thanks for loving the books. :)

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