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tofu burgers, Pinch of Yum

Spicy Tofu Burgers

10 reviews / 4.9 average

Ow owwwwwww! She looks good!

This might be my bigger summer surprise recipe yet: the fact that tofu, crumbled and pressed together with lemongrass, sriracha, mint, cilantro, and basil, and browned up into a delicious, flavor-bomb burger served on a toasted brioche bun with spicy mayo and some delicately sliced fresh veggies can, in fact, be ONE OF MY FAVORITE BURGERS that I’ve ever made.

And that’s saying a lot because I love a lot of burgers (wild rice burgers! cauliflower burgers! salmon burgers!).

But specifically in this case, when I say burger I actually mean VEGAN burger, because remember that the base of this beast is a block of humble tofu. I know. I’m as shocked as you are.

Ingredients for tofu burgers.

Some things to know about a tofu burger, in case this is a new concept for you like it was for me.

  • I like to cook them using a stovetop and oven combo.
  • They will get gorgeously browned and crispy on the outside via stovetop.
  • They will firm up a bit via oven.
  • The insides are softer than a regular burger – especially if your tofu still has a lot of water in it. So DRAIN THAT TOFU! And drain it well.
  • If you find yourself in a position where you’re like, you know what, I don’t have time to drain my tofu and I’m just going to go with it? I feel you. You’ll still get a totally delicious burger but it will just be texturally a bit softer.
Tofu burger on a bun.

Add whatever you do or don’t like to this beautiful canvas – I added peppers (roasted ’em with the burgers in the oven) and fresh cucumbers and carrots and herbs, because the flavor profile here is Vietnamese-inspired. Heavy on the sriracha, herbs, lemongrass.

But you do you! Whatever suits your fancy will be just fine. This is a time for you to build your own tofu burger masterpiece.

Tofu burger on a bun with toppings.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Spicy Tofu Burgers:

This recipe is inspired by the Vietnamese-Style Tofu Burger recipe in the Plants Only Kitchen cookbook by Gaz Oakley. People often send us their cookbooks but this is one that I bought myself, and it is one of my favorite cookbooks *ever*! So fun, playful, and creative. If you like vegan food, Gaz is an excellent follow on Instagram and the cookbook is well worth the purchase. This version of the tofu burgers uses easier-for-me-to-find ingredient swaps and has a slightly shorter ingredient list.

Common Questions About These Tofu Burgers

What’s the texture like?

In general, these burgers are softer than a regular burger, especially on the insides. Step 1 in the recipe is important so the burgers don’t get overly mushy. That being said, they will taste great even if you don’t have time for it – I have made versions where I just open the package and squeeze as much water as I can out, and honestly I’ve loved every bite. Just know that the burger texture will be slightly heavier and wetter if you skip that first step.

Can I make this gluten-free?

For a gluten free version, use a gluten free flour – Gaz actually recommends buckwheat flour in his cookbook.

How spicy are these burgers?

I felt like with 1 tablespoon of sriracha in the whole thing, it was still pretty mild and worked okay for our toddler. Once you get into the 2 or 3 tablespoons of sriracha zone, it’s going to be more of a medium / + level spice.

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tofu burgers, Pinch of Yum

Spicy Tofu Burgers


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Spicy Tofu Burgers! YES. Crumbled tofu pressed together with lemongrass, sriracha, and fresh herbs, all browned up into a delicious flavor-bomb burger.


Ingredients

Scale

Burgers

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 tablespoons sriracha (for medium or hot, add more sriracha)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 shallot, very finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Burger Toppings:

  • buns (toasted, please)
  • sriracha
  • mayo
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • bell peppers
  • more herbs

Instructions

  1. Press the water out of your tofu using a tofu press or just laying a heavy pan on top of it for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Mash the tofu using your hands or a spoon until it’s crumbly. Mix in the remaining burger ingredients. Form into 4 patties. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fry the burgers in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil first to get the outsides nice and browned. Then transfer to the oven and bake for 20-or-so minutes, until the burgers are firm to the touch on the outside. (You can throw some peppers or onions in the pan with the burgers if you want to cook them up at the same time.)
  4. Serve on toasted buns with sriracha, mayo, and fresh veggies and herbs (bonus points if you make quick pickled veggies because YUMMM).

Equipment

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spicy tofu burger, tofu burger, vegan burger

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41 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Annalise Woods

    Hey Lindsay,
    One of the equipments you have mentioned is the tofu press which I unfortunately don’t have. I was thinking along the lines of crumbling th tofu and then adding salt to it to remove the excess of water. Would it work?






  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    DNN

    This surely looks like a great alternative to Wendy’s current promotion of 2 spicy Chicken sandwiches for $5. 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kate

    This is totally speaking to me – I have been really bored with plain veggie burgers I’ve been making. Thank you!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for this one. With this pandemic around it has become a fuss providing meals to the kids, but these innovations will help. Thanks once again.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jen

    Do you have any suggestions for what to use as a substitute for the lemongrass paste? Thank you can’t wait to try this!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What a fab idea to eat tofu! am going to experiment with different spices, the burgers looks fantastic!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Am a big fan of burgers and this tofu burgers looks soo good & more easy to make with full of flavor….i can’t wait to taste is…Thanks for sharing Lindsay…!






  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These were soooooo good. I didn’t have lemongrass paste so I tried some lemon zest and it was great. All the fresh herbs + sriracha (I added 3 tbsp because yes please) made them so flavorful that even my carnivore husband was in love. Thank you!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Julie

    Thank you for this tofu burger.
    I’ve made a few other(terrible)tofu burgers before but yours was fantastic.
    I had it hot and cold- both equally good.
    It even held together,wow!
    I’ve never made any of your recipes before- I didn’t know what I was missing! Thanks again. If anyone hesitates because it’s tofu-don’t! Delicious!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I really hate burgers but after preparing this recipe from your blog post now I like this spicy tofu burgers very much..Thanks for sharing this nice recipe.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Joana Assis Teixeira

    Can I prep these and then leave it on the fridge for a day or so?
    Can I freeze them?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      We’re guessing it’d work to prep these a day in advance and cook them the next day. We haven’t tried freezing these yet to know how they’d hold up, but we’d love to hear if you try it out!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melissa Waddell

    Easy, delicious, great texture. I just wish I added the full 2 tbsp of mint. I was worried it would be to over powering, but the spice and the cool mint is amazing together! highly recommend trying this out






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      My family loved these spicy tofu burgers, even the little one! I will definitely be making them again, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Perfect! Thank you.






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Emily Harvey

    For all the people who don’t have lemongrass paste: just toss a stalk of lemongrass (you can find lemongrass at any Asian grocery store and even some regular ones), 1 shallot, 2 tsp olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, and 2in piece of ginger into a food processor! You can also add a pinch of tumeric or some chilis in to add a bit more flavor. That’ll make a nice lemongrass paste that can flavor these burgers, soups, stews, etc. Enjoy!






  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    April Mattei

    Do these freeze well? I’ve made them fresh before and love them, but would like to prep some in advance to keep on hand for a quick dinner or lunch.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We haven’t tried freezing these yet to know how they’d hold up, but we’d love to hear if you try it out!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We haven’t tried freezing these burgers, but we think it will work just fine! If you give it a try, we’d love to hear back!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Nina

    This has become a weeknight staple in our house. I left out the mint, basil and cilantro and put those into a mayo sauce since I like those flavors straight up, uncooked. The addition of tomato paste is just awesome and I now add that to any burger recipe. Thanks!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Super flavorful tofu burgers! Couldn’t find lemongrass paste but still turned out delicious. I added a bit of paprika, garlic powder, and fish sauce for extra umami. Love how colorful all the toppings are too!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Super Flavorful Tofu Burgers! Couldn’t Find Lemongrass Paste but Still Turned out Delicious. I Added a Bit of Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Fish Sauce for Extra Umami. Love how Colorful All the Toppings Are Too!