Hawaiian Veggie Burgers

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: This is a “burger” in that it is a bunch of food stacked on bread. It is not a burger in the traditional sense of ground materials formed into a patty. I guess this should more properly be called a Hawaiian veggie stack, but I’ve called these burgers for a long time and so it will remain.

I got this recipe from my mother, who acquired it during a trip to Hawaii (specifically, it’s from a restaurant in Lahaina, Maui) many years ago. It has been a family favorite since then. I’ve changed the recipe a little due to my tastes, but I include as optional some of the original ingredients that I usually omit.

these "burgers" are really easy and really tasty

These burgers are really quick to make. Ours took some time because we made more of the brioche buns ourselves. But if you have buns already, or wish to use bread or English muffins (as the original recipe specifies) you can probably whip these together in 30 minutes or less. If you cut the ingredients smaller and used pieces of baguette these would make awesome hors d’oeuvres so I’m listing them as a side as well. Note that these are open-face burgers:  they don’t have bread on top. You could make them like that if you want, but that’s not this recipe. So 1 serving is 2 burgers but 1 bun. Get it?

Ingredients (makes 4 open-face burgers, serves 2 persons):

Burger buns (2) or English muffins (2) or 4 pieces of toasted bread
1 tomato
2 slices of a sweet or red onion
1-2 jalapeño peppers (3-4 slices per burger)
8 crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly
8-12 slices of cheese (use a combination of cheddar, jack, Swiss, Parmesan, or anything else you want)
Mayonnaise (optional)
Sweet relish (optional, or make your own—dice up a cucumber and toss with salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar)
Sprouts, chives, or other toppings
Salt, pepper, and minced garlic or garlic powder (optional)

You have several choices in terms of how you prepare these ingredients. You can leave the onion raw if you have sweet onions, but, as we found out, leaving red onion raw is a recipe for smelling like onions for the rest of the night. I suggest cooking the onions up first, especially if you wouldn’t usually put lots of onion on your burger. You can use jarred jalapeños if you like, or you can slice fresh ones and either serve them raw or sautée them. I tend to eat mine raw because I like the heat, but if you want a milder burger you can cook the peppers briefly. Decide if you want mayonnaise, relish, sprouts, chives, hot sauce, or any other toppings. Everything else is pretty straightforward.

Slice up the tomato, onion, and the peppers. You want 1 slice of tomato per burger (so 4 in this case), about 1-2 rounds of onion, and the slices of pepper.

produce sliced for the burgers

Slice up the mushrooms and sautée them until cooked in a little butter or olive oil. Add salt, a generous amount of pepper, and a minced clove of garlic or a dash of garlic powder if you want.

mushrooms getting cooked

When the mushrooms are done, soften the onions in the same pan if you don’t want to serve them raw. Do the same with the peppers if you’d like less heat.

Then slice your cheese, get out your toppings and condiments, and build your burgers.

burgers built and ready for cooking

Cut your buns or English muffins in half, and toast them if you’d like. Start by spreading with mayonnaise and/or relish. Place a slice of tomato on each. Then put down however much onion you want. Lay on a few slices of jalapeño. Add the sprouts next if you are using them.

Then choose if you want the mushrooms as a garnish or in the burger. I like the latter, so I put down the mushrooms and then layer the cheese on top. If you want to garnish with them, skip them here and just top with cheese.

Heat in a toaster oven or regular oven (on broil) until the cheese is melted.

ready to serve

Garnish with the mushrooms if you retained them (keep them warm), or with chives or another topping of your choice. I hope you enjoy this simple family recipe.

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