Bento staples: mini burgers

One of the most convenient things to put in a bento are frozen mini burgers, so I try every now and again to make a batch to have on hand. I don’t really have a recipe, so much, but they usually turn out well. I find that when I use chicken I don’t need to add a binder, but for veggie ones that can be a good idea.

Chicken burgers

You start with a pound of lean ground chicken. Then, you can add any flavors, really. I make them fairly small, about 12-15 per pound of meat. You can fry them or bake them in the oven (8-10 mins per side at 200C)

Some ideas:

a) Asian-style (vaguely bulgogi flavored)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • chili
  • (perhaps 1 tbsp brown sugar)

b) Indian-style

  • 4 chopped green onions
  • some minced ginger
  • some minced garlic
  • 1-2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • perhaps some turmeric or other spices you have on hand

c) herbed

  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh herbs, or dry if you don’t have fresh, such as thyme, basil or italian herb mix or herbes de provence
  • garlic
  • perhaps some chopped onion

Veggie burgers

The easiest route is to take a can of beans.

a) Hummus burger

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds, 3 tbsp water, leave to form a goop)
  • can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp of tahini
  • garlic
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Use an immersion blender to make it into all a paste. If it is not sticking together well enough, add some rice flour or flour of your choice. Best fried. Careful, they are a bit fragile.

b) Black bean burgers

  • can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • a small chopped onion
  • some yellow and red bell pepper, diced finely
  • cumin
  • garlic
  • probably some rice flour

Use the immersion blender on about 3/4 of the beans and the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork. Fry with care.

b) tofu red lentil burgers

Recipe here!

c) green pea burgers

Recipe here!

All of the burgers can be frozen, and then when you need them you just pick one out and put it frozen in the bento box. It will be thawed by lunchtime!


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