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A recipe with photos by Theobald Tiger

My gastronomic project…
A recipe with photos by Theobald Tiger

A recipe with photos by Theobald Tiger

Saturday May 13th, 2023.

This is a very simple dish that anyone can prepare at home in less than an hour, all in. And it’s cheaper than anything meaty could ever be. Knowing full well that producing a single kilogramme of beef wastes some 15,000s litres of water during the processes of animal husbandry, the washing and killing of the animal I’d like to keep my footprint low, avoiding animal cruelty and slaughter, the artificial fattening up of animals, and industrial farming.

The dough I use in my kitchen is from France, and 400 g sell for around two euros in the supermarket or organic store. A low price. This consists of finely kibbled soy, but you may choose to make it using broad beans, lentils, peas or other kibbled dried legumes. My cooking project today are vegetarian hamburgers (meatballs, almondegas or similar), some seven to ten balls. For this I take half of the soy from the bag. Actually, the other day I’d invited some friends for dinner and placed the meatballs on the table. Nobody noticed that it wasn’t meat but simple veggie burgers. At the end of the meal there was amazement when I revealed that there was no meat involved. Questions? Preconceptions? Right, let’s go…

You’ll need:

  • 200 g fine textured soja (priced around one euro)
  • 375 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Mix well and allow to set
  • 2 eggs from happy hens, or, for a vegan version: 150 g chickpea flour
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ red pepper (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 10 g mustard grains
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil
  • some pepper or hot piri-piri …
  • mix well

Fill a deep soup dish with chick pea or spelt flour and keep handy.

Knead the dough well and proper, cover it with a cloth and allow to rest for a while. Wash and dry your hands before picking up a handful of hamburger dough and pressing, rolling, and condensing it between the palms of your hands to form whatever you want them to be: meatballs, hamburgers, etc. You’ll notice immediately whether they’re already firm or are threatening to come apart in your frying pan. So before I place them, carefully, in the frying pan with heated olive oil, I coat them in flour. Chickpea flour is my preferred glue here. Then fry them for ten minutes, turning them over again and again, until they turn golden. All in all they’ll never need longer than 15 to 20 minutes’ frying time. You may enjoy them hot or cold, right away, tomorrow or the day after, crispy, with or without bread. That’s it really. In order to turn them into a good hamburger I need a soft bread roll, some lettuce, a slice of tomato and some ketchup and mayonnaise. I recommend turning a few rocket leaves into a pesto, in which case leaving out the ketchup and mayo. And this simple recipe lends itself perfectly to being adapted by anyone.

There’s space here to be creative. You may also turn the vegetarian hamburgers (or meatballs) into a proper dish with mashed potato (mix regular local potatoes with a sweet potato, add fried onions and spice things up with freshly grated nutmeg) and served with fine vegetables, for instance fresh peas with carrots, or cauliflower with green beans from the vegetable garden. Viewed from the outside, the vegetarian meatballs look hardly different from their meaty counterparts; allow yourself to be surprised. The economic aspect is the price per meatball, costing less than 25 cents. I’ll spare you the sermon on the ecological aspect…


Theobald Tiger

Photos: Theobald Tiger

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