It’s easy Japanese vegan hamburger steak with teriyaki glaze. I made hamburger patties with homemade “soy meat”. Making soy meat is much easier and more “ground meat texture” than I thought. I will talk about how to make the soy meat later on. I also blended caramelized onions and mushrooms stirred with garlic to make it rich and fragrant. A key to success of this recipe is making crispy golden brown surface. Which gives you feel meaty taste and texture. I hope you enjoy this satisfying vegan main dish!
The picture below is the basic 4 ingredients of this Japanese vegan hamburger steak: flesh panko breadcrumbs, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and soy meat (on the right!).
In case you don’t know what the panko breadcrumbs are, I will tell you about it. It’s the Japanese version of breadcrumbs. The bread is processed into larger in size than western breadcrumbs and made from only white bread. It’s one of the essential ingredients for Japanese hamburger steak. Since these airy bread flakes give fluffy texture and bind ingredients of the patties. You can prepare this flesh panko breadcrumbs, just process a few slices of white bread in a food processor.
How to make homemade Soy meat from Tofu
Homemade soy meat is the main ingredient as a substitute for ground meat. I think that it’s very worth to know how to make it. Because it’s a very versatile ingredient that you can use it for meat balls, Mapo tofu or other recipes requiring ground meat. In my opinion, making soy meat is more fuss free way to remove moisture of tofu than pressing or boiling method. You are just required simple 3 steps.
- Freeze firm tofu overnight
- Defrost the tofu
- Squeeze water out of the tofu
Firstly, put them in the freezer at least overnight. You can put them in its packaging. But if you drain and cut them before freezing, you can speed up the process of defrosting and squeezing tofu. I thawed the frozen tofu at room temperature, though you can also defrost by soaking in the water, microwaving or boiling. But if you take heating up method, inside of the tofu becomes extremely hot. So make sure to soak the hot tofu in cold water and lightly touch the inside of the tofu to see it’s completely cooled down before squeezing.
Japanese hamburger steak is soft and moist on the inside. So it’s very important to cook until evenly golden brown on the outside. Flatten burger patties with teriyaki sauce would also be great in between the buns!
Soy meat recipe is adopted from Nadia.
Japanese Vegan Hamburger Steak
- 600 g (21 oz) plain firm Tofu
- 2 medium yellow / brown onion small diced
- 10 mushrooms minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cup fresh panko breadcrumbs see the recipe below
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Freeze the firm tofu in its packaging for at least overnight. If you speed up the process of defrosting and squeezing tofu, cut into 5 cm / 2 inch squares. And place them in a container or storage plastic bag, leaving some space in between so that they do not stick together before freezing.
- Defrost the tofu by soaking in the water until soft. If you want to defrost quickly, remove the tofu from the package, and put in a microwave or boil until soft.
- Drain the water and pinch off handful tofu. Then tightly squeeze the tofu with your hands to remove any water. Repeat the process. If you heated up the tofu, inside of the tofu is extremely hot, so be careful to squeeze.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan. And stir the garlic, onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat until caramelized and fully golden brown. Add a pinch of salt and optionally add a dash of ground black pepper, nutmeg and cumin powder.
- Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool down. Prepare Soy meat and Fresh panko breadcrumbs (see the recipe below).
- Add the soy meat and the panko breadcrumbs to the large bowl with onions. Tear the soy meat into crumbs and mix the all ingredients in the bowl by your hands until the mixture become sticky.
- Shape the mixture into patties. Then heat the 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and place the patties.
- Cook the patties until evenly golden brown, then flip the patties and cover with a lid. And repeat the process on the other side. Meanwhile cooking the patties start to prepare the Teriyaki glaze (see the below).
- Transfer the patties to serving dishes.
Fresh panko breadcrumbs
- Place 2-3 sliced of white bread in a food processor and process until large flakes (not until crumbs).
- Mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water.
- After taking out the patties from the frying pan, pour the soy sauce and the maple syrup in the same frying pan. Then add the cornstarch mixture and bring to simmer until the sauce has thickened.
- Brush the patties with the teriyaki glaze.
Can I use store-bought panko breadcrumbs?
Hi, yes, you can use store-bought one!
looks really good. gonna try it out. just to ask, what kind of mushroom are you talking about?
It’s white button mushrooms. Thanks for coming my site!
Amazing recipe! I love it! Never had Japanese food before but after some anime binge watching with friends I think I must try these “hambagu”s out! And yours was delicious!
Thank you for trying this hambagu! I’m really happy to hear that your first Japanese food was my recipe and you enjoyed it. Thank you so much!