Satisfying Tofu Burgers

December 11, 2014    BY Natural Gourmet Institute

A veggie-friendly recipe that proves you don't need meat to enjoy a perfectly satisfying burger. Surprise your family and friends by making this tasty dish the main course at your next gathering.  

Yield: 8-10 burgers


  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup shoyu
  • 1 cup cooked millet, rice, OR bread crumbs
  • 1 pound soft tofu
  • 2 tablespoons arame
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder or other spice blend, if preferred
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely minced
  • 1½ tablespoons umeboshi paste
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or more to taste
  • Cornmeal for dredging


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix seeds and shoyu together. Roast on parchment paper until dried and toasted.
  2. If not cooked, prepare millet (2 cups water to 1 cup millet for 30 minutes), or brown rice (2½ cups water to 1 cup rice for 55 minutes).
  3. Press tofu to remove excess water by placing tofu between paper towels and putting weighted plate on top. Let sit at least 5-10 minutes.
  4. Soak arame in water 10-15 minutes. Drain and chop finely.
  5. Heat oil. Sauté garlic, onion, spices, carrot, and celery for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Grind sunflower seeds halfway in food processor. Mash tofu. Add sautéed vegetables, 1 cup cooked grain, seeds, arame, ume, tahini, and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust salt if needed. Mix well.
  7. Form ½” thick burgers with about ½ cup mixture.
  8. Bake burgers at 350º F until set (about 15-20 minutes) or pan fry (dredge in corn meal first) on each side, only turning once until golden (drain on paper towels).
  9. Serve on whole wheat burger bun with lettuce, red onion slice, and mustard.

Natural Gourmet Institute
Founded in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is the leader in health-supportive culinary education. Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program is a comprehensive and professional program that trains students to meet the growing demand forculinary professionals who are able to make the connection between food and health. Natural Gourmet Institute also offers public intensives, hands-on instruction, demonstrations and lectures for the healthy cooking... Read more>>