You love burger but you have to cut down on your meat intake? Why not opt for a vegetarian burger that will satisfy your craving for burger without compromising much of the taste that you love? While most vegetarian restaurants would offer you a vegetarian burger made mainly from tofu, my elder sister Susana Dy (I call her Swanie) and I thought of concocting a vegetarian burger using puso ng saging. It's not an entirely new idea, since we did a lot of R&D and the idea of using puso ng saging presented itself along with other vegetarian ingredients such as tofu and mushroom. We opted for puso ng saging because it's a lesser used ingredient, it's inexpensive, it's common and easy to find, and it's one of my favorites. After a few tweaks and adjustments in the kitchen, we finally came up with this burger that looks like a meat burger and the taste is almost the same. We got all excited!
This recipe thus made it to our very first cookbook under Anvil Publishing titled Pinoy Vegetarian Cookbook, and when the book was launched at Powerbooks Greenbelt along with other new Anvil titles by women authors last March, this Puso ng Saging Burger was served and guests had no idea it was vegetarian until they were told so! So I'm sharing the recipe with you and hoping that you would give it a try.
I want to clarify, though, that Pinoy Vegetarian Cookbook was written not to convert carnivores to turn vegetarian but just to present a sourcebook for healthier alternatives for times when you want to eat light and healthy. No gourmet pretenses, just good everyday vegetarian food based on familiar Filipino and Chinese dishes.
Puso ng Saging Burger
PUSO NG SAGING BURGER
3 cups puso ng saging, shredded
6 tbsps. flour
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. sugar
ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. liquid seasoning
1-1/2 tbsps. cornstarch
lettuce leaves (Iceberg or curly)
1. Boil puso ng saging in a pot of water until tender. Let cool.
2. Squeeze out water and chop finely.
3. In a bowl, combine chopped puso ng saging, flour, minced onion, eggs, salt, sugar, ground pepper, worcestershire sauce, liquid seasoning and cornstarch. Mix well.
4. Form into burger patties and fry in a little oil until desired doneness is achieved.
5. To assemble, slice burger buns in half and toast. On the bottom half, spread some mayonnaise and line with lettuce and slices of cheese and tomato. Top with puso ng saging burger patty, spread catsup on top and cover with the upper half of the burger bun.
Dolly T. Dy-Zulueta is editor of Flavors Magazine. She graduated from a certificate course in culinary and baking skills at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS). Aside from this course, she has taken several cooking classes in several cooking schools.