Vegan Aubergine "FISH" Burgers
with remoulade sauce, beetroot pickles & cress
For a while, me and some friends have been experimenting to find the best, yet easiest, substitute for white fish on a burger, or as Fish & Chips. After testing different products, we ended up with a surprising winner: the everyday aubergine. It’s all about the preparation process of roasting, bread-crumbing and frying. When you get to the result, you will not be able to tell the difference with real fish. So whether you are doing ‘veganuary’, you are a vegan or a meat eater, you’ve got to try this burger on your next Friday night beer & cooking session. Happy new year!
4 nice burger buns
2 large aubergines
6 tablespoons of (vegan) Mayonaise (or make it yourself)
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons capers
2 large or 3 small gherkins
200 gr flour
150 gr panko breadcrumbs
14 gr nori sheets
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
small bunch fresh parsley
sunflower oil (for frying)
salt and pepper
A small bit of romaine lettuce (or lettuce of choice)
1 large tomato
1 small pack of English cress
4 radishes and 1 beetroot (cooked): pickle with some vinegar and liquid sweetener (agave syrup for example)
Preheat the oven to 200 ‘C. With the tip of your knife, prick the aubergine 2 or 3 times so that the steam can come out in the oven. Place in the oven for around 30 to 40 minutes, until nice and soft. Leave to cool down.
In the meantime, prepare all your garnish. If you are doing the beetroot and radishes, pickle them with equal amounts of vinegar and liquid sweetener, together with some salt and pepper. Do this in separate bowls, so that the radish doesn’t turn red.
To make the remoulade sauce, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, zest and half the juice of 1 lemon (taste for more), finely chopped shallot, capers and gherkins, pepper and salt. Taste.
Now is the time to shine. In a food processor blitz up the panko breadcrumbs together with the nori sheets until fine, then mix with the sesame seeds and finely chopped parsley. Prepare 3 plates with: 1) plain flour 2) flour, water & a large pinch of salt mixed to a pancake like consistency 3) the panko-nori mixture. Now, slice the aubergine in half lengthways and either try to pinch off the dark skin or scoop out the flesh in one go. It’s important that the ‘fillet’ stays intact. Then coat the aubergine fillet along the 3 plates with the order of 1,2,3.
Preheat a frying pan with about 0,5 cm of sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, place in the fillets and fry on both sides for a minute or 3, until they are beautiful and golden. Place on kitchen paper and sprinkle with some salt.
Time to built these beauties! I’d say, just take a look at the picture. But if you want one tip of a burger chef, place the romaine lettuce leaf on top of the bottom bun before you put on the sauce, so that the bun doesn’t get soggy (; Bon Apetit!