Sushi burgers are hitting the world by storm and are currently one of the hottest new food trends around. The burgers have been around in some form or another for quite some time, but thanks to Instagram they have recently rocketed in popularity.
What is a sushi burger?A sushi burger consists of a replica bread bun made using sticky sushi rice (sometimes deep fried) and a filling of your choice. As most sushi rice is naturally gluten free, you can easily make a sushi burger that will accommodate most dietary requirements. The flavour combinations are only limited by your imagination and some varieties that have caught on are Shitake mushrooms with wasabi seasoned avocado to sushi grade tuna with Yuzu mayo.
How to make a sushi burger?The natural place to start when making a sushi burger is with the bun and there are two schools of thought for the sticky rice bun. The first is to create the rice and simply compress it into a bun shape, this results in a burger that is perfectly white and is likely to fall apart, requiring chopsticks or cutlery to finish eating. Other people like to lightly deep fry their rice bun, this imparts a golden brown colour on the surface and helps the rice bind so the burger can be eaten with your hands.
Possibly, the most important process in this is to have patience. If you get your rice and just put it straight in the pan to boil you won’t achieve the best results. To prepare your rice you need to start by giving it a really thorough rinsing, this allows the rice to begin releasing starch and also washes away a surprising amount of the calorific content of the rice.
Rinse and Repeat1. To rinse the rice, just grab a bowl big enough to hold all of your rice with plenty of space for extra water and fill to around 2/3rds full (warm water will bathe the grains and allow them to start loosening their starch). Gently swirl the rice in the bowl and pour away the cloudy water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
Soak Overnight2. Once your water stays clear when swirled around the bowl, steep the rice in cold water and allow to soak overnight (or at least a few hours). This process achieves a better texture and also has health benefits too. Soaking any type of rice makes it more digestible as it breaks down some of the proteins that our body struggles with. It also neutralises the phytates in the rice which inhibit the absorption of important nutrients like calcium, iron and magnesium. So it really does pay to practice patience.
3. After allowing to soak, your rice just needs one more rinse and then it’s ready to cook. As a cooking method we will use the absorption technique, this is preferred because more of the essential nutrients are eaten rather than being left in the remaining water like boiled rice. Measuring your rice and water by volume is far easier than trying to calculate measurements, just use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice and you’ll achieve perfect rice every time.
1 Cup Rice ↔ 2 Cups Water4. Add the rice to a saucepan and add boiling water. Put your pan on full heat until the water starts bubbling then reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid (if your lid is quite loose, you can place a piece of tin foil between the pan and the lid. It will act as a gasket and greatly reduce the amount of steam that would escape). After 10minutes you can turn off the heat, but don’t remove the lid. The trapped steam will continue to cook the rice and you should remove the lid after a further 15 minutes.
Tip: cooking rice at a high temperature will quickly boil away the water, leaving the rice undercooked.
5. Now that you have perfectly cooked sushi rice, you can begin to season it. To make the seasoning just dissolve the salt and sugar into the vinegar and mirin, then stir into the rice, stir as gently as possible or you could end up with gloopy rice instead of sticky rice.
Stir Carefully6. A cereal bowl tends to make the perfect burger bun shape, so decant the rice into some bowls, compress and remove. For the bases, a pastry ring the same diameter of the top of your bun works best.
Tip: wet the bowl, ring and your hands whilst doing this. The wet bowl will ensure the buns come out of the mould in one piece and wetting your hands will prevent the rice from sticking to you.
At this point the buns are ready for their filling and can be eaten or if you prefer the fried bun approach then drop the buns into some oil heated to 200°c until lightly browned just before plating up.
Sushi Burger FlavoursThis is where your creative juices can really get going. You can keep the burger vegan, gluten free, super healthy and super tasty, add a combination of raw fish and veg or even create a moreish calorific masterpiece.
The Vegan Friendly Sushi BurgerThis burger is sure to delight every one of your senses. The burger both looks and tastes amazing, it features bright, vibrant colours and such a variety of complimentary flavours in your mouth that you’ll only be left wanting more.
|2 Tbsp. coconut oil||Saucepan|
|2clove garlic, crushed||Garlic Press|
|2/3 cup soy sauce||Measuring Cups|
|2 Tbsp. Rice wine||Chefs Knife|
|2 Tbsp. brown sugar||Blender|
|2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced|
|1 ripe avocado|
|2 tsp. wasabi or wasabi powder|
|2 tsp. vegan mayonnaise|
|Chilli to taste|
|Pickled ginger, to taste|
|Shredded red cabbage, to taste|
|Black sesame seeds, for garnish|
Method1. Heat a pan, add the coconut oil and allow to melt. Once the oil is warm add the garlic, soy sauce, rice wine and brown sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the mushroom and simmer for around 8minutes on a low heat until the liquid starts to represent a thick sauce.
2. Take your avocado and slice in half, being careful of the stone. Scoop out the halves and mash the flesh with a fork then add the wasabi and mix thoroughly.
3. Get your blender and blend together your vegan mayo and your chilli.
Now you have all of your components ready it’s time to build your burger. Take a base piece for a bun and spread on the avocado mixture, top with the mushrooms, spicy-mayo, pickled ginger and sliced red cabbage.
To finish, place the rounded bun on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then enjoy!