Ask South Africans to name their favourite fast food and most of them will say it’s the hamburger!
This is the same the world over where everyone loves the simplicity of a patty (be it beef, pork, chicken, lamb, vegetarian or vegan) wedged between two halves of a soft bun accompanied by their favourite fillings (lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, onions, beetroot, pickles etc) and sauces (BBQ, mayo, ketchup, mustard, chilli etc).
It’s no wonder then that this dish should have a day all of its own to celebrate – International Hamburger Day – which takes place on Sunday May 28.
While there is much talk about the decline in the popularity of fast food as people become more health-conscious, burger joints remain the largest segment of the restaurant industry and in the US alone the burger market is worth more than $122 billion (R2,2 trillion!).
South Africans love their burgers, and to celebrate this auspicious food day here are three mouth-wateringly good recipes from Capsicum Culinary Studio including one for all those vegetarians out there.
Chef Charmaine’s Chickpea Burger with Coconut Onion Rings and Garlic & Herb Yoghurt Sauce (Serves 6)
Charmaine Lehabe is a Capsicum Culinary Studio alumnus, now running her own catering company called The Squared Experience.
For the Chickpea Patty:
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbs fresh minced garlic
100g toasted walnuts
40g almond flour
70g rolled oats
200g cauliflower rice
1 tbs Spanish smoked paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cumin
For the Coconut Onion Rings:
2 large onions
¾ cup corn flour
1 tsp fine salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup full cream milk
2 cups desiccated coconut
1½ cup canola oil
Garlic & Herb Yoghurt Sauce:
1 cup plain yoghurt
5g fresh dill
5g fresh coriander
5g fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs fresh garlic
salt & pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns, buttered
For the chickpea patty: Place chickpeas, red onion, garlic, cumin, paprika and cauliflower rice into a large food processor and pulse until well combined but still chunky. Transfer mixture into a bowl. In a separate food processor bowl, pulse together the toasted walnuts, oats, almond flour and salt. Add the oats mixture to the chickpea mixture and combine using your hands, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Shape the chickpea mixture into 6 burger patties and lay them on the baking tray. Cover with another layer of baking paper and refrigerate for 1 hour. (This helps them firm up). Heat a large non-stick pan on medium to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once pan is hot, cook the patties for 8 min on each side, flipping them slowly and carefully.
For the coconut onion rings: Fill a pot with oil and heat on medium heat. Slice onions into 1cm rings and place in a bowl of ice water. In a separate bowl combine cornflour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, eggs and milk until smooth. In another bowl place the desiccated coconut. Once the mixture is ready, remove onion rings from ice water and pat dry. In batches, coat the rings with the cornflour mixture then the coconut. Set aside on baking paper. Once all coated, make sure oil isn’t too hot (otherwise it will burn the rings). Cook the onion rings 3 minutes on each side. Set aside once all is cooked.
For the garlic & herb sauce: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
To serve: Toast the buttered hamburger buns in a pan. Slice tomatoes thinly. Spread the yoghurt sauce on the bottom bun, then place lettuce, two tomato slices, chickpea patty, two onion rings and more yoghurt sauce and cover with top bun. Serve with sweet potato fries.
Chef Sharon Visagie’s Jalapeno & Cream Cheese Stuffed Beef Burgers
Sharon Visagie is a lecturer at Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Durban campus
180g jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
handful of coriander leaves, washed & chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
225g medium fat cream cheese
900g lean beef
8 fresh burger buns
Lettuce and tomato slices to dress
Pre-heat a grill pan on medium heat. When hot, lightly oil the grate. In a bowl, stir together the jalapenos, red onion, coriander and cream cheese. Divide the ground beef into 16 portions and pat out each one to 6mm thickness. Spoon some of the cream cheese mixture onto the centre of 8 of the patties. Top with the remaining patties, pressing the edges together to seal. Grill for about 7 minutes per side or until done to your liking, taking care not to press down on the burgers as they cook as this will make the cheese ooze out.
Serve on fresh buns with tomato and fresh lettuce.
Chef Nadia Pillay’s “Since 2009” Burger (serves 4)
Based at the school’s Nelson Mandela Bay campus, Pillay says: “I call this the ‘Since 2009 Burger’ because that’s how long I’ve been using this recipe”
For the Patty:
600g beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
20g fresh parsley, finely chopped
60ml Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large egg
½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Tomato Relish:
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 to 5 fresh basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon vinegar
4 large burger buns
Sliced dill cucumber
Cheddar cheese, grated
Mustard mayo (5 tablespoons mayonnaise & 2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard mixed)
Mix all the ingredients together for the beef patty, making everything is well combined and ingredients are evenly mixed. Using your hands, shape the patties into 150g balls and set aside on a plate to rest in the fridge. While the patties are resting, make the tomato relish by heating up 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is clear and glossy. (Be careful not to burn the garlic). Sprinkle the sugar evenly over onions but do not stir – rather let the sugar melt (about 30 seconds). Add chopped tomatoes and seasoning and stir for about 5 minutes. Turn down heat and let mixture cook on gentle heat for about 15 minutes making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once cooked through add the basil and then turn off the heat and let the relish develop its flavours. Remove patties from the fridge, brush with oil and cook to preference in a griddle pan or on the braai. (Brushing the patty with oil rather than putting the oil into the pan will avoid splatter.) Once cooked to preference, top your patties with the grated cheese and melt in the oven or cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes. Once patties are cooked let them rest for about 2 to 3 minutes before building your burger. Toast burger buns then spread with the mustard mayo. Add lettuce, then patty and top with sliced dill cucumbers and tomato relish.