Life Cafe is one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. It serves hearty, organic vegetarian food in a charming little setting in Soho. There’s a great range of food on the menu, yet I can never seem to stop myself from ordering the Spicy Tempeh Burger. Like sausages, burgers never seemed to convert well into vegetarian fare in my teens. Happily the tide seems to be turning now and it’s possible to get really satisying meat-free burgers. Here is one that can be made at home to great success. It’s spicy, healthy and definitely hits the spot.
Mexican Bean Burgers
Makes 6, from BBC Good Food
2 x 400g cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp mild chilli powder
small bunch coriander, chopped
2 tbsp salsa (plus more to serve)
To serve: bread buns, Greek yoghurt, salad leaves
1. Preheat the grill to high, if cooking immediately. Tip the drained kidney beans into a bowl and mash them with a potato masher.
2. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander, egg, salsa and seasoning. Mix together well with a fork.
3. Time to get messy – divide the mixture into 6 equal parts, and shape them into burgers.
4. At this point you can either freeze the burgers (cook from frozen at 200C for 30 minutes), or cook them right away – put them on a baking tray and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve in a bun with a little salsa, Greek yoghurt, salad, and whatever else you like. Tasty with parsnip fries, but I bet sweet potato wedges would be amazing too.