Now and Zen Burger

“What we all need is just one basic recipe for a big batch of tasty burgers that can be made ahead and stored, one that is not affected by long periods of freezing, one that you can take to nonvegan barbecues, and one that doesn’t crumble if you toss it around a bit on the grill. I always have a few in my freezer, just in case we need a quick meal.” ~ Chef Miyoko


  • 4 cups cooked brown rice*
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten*
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 pounds white or cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium white or chickpea miso
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Serving Suggestions
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Burger buns
  • Lettuce leaves or microgreens
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • PREP TIME 15
  • COOK TIME 30
  • Serves 18


  1. Pulse the mushrooms in batches in the food processor until minced but not mushy.
  2. Transfer them to a large bowl and mix in the onions, rice*, tomato paste, parsley, soy sauce, miso, herbs and spices. Once everything is well incorporated, add the wheat gluten* and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. To form burgers, separate mix into eighteen burgers with your hands or use the following steps for forming patties:
    • Use a large ice cream scoop to form balls, drop them onto the prepared baking sheets, then flatten with your hand to form patties.
    • Find a large, deep lid for a jar, like ones often used for giant jars of peanut butter. Line it with plastic wrap. Pack in the burger mixture, then flip it out onto the prepared baking sheets (you can keep reusing the same sheet of plastic wrap).
  5. Bake patties for 30 minutes, until firm to the touch. Unused patties can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for 6 to 8 months.

Serving Suggestions

Chef Miyoko says that “for serving, the usual mustard and ketchup work fine, but I prefer these with some sautéed onions and a sweet Dijon sauce.”

  1. To create the sauce, in a small bowl, mix together the mustard and 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or more, depending on how sweet you like your condiments) and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, sauté the sliced onion over medium-high heat until browned.
  3. Place a hot burger patty on the bun, and top with a generous helping of the onions and sweet Dijon sauce. Add lettuce and tomatoes then serve.

*A modified version of the recipe replaces 4 cups cooked brown rice with 5 to 6 cups cooked quinoa, and 3 cups vital wheat gluten with 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all purpose baking flour plus 3 teaspoons xantham gum (if using a different gluten-free flour mix, check ingredient list to make sure xantham gum is not included).