mung bean - leek burgers w/ shiso + chili mayo / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

mung bean - leek burgers | dolly and oatmeal

over the weekend i was fortunate enough to attend a discussion (with my mom - total bonus!) between Alice Waters and Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  (by chance we also witnessed the annual turkey herding at farm, so cute!) it was a really awesome night where there was some pertinent discourse on where food is going; the role of farms, of chefs, of home cooks, of teachers, of students, and importantly us as individuals and our own personal connections to food we buy, cook and eat. these are some of the things that Alice and Dan challenged the audience to be mindful of.  in a time where everything is instantaneously at our fingertips, i think we sometimes lose sight of what's going on in front of us; that we have choices in our connection and relationship with food.  

another part of the conversation focussed on the large percentage of people in the country, and the world, who are food insecure.  the people that don't have the money or resources to buy "local" or to drive to a local farm market.  the people who have no option but to buy the the over-processed, and nutrition-less items at the grocery store, or their local bodega.  both Alice and Dan are supporters of food education; immersing young students in the garden and showing them where food, nutrients, and energy come from.  as a teacher who has worked with students in low socioeconomic areas in new york city, it was inspiring to hear a real discussion between 2 people to whom i look up to, talk about topics that are not so readily discussed.  among other thought provoking topics, Dan Barber announced that he just finished writing his first cookbook (yay!), and Alice Waters spoke about how she was recently introduced to homemade oat flour!  that's right blogger friends, Alice Waters didn't know that pulsing rolled oats in a food processor gives you oat flour!  even Alice learns something new everyday :)

talk about learning something new everyday, i had no idea mung beans didn't require soaking! which made this (somewhat) laborious recipe a bit easier and less time consuming.  i don't know about you, but i never remember to soak my beans, lentils, what have you, so this non-soaking step was super! i have to say, i really love this burger's texture and consistency.  oftentimes i look past the veggie burger option on the menu because i find that they all have a similar mushiness, most times contain way too much sodium and always consist of the same vegetables.  call me partial, but these here burgers did the trick for me!  the mung beans lent their own subtly sweet flavor (plus mung beans are super easy to digest!), i found that the mildness of the leeks really came through for some great flavor as well.  however, the shiso is really the star here.  normally found at the farmers' market in the spring, i chose to incorporate it here because of the flavors i was trying to recreate from a restaurant i visited in Berlin.   in my Berlin roundup i mentioned the restaurant, Shiso Burger as one to check out if you ever found yourself there.  me and the husband found ourselves ordering 3 different types of burgers just to get a good flavor for what they had going on over there.  seriously awesome stuff, i can't wait to go back some day.  in the meantime, these veg burgers will keep my mind and mouth occupied with some lovely flavorful notes.  

mung bean - leek burgers w/ shiso + chili mayo | v + gf 

| makes 10 2 1/2" burgers |

shiso or perilla, can be found this time of year at groceries dedicated to asian cuisine.  if you're located in the city, i found my shiso at Sunrise Mart near Astor Place.  additionally, you can substitute the shiso for thai basil - not exactly the same flavor but close enough.  i provide a recipe for gluten/grain free buns (which were really good!), but feel free to use what you like, these burgers will taste good with just about anything!  


  • 1/2 cup dried mung beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 large leeks, rinsed and sliced (scant 1 cup)
  • 3 small or 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5-7 shiso leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grapeseed oil for cooking


  • 15 - 20 whole shiso leaves
  • half of a red onion, sliced thin
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • *chili mayo (instructions below)
  • shoyu sauce

gluten free hamburger buns (optional)

adapted from here

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 organic free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or honey)
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons black + white sesame seeds - for garnishing


make the patties

  • in a medium saucepan cover the mung beans with water reaching 2 inches above beans.  bring to boil, cover, and turn heat to low.  cook for 30 - 35 minutes until beans are soft.  remove from stove and drain.  let the beans cool or run cold water over them to speed up the process.  cook the quinoa according to the directions on container and let it cool - about 15 minutes
  • once cooled, place beans, quinoa, sliced leeks, garlic, flax seed, shiso, coriander, red pepper flakes and salt in a food processor.  pulse, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides.  once mixture is thoroughly combined, transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to a day (if you're pressed for time skip this step)  
  • using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the mixture and level.  using your hands mold the mixture into a patty; repeat with remaining mixture
  • prepare a plate or platter with paper towels. heat a 10" skillet to medium heat, and cover bottom with a healthy glug of the oil.  carefully place burgers into the skillet (i managed to cook 4 at a time) and cook for 5 - 6 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp.  using a slotted spatula, transfer the patties to the paper towel lined plate.  repeat with remaining patties  

assemble the burgers

  • spread a healthy amount of chili mayo on one side of your bun, top with burger.  place 2-3 shiso leaves, a handful of cilantro and red onion to taste on top of the patty and drizzle with shoyu sauce (if you like more kick, spread chili mayo on both sides of the bun.)
  • alternatively, you can eat the burger without the bun and top with all the fixings - just as good, i promise!

make the buns 

  • preheat oven to 350Β° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  • in a large bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder and salt.   add the coconut milk, olive oil, eggs, sugar, vinegar and salt - mix until batter comes together (add more almond flour, a teaspoon at a time if you find the batter too runny)
  • pour 2 tablespoons worth of batter onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each bun.  repeat with remaining batter.  take your sesame seeds and sprinkle the tops
  • place in the middle of your oven and bake for 15 -18 minutes, rotating halfway through.  buns should be slightly browned on top, with lightly browned edges
  • let cool and either use right away or buns can be refrigerated for a week, or stored in the freezer for another time

*chili mayo - ( i took note from sara)

  • using either veganaise, mayo, or tahini (which is my favorite), combine 1 part sriracha to 2 parts "mayo".  if using tahini, a few teaspoons of water may be needed to thin the consistency a bit