Jeff & Linda's Kitchen of Diversity
Middle-Eastern Tofu Burger
This recipe comes from the late fellow land snail researcher Terry Frest who shared it with Jeff in the mid 1980s when Terry still lived in Iowa City. Jeff's copy is scribbled down on a piece of notebook paper, and he is glad that it will finally gain immortality of a sort through being posted on the Web.
While seemingly belonging to the larger class of Japanese ganmodoke recipes, the use of tahini, cumin, and parsley is unique. While reminiscent of some of the fusion tofu recipes presented by William Shurtlef and Akiko Ayogi in their Book of Tofu, this recipe is not among them. We have no idea where it originated.
None-the-less the following recipe makes for an excellent falafel-flavored ganmodoke that is easy to make and does not require deep frying.
2 pounds tofu
½ cup minced onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup bread/cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup minced flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons miso
1 teaspoon salt
Mash tofu and add in remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly by hand.
This burger is best served on a split pumpkin-pecan roll with lettuce, tomato, and topped with a garlic-yogurt spread and a dab of harissa. The garlic-yogurt spread is simply made by whisking together a cup of yogurt with 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of dry oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. When making the burgers use a pungent storage onion like Australian Brown and a Middle Eastern garlic like Himalayan Red or Palestine. You can also use homegrown sesame seeds, cumin, and flat leaf parsley. Don't forget to use your homemade miso!