Gob-Smacked Sticky Tofu Burgers

This recipe is a gift to you from my book ‘Mouthwatering Vegan’ (published by Random House 2013), available from Amazon US or Amazon UK along with most other major online & retail booksellers.


From the point of view of taste – this has got to be one of the tastiest burgers I have ever had. I am not going to say much about it because I’m gob-smacked at the result. It’s spicy, a little sweet, the texture is amazing, having a moist and slightly chewy consistency to it – and the taste is, well, even if I say so myself, iconic ! Caramelized, succulent, satisfying, rich, moreish, irresistible, and after one mouthful, you won’t stop ! (Kids adore it too).


2 oz (60 g) frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup (250 ml) arborio rice
3 cups (750 ml) water
1⁄2 tsp (2 ml) turmeric
9 oz (270 g) extra-firm silken tofu, thinly sliced
3 tbsp (45 ml) teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp (45 ml) soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) agave or maple syrup
1 tbsp (15 ml) muscovado or dark brown sugar
11⁄2 tsp (7.5 ml) plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, plus extra for frying
1⁄2 small onion, sliced into rings
2–3 cloves garlic, chopped
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) vegan ground meat substitute or hydrated tvp
a pinch of chili powder
2 tsp (10 ml) brown sauce or Hp sauce (optional)
1 cup (250 ml) medium-fine dried whole-grain breadcrumbs
salt to taste (optional—the soy sauce may give it enough salt)



chopped spring or green onions
lettuce leaves
sliced onion rings





1. First, ensure that the spinach is fully thawed, and then squeeze out the excess moisture through a sieve using either your hands or the back of a spoon.

2. Rinse the rice thoroughly and combine in a saucepan with the water and turmeric. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cover a plate with paper towels and place the tofu slices on top, then cover with more paper towels. This will help absorb any excess water from the tofu.

4. Make the topping by combining the teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, agave or maple syrup, muscovado sugar and 11⁄2 tsp (7.5 mL) of the olive oil with a fork. Set aside.

5. Dice the tofu into small pieces and place in a bowl. Spoon a little of the topping onto the tofu so that it absorbs the flavor and color.

6. Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan set over medium heat. Fry the onion for 1–2 min- utes, then add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the vegan ground meat substitute and cook for a minute or so.

7. Add the chili powder, followed by the diced tofu. Mix for a minute or so, then add the rice and spinach. Add the brown sauce (if using), and continue to stir until the rice browns and becomes a bit crispy.

8. Take off the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and salt (if using), stir with a spoon and refrigerate for 1 hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 400oF (200oC). Using clean, slightly wet hands, shape the mixture into 4 to 6 patties and place on a tray or large plate lightly dusted with flour.

10. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan set over medium heat. Fry the burgers for 3–4 minutes on each side, until nicely golden, then transfer them to an ovenproof dish.

11. Spoon 1 tsp (5 mL) or so of the tofu topping on each burger, and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turn the burgers and spoon on some more topping, then return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Before serving, spoon any remaining topping on the burgers.

12. Garnish each burger with spring onions, a lettuce leaf and onion rings, and serve on a bun, or on its own.


All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010





  1. These are amazing. I would warn that they are not meant for ketchup and mustard as it carries an Asian flavor. I froze some before cooking and they were still amazing. Yum!

  2. Can’t wait to try but am confused as to what I should do with the tofu slices as I don’t see it in the instructions.

  3. Thanks for pointing that out Lynn ! In fact we inadvertently loaded up an earlier version of the recipe, but have now rectified it with the updated version that can be found in the book. Hope you enjoy the burgers !

  4. I truly wish you’d alter your email recipes. I wasted quite a bit of food last night only to realize the real recipe was listed here… have discovered most of the emails you send are missing important info. As a marketer, I suggest you add in a statement “For the rest of the recipe, click here” or something to that effect. smfh.

  5. Hi Nick – I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t send email recipes, so you must be referring to another food blog/site. I also am not in the habit of giving half a recipe on any social media or emails, so again, YOU must have made an error. In addition, you can take your smfh elsewhere, I don’t accept rudeness here under any circumstance, let alone a completely unfounded one and from a complete stranger.

  6. Oh, these look wonderful and I bet they would freeze great. It’s nice to have something on standby for when invited to a barbecue or similar.

  7. Hope you enjoy them Anna, and check out my other burgers on my blog too ! 🙂

  8. I love tofu burgers and this one looks tasty!

  9. Hi Platt, hope you make and enjoy it ! 🙂

  10. Hi Miriam, I made these burgers for dinner today, topped with garlic mushrooms and served on English muffins with a mixed salad (from my garden). I followed your recipe but substituted date syrup in the topping as didn’t have any maple of agave syrup. I must say they were fantastic with an amazing taste and texture. They will be my “go to” recipe from now on. I thought next time maybe I could use barley instead of the rice, do you think this would work OK?

  11. Glynis Hi there ! Sounds like you did a fabulous job. Barley should also work but make sure it’s well cooked through so that it releases it’s glutinous properties – and thus help the burgers solidify ! So glad you enjoyed them.

  12. McKenna Grace Fisher

    ~ Gobsmacking good is what I say to this incredible burger ~ Thank you Miriam for this great recipe ~ Loving it ~ mgf

  13. Hi McKenna, thanks for your feedback and hope you continue to enjoy my recipes.

  14. I love this recipe nad have made it several times. My patties often fall apart when i fry them. What am i doing wrong. They still taste delicious.

  15. Hi Julie, I’m sure you’re not doing anything wrong. Be sure to dry the tofu out a little more before using – tofu brands vary in their water content and texture, also you can add a little cornstarch to the mix, that too should help.