Maria Hines' salmon and king oyster mushroom burger,
making America great again with zero beef.
these United States of America, the hamburger is close to an
unalienable right. That the burger should be made with 100
percent beef, and the bigger, the better, are truths many
hold to be self-evident, especially fast-food advertising
less be more, my fellow Americans? Can we unshackle
ourselves from the chains, pull ourselves up by our own
burger-bootstraps and make them our own enlightened,
could make them more rarely, for less impact on God’s
would-be-green earth. (And medium-rare, to actually taste
could make them with good meat — good, meaning both
high-quality and humanely raised.
could make them with less meat, substituting some mushrooms
for added sustainability, nutrition and tastiness.
a controversial proposal, no doubt. But a 2014 joint study
by the Culinary Institute of America and UC Davis, published
in the Journal of Food Science, found that blending finely
chopped mushrooms into ground meat enhances both flavor and
nutrition. Nothing convinces Americans more than science,
right? So the good people at the James Beard Foundation
embarked upon the Blended Burger Project last year,
enlisting hundreds of chefs nationwide to create burgers
replacing 25 percent or more of the meat blend with
in year two, 347 restaurants are participating, with 10 in
Washington state making Blended Burgers from Seattle to
Spokane. The people can choose their candidate in an online
election cycle that goes through July 31. (Five winning
chefs will be flown to New York in October to cook their
burgers at the James Beard House.)
and in perpetuity, you can join the Blended Burger party on
your grill at home with these two recipes from local chefs
Luis Brambila, of Bar Dojo in Edmonds, and Maria Hines, of
Tilth (and more) in Seattle. Brambila is going for a new
take on the American classic, adding a little serrano pepper
for our borderless taste buds. Hines, ever-loyal to the
Pacific Northwest, has chosen to forgo beef entirely, opting
for salmon. (If you want to forgo cooking entirely, you can
try their burgers at Bar Dojo or Tilth through July 31, and
on the recipe, beef partisans may not even realize they’ve
crossed the aisle to the fungi side — only that their
burger has a new level of umami greatness. It’s the kind
of change we can eat, stronger together.
Burger (Shiitake Blended Burger)
about 5 half-pound patties
pounds natural ground beef
chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms
serrano peppers, unseeded and finely diced
diced whole garlic cloves
whole shallot, diced
tablespoon sesame oil
tablespoon black pepper
all ingredients and form into 8-ounce patties. Grill burger
to your liking on high heat to create a nice char. At Bar
Dojo, the patty goes on a brioche bun with sliced avocado,
applewood-smoked bacon, fried onions, lettuce, Bar Dojo’s
signature cilantro aioli and a sunny-side-up egg.
Hines’ Salmon-King Oyster Blended Burger
about 5 half-pound patties
pounds salmon fillet, skin off
ounces king oyster mushroom confit (see recipe)
cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
scallions, finely chopped
half the salmon fillet into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.
the other half of the salmon fillet into roughly 1/2-inch
pieces; place in a cold food-processor bowl and pulse about
five times. Add the egg and lemon zest, and pulse until
combined, about three to five pulses.
Place the salmon mixture into a bowl and add the 1/4-inch
pieces of salmon, mushroom confit, mayo and scallions.
Season with salt and pepper.
Using a gloved hand or spatula, fold the mixture together;
it will feel a little tacky. Cook a small tester piece in an
oiled skillet to check for seasoning, and adjust as needed.
Form into patties and pan fry in oil. Add a bit of butter
into the pan when the patties are close to being done
cooking (ideally around medium-rare to medium).
ounces king oyster mushrooms
peel, garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaf
king oyster mushrooms into 1/4-inch dice. Heat up olive oil
with a cheesecloth sachet of lemon peel, garlic cloves,
thyme and bay leaf to 170 degrees. Add the mushrooms. Cook
until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Strain and season with
information on the Blended Burger Project and the
restaurants involved, go to jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject