Every now and again you find a stray packet of beans, peas or the like in the cupboard. You don’t remember where you bought them, or when, and more often than not can’t imagine what possessed you to pick them up in the first place. Such was the case with the split peas I chanced upon last week – who buys split peas, for heaven’s sake?!
The only recipes I could find were for soup, mostly with ham. These were obviously not up my alley so I invented these spicy bean burgers (well, pea burgers, really but that sounds a bit odd). They are – hurrah, choir of angels, hallelujah chorus etc – absolutely fantastic, with the added bonus of being v easy to make. Though please note that you need to soak the peas overnight so don’t start making this when your stomach’s telling you it’s teatime…
Alternatively you could use a tin of green lentils instead of the peas. We’re all about making life easy for you here at Veggie Runners (plus maybe you don’t have cupboards full of stray packs of dried beans like we do…)
Nutritional info – among other things, these are a good, low fat source of protein, fibre, potassium and molybdenum (which helps your body manufacture the enzymes needed for the use of the energy from fats and carbohydrates). All-round super-good for you, then.
Note: to make these vegan, leave out the egg and use 2 tablespoons of golden linseeds (flax seeds) as an egg replacer. To do this grind them in the spice grinder until they look like cornmeal. In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of hot water and leave for about 10 minutes.
Spicy Thai Bean Burgers
Makes 6-8 burgers
200g split peas (green or yellow), soaked overnight
1 stock cube
6 spring onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Thai curry paste (green or yellow)
1 egg, beaten
50g plain flour
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
Oil for frying
1 Rinse the peas, place in a large pan and add an equal volume of cold water (i.e. if you have a cupful of peas, use a cupful of water). Bring to the boil, crumble in the stock cube. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until the peas are soft to the bite but not sloppy.
2 When cooked, drain the peas thoroughly and place in a large bowl with the spring onions, garlic and curry paste.
3 Add the beaten egg (or golden linseed egg replacer if you’re making vegan burgers). Don’t worry if the mixture is quite loose. It will firm up nicely when you cook the burgers.
4 Heat the oil in a large frying pan (cast iron if you have one but any type will do – you’ll just need to be a bit more careful to avoid the burgers catching).
5 Spread half of the flour on a large plate and drop tablespoon-size dollops of burger mix on it.
6 Lift the burgers into the frying pan with a spatula (they should sizzle slightly round the edges). Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour on top of each burger and turn over carefully.
7 Cook for another 5 minutes or until the burgers are crispy and golden.
Serve in a crusty bread roll, with salad leaves and mayonnaise or creme fraiche.
This is the curry paste I used, bought at local Chinese supermarket. Any will do though – I’m just posting this because I like the packaging.