Makes 6 burgers
olive oil, for shallow-frying
6 burger buns, or other flattish buns
1 cucumber, ribboned
half an onion, finely sliced
185 g (6½ oz/1 cup) cooked green lentils
125 g (4½ oz) firm tofu
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) jap or kent pumpkin, peeled, roasted and mashed
185 g (6½ oz/1 cup) cooked brown rice
3 spring onions (scallions), chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons curry powder
Makes 1 ½ cups
1½ tablespoons peanut oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) root
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, bruised
125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) chopped tinned tomatoes
2 tablespoons Chilli sauce (page 228) or ready-made chilli sauce
400 ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut cream
140 g (5 oz/½ cup) Peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 Put all the patty ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine well. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then chill for 1 hour.
2 To make the salad, use a sharp knife or a potato peeler to slice the cucumbers into ribbons 2 mm (¹⁄₁₆ inch) thick. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a non-metallic bowl and add the cucumber ribbons and onion slices. Set aside for about 30 minutes, or until softened and limp. Drain, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Cover and chill until required; when ready to serve, add the coriander and mint leaves and combine well.
3 When you’re ready to cook, heat 1.5 cm (⁵⁄₈ inch) of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat. When the oil is hot, drop six lots of the pumpkin and lentil mixture, each about 160 g (5¾ oz/²⁄₃ cup), into the pan and smooth out to a 1.5 cm (⁵⁄₈ inch) thickness. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden and hot all the way through. Drain on paper towel.
4 Meanwhile, toast your burger buns and warm your satay sauce.
5 To make the satay sauce, heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until golden. Add the garlic, ginger and ground spices and stir until fragrant.
6 Add the coriander root, lemongrass stem, tomatoes, chilli sauce and coconut cream and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
7 Remove the lemongrass, then stir in the peanut butter and sugar. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring regularly to stop the mixture sticking. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce and season to taste with sea salt.
8 Pour the hot sauce into a sterilised 375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cup) glass jar or bottle. Screw the lid on tight and turn upside down until completely cool. Store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. You can also freeze half if you don’t think you will use all the sauce within that time.
9 To serve the burgers, spread a little satay sauce over the bun bases. Top each with a veggie patty, then drizzle with more satay sauce. Top with a handful of the salad, then the burger lids. Chase it all down with a wheatgrass shot, a green smoothie, or the latest health-kick juice that tastes of grass… or not.
Recipes and images from Milkbar Memories by Jane Lawson, published by Murdoch Books, $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online