There could only two reasons why you may be looking at this Portobello Mushroom Burger recipe right now – you’re either hungry, or you want a vegetarian alternative to one of life’s greatest gifts – a burger!
Imagine 2 warm, toasted buns slathered with creamy mayonnaise, freshly sliced firm tomatoes, crisp lettuce and a perfectly grilled patty of beef topped with melted cheese. And you take that first bite. That first bite. Oh! That first bite! It’s a Big-O!
A someone special kept pushing me to try going vegetarian and altering my diet. It was difficult to go vegan. I mean, how could I possibly give up meat! The battle continued…but, now on the road to fitness, I thought it was time I tried something different. Inspired by her, and her recent love for Tony Roma’s version, I kept thinking of the best possible alternative to a medium-rare beef burger. Any takes? Well of course, it had to be the Portobello Mushroom! One of the only funghi family members that have the most “meatiest flavor” and big & round enough to sit on a warm brioche – this recipe is for my vegan readers and for those who have those days when “meat-meat-meat” just becomes too much (I’m kidding, when has that day ever come?!)
For the condiments, I wanted to do something a bit more than just the ordinary mayonnaise. With the thousands of possible combinations in the world, a mustard-mayo didn’t seem to compliment the mushrooms. I felt the urge of adding paprika (which I picked up from my recent trip to Budapest) to give it some slight heat. A tiny squeeze of lemon, and it lifted the whole thing!
Bell peppers have a lot of flavor packed in them especially when roasted. There’s a huge difference between raw, crunchy capsicum sticks (usually found in a salad), and a roasted fillet of capsicum. To add a bit of color and sweetness, I used the red. (Green would make it taste very pizza-y). You want to roast it over an open fire or in an oven, as long as you char and peel off the skin. (Now I didn’t go through the whole procedure of that process, so I simply pan-roasted it until I could use the fillets. Soft and sweet, that’s the aim.
With the condiments setup, it was time to prep the mushrooms. A crack of S&P, some EVOO and a smoking hot pan and bam! That sizzle of moisture being drawn out. Now halfway through the process, it was time to add the caramelized onions into the lil pockets of the mushrooms. It worked both ways – Kept the mushrooms moist and enriched the flavor of the mushrooms as it kept searing.
Cheese! It was time for melting cheese! 😀
Deciding between the regular cheddar and gruyère was the issue (yes, I have cheese issues). Luckily though, there was some leftover Parmesan at home! And I thought, let’s do a bit of Italian, shall we!
Portobello Mushrooms + Caramelized Onions + Parmesan = Oh! The Aroma!
Once done, it was time to plate up and serve…
That’s about it! Serve it warm and eat it quick because these bad boys get over in minutes!
Two things I learnt from trying out this recipe are that vegans have alternate options too! As well as, a bit of patience when caramelizing onions can only produce amazing results!
- 2 Brioche Buns, toasted
- 2 Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 handful Rocket Leaves (or Romaine Lettuce)
- 1 White/Brown Onion, sliced
- 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Mayonnaise
- 1 pinch of Paprika
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 block of Parmesan cheese (to grate as required)
- 1 tsp butter
- salt & pepper (as required)
- olive oil (as required)
- fries or coleslaw (optional)
- Prepare the mayonnaise (with paprika & lemon) and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Caramelize the onions and roast the red bell pepper at the same time.
- Clean and season the portobello mushrooms.
- Heat a grill/pan till smoking hot, and sear the mushroom, presentation side down first.
- Halfway through the cooking process, add a spoonfull of the caramelized onions and freshly grate Parmesan cheese. Keep on the pan until cheese begins to melt.
- Slice brioche buns and toast with butter.
- When ready, slather the mayonnaise on the bun slices, and layer with rocket/lettuce, mushroom and roasted red bell pepper.
- Top with the other bun and serve warm with fries or slaw.