With people across the world becoming more environmentally aware, plant-based burgers are taking the culinary world by storm.
Towards an environmentally friendly burger
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, here are the facts about the beef that goes into our burgers: beef needs 28 times more land to grow on than pork, eggs, poultry or dairy, and 11 times more irrigation water, making it by far the most environmentally damaging form of meat. Faced with this reality, presented in harrowing films like Cowspiracy, consumers have started demanding plant-based burgers, and the market from high-class restaurateurs to fast-food chains has really stepped up. Chains like McDonald’s and Burger King both now carry well-received plant-based burger patties, and products that do the same thing are available in most supermarkets to cook at home.
How plant-based burger patties are made
The road to tasty plant-based burger patties has been a long one. We’ve all tasted disappointing soy veggie burgers, dried out from the smoke on the barbeque, haven’t we? But the modern stuff is a different proposition altogether. Food researchers have spent years figuring out what it is that makes beef taste so good, what makes it sizzle and what keeps it moist. The taste of beef, it turns out, is caused by a product called heme, which is an iron-rich module that lives in muscle: muscle provides most of the meat in a good burger. To create the ultimate plant-based burger, food scientists have synthesised a yeast-based version of the substance. To provide the fat that makes the burger sizzle and keeps it moist, coconut or canola oil is included. And, finally, for that blood-red colour, beetroot juice is added.
Keep it simple
Now that plant-based burger patties have become so advanced, you can really eat them just as you would any normal burger. You don’t need to be careful about them drying out unduly (so you won’t need to re-inject moisture into them after cooking by slathering them with sauce), and you also don’t need to worry about making up for the lack of flavour in old-style meat-free burgers with other ingredients. Simple is best. Grab yourself a lightly toasted brioche bun, some chutney, a bit of mayo, lettuce and tomato and stick the burger in. If you’re feeling fancy, then a little pickled chilli or some gherkins won’t do any harm.
In the mood for a plant-based patty?
If you’re in the mood for a plant-based burger after reading this (we sure are after writing it), then there are plenty of places serving them in Singapore now. To try the extremely well regarded ‘impossible’ patty, head down to The Tiramisu Hero, or for a ‘guilt-free’ Future Burger, order from 4 WOLF Burgers.