If you can't tell, I love burgers. They're so easy to whip up during a busy week, and I figured you guys needed one more burger to round out the summer season. This Vegan Cuban Guava Burger, inspired by the Frita Burger at Kush, is to die for.
My favorite restaurant burger
When I first moved to Miami, E and I went to dinner with a friend at this "amazing burger place." Well, if you're ever in Miami, you HAVE to try Kush, (or LoKal, it's on both menus!). Seriously, this is one of the best burgers I've ever had. And what's more? Kush is great about making vegan/vegetarian substitutions to everything on their menu. And like all of their food, the black bean burger is stellar.
To add to Kush's awesomeness, they serve sweet potato fries, and they are AMAZING. If sweet potato fries are on a restaurant's menu, I order them. It's a little embarrassing, but I've definitely judged a restaurant poorly based on bad sweet potato fries.
Anyway, the subject today is their "Frita" burger. The non-vegan version features gruyere, bacon, guava, potato sticks, and their "LoKal sauce." Let's just say I have my work cut out for me to make my Vegan Cuban Guava Burger (and sweet potato fries).
Finding the right substitutes
The key to vegan-izing anything is finding the right substitutes. Honestly, for this recipe, the hardest substitute to find was a a vegan patty that worked. I'm partial to a black-bean burger than some of the substitutes that have come out lately (i.e. Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger etc.). Keep it simple. Basic black bean burger. Check. Moving on.
Next: cheese. I'm not usually a big fan of "vegan" cheese substitutes, but I make exceptions for burgers. It's just not the same without cheese. I really like the Chao brand. Make sure you melt it in the oven for the full effect.
I skipped the bacon because I haven't found a substitute worthy of the title bacon (yet). Stay tuned for news. Since I skipped the bacon, I caramelized some onions for extra flavor.
The guava and potato sticks were easier, assuming you can find them in the grocery store. Make sure the guava slices aren't too thick! A good rule of thumb: aim for the thickness of 2-3 cheese slices. Stuff in a generous layer of potato sticks.
Though I'm not sure what's in the "LoKal sauce," but I DO know that the honey mustard that comes with the fries is insane. They usually bring two dishes - one for the fries, and one for the burger. Sadly, honey isn't vegan, so I substitute with agave.
If you want the full experience, whip up some sweet potato fries - I've done some testing, and trust me, it's worth the extra effort!Print
- Your favorite veggie burger
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Vegan cheese slices (Chao does a nice job)
- Potato stix
- ¼ c Dijon mustard
- 2 T Agave
- Vegan bun (from your local bakery. Whole Foods 365 brand also works, just double check the ingredients)
Sweet potato fries
- 2-3 sweet potatoes, washed and sliced into ½ in x 2 in thin sticks
- 1 T cornstarch
- 2-3 T Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Ice bath
- Prepare patty according to package directions. I usually bake mine, and add the cheese for the last 5-10 minutes to melt.
- Wrap buns in foil, and put in oven for the last 5-10 minutes.
- Saute the onions over medium heat until they start to brown slightly! Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare the honey mustard. Whisk the dijon and agave until incorporated. Taste, and adjust!
- Slice the guava into thin slices (thickness of 2-3 cheese slices).
- Assemble the burger: bottom bun, honey mustard, burger (with cheese), guava, onions, and potato sticks. Enjoy!
Sweet potato fries
- Once sweet potatoes are sliced, prepare an ice bath and let sit for 40 minutes until cold.
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- After 40 minutes, dry sweet potato sticks thoroughly. Toss with cornstarch, then olive oil. Spread out onto a sheet pan. Make sure the fries aren't overcrowded. Touching = overcrowded. There should be a 1:1 ratio between french fries and extra space on the pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, then flip and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until crispy.
- When finished, season with salt and pepper (if desired). Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!