Vegan Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)

Incredibly meaty, store-quality plant-based hamburger patties made with a few simple ingredients. Served alone with sauce as with classic Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu ハンバーグ). Equally delicious between hamburger buns as well.

Why opt for processed store-bought vegan burger patties when you can just make them yourself with fresh vegetables and whole ingredients? Step aside, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.

These Hambagu patties achieve an amazing meatiness with the help of TVP, or textured vegetable protein. What about the umami, beefy flavor that a plant-based burger desperately needs? For that we look to miso paste & blackstrap molasses. They both act as binder to hold everything together & add such a great depth of umami flavor. Blackstrap molasses, especially, is a powerhouse for mimicking a beef-y flavor because of its richness in iron.

Vegan Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)

4 from 25 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: DinnerCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Hambagu Patties
  • 80 grams 80 cooked beetroot

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic, finely minced

  • 1/2 1/2 yellow onion, finely minced

  • 60 grams 60 TVP (textured vegetable protein), rehydrated & drained

  • 2 teaspoons 2 blackstrap molasses*

  • 2 tablespoons 2 light brown miso

  • 1 cup 1 panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 fine sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 vegetable oil

  • Toppings
  • Japanese curry

  • teriyaki sauce (homemade recipe HERE)


  • Prepare the TVP: Soak the TVP in warm water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain the water and squeeze out all excess liquid from the re-hydrated TVP. 
  • Prepare the Onions and Beetroot: Heat up a little bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan on medium-heat. Sweat together garlic & yellow onions until onions turn tender & translucent. Set aside and let cool. Next, using a knife, finely mince (or process with food processor) cooked beetroot until resembling puree. Set aside.
  • Make the Hambagu Patties: In a large bowl, combine all the patties’ ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Use damp hands to shape into four evenly-sized round patties. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cook the Hambagu Patties: When you want to cook them, take them out of the fridge and let them sit on a room temperature counter for 5 minutes first. While waiting, heat up vegetable oil on high heat. Before placing the patties in, use your thumb to gently press down on the patty (to ensure minimal shrinkage). Sear the patties until both sides are deeply charred & caramelized. If your patties are tall, I recommend covering with a lid after the first flip to ensure the whole patty is cooked through. Serve warm with your favorite Japanese curry or teriyaki sauce.


  • Blackstrap molasses is the optimal type of molasses for mimicking a beef-y flavor because of its richness in iron.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Benjamin Komola
Benjamin Komola
2 years ago

Super good flavor! Color was nice and vibrate and the texture with the tvp was spot on. Only issue was that they started coming apart while cooking, will had flax egg for binding. For sure will make again!

2 years ago

Made these tonight, and they were fantastic – thank you so much for the recipe!