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Burgers and fries get a plant-based makeover - Makini's Kitchen

No meat? No potatoes? No problem! #k5evening

SEATTLE — There are lots of recipes for burgers and fries, but our plant-based chef Makini Howell from Plum Bistro has one with no meat or even potatoes. She shows you how to make it from Makini's Kitchen.

Blackened tofu burger


  • 4 hamburger buns 
  • Blackened tofu
  • 1 tomato sliced 
  • Very thinly sliced purple onion 
  • Lettuce 
  • Your favorite vegan ranch spread                   
  • 2 lb your favorite firm tofu (make sure to get a good quality firm tofu.) I like Hodo firm tofu for this. For more flavor absorbance and better bite in your texture, freeze your tofu overnight and thaw before using 
  • 1 1/2 cup butter softened 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoon soy/tamari sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro chopped 
  • 1 cup vegan cream


  1. In a bowl combine butter, fresh thyme, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne. Use a fork or your hand and mix ingredients until well combined. Add in the worcestershire sauce, soy (or tamari for gluten free), lemon juice, fresh cilantro and cream mix all ingredients together until well combined.  
  2. Open the tofu, drain any excess water (DO NOT press) then lay it on it's side and cut carefully lengthways into 1/2 inch thick large slices. Different blocks of tofu are different thicknesses but most you will get 2 or 3 slices. Take each of those slices and cut it into triangles.  =Lay the tofu triangles out in a large dish. The butter rub should be a bit soft now like a very thick sauce, pour over or rub tofu with cajun blackened butter marinade overnight. 
  3. When ready to make burgers, pan toast or oven toast your burger buns.
  4. Once the tofu is marinated, heat some oil in a pan on med heat and add your tofu, it should hit and sizzle, pan fry on medium until tofu is cooked through about 3-4 minutes or until the tofu is a rich golden brown the heat should not be so high that the tofu blackens. At this stage, allow tofu to cook through first, then turn the heat up just enough to crispen the outside. Add some butter rub to the pan and blacken the tofu.  
  5. Once everything is ready assemble your burger by adding ranch to the bun, 2 pieces of tofu, tomato slice, onion slices, lettuce, and top with more ranch dressing, serve with green been fries!

Green bean fries 


  • 1 package of french green beans or regular green beans trimmed and washed 
  • 1 cup plant milk. I like soy for this 
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 cups black pepper breading
  • 2 cups panko 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • Oil for frying 


  1. In a small bowl, add the milk and vinegar and let set until it thickens. 
  2. If you have washed your green beans pat the remaining water off of them.
  3. When ready to cook, add the frying oil to a deep skillet until it is about 3/4 inch deep. Heat until it registers 350 degrees on a candy thermometer. Or if you don't have that, the oil will shimmer and appear much thinner and start to slightly smoke, that is when it’s ready.
  4. While the oil is heating, prepare the breading by combining the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt in a shallow dish. Mix it thoroughly. In another bowl, add the panko and salt and mix.  
  5. Working in small batches at a time, dredge your green beans in the milk and then in the flour mixture, then back in the milk, and into the panko, once coated with flour and panko drop into hot oil and cook until beans start to float and turn a rich golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

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