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Tempura Tofu Burger w/ Chili Satay Sauce

September 6, 2010

Tempura Tofu Burger w/ Chili Satay Sauce

This vegetarian recipe is a recreation of a Kiwi Classic, the “Holier than Thou” burger from Queenstown’s world renowned Fergburger restaurant. If you have ever been to beautiful Queenstown, on the south island of New Zealand, chances are you heard of Fergburger, they have an awesome reputation for freshness, size and sheer deliciousness and let me tell you, it is justified.

They have two great veggie burgers on their menu the “Bun Laden” an awesome falafel burger and their tempura tofu burger “Holier than Thou”. I may have mentioned before we love a good burger in our household, him especially, so looking for something new to try I was keen to add a tempura tofu burger to our menu too.

I have included in the recipe a satay sauce that really adds to the flavour of the burger, so much better than store brought. Choose big fresh buns and crisp salad to accompany the tofu and satay sauce. Serve with chips or on its own for a truly delicious vegetarian burger that is a little different and so very good. And if you’re ever in beautiful Queenstown, make sure you drop into Ferg’ if you love a good burger you won’t be disappointed :)


Tempura Tofu Burger w/ Chili Satay Sauce

Preparation time: 30mins // Makes approx 4 Burgers

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Chili Satay Sauce

  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chili, diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder or paste
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup of coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the peanut oil over a medium heat in a saucepan or frypan, add the garlic and chilli and fry for 1 minute, add the curry powder and combine with the oil. Add the peanut butter, palm sugar and coconut milk, turn down the heat and cook at a low simmer for a few minutes stiring, add a good squeeze of lime juice and the chopped coriander, stir to combine, remove from heat and set aside.

Tempura Tofu

  • 590g (20oz) firm Japanese Tofu
  • 1 free range egg (or equivalent in egg replacer)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 cups peanut oil, for deep frying

Slice the tofu into slabs and pat dry on paper towel. To make the tempura batter, quickly whisk the flour with the water, egg or egg replacer and a pinch of salt. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until the surface begins to shimmer.

One piece at a time, dunk the tofu into the batter and slide carefully into the hot oil, allow to deep fry for 1-3 minutes until just golden, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining tofu.

Tempura Tofu Burger w/ Chili Satay Sauce

Tempura Tofu Burger w/ Chili Satay Sauce

  • 4 large fresh burger buns
  • fresh lettuce
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced red onion
  • aioli (optional/for non-vegans)
  • tempura tofu
  • chili satay sauce

To assemble the burger spread the bottom bun with aioli (if using) top with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, a piece or two of tempura tofu and finish with a good spoon or two of chili satay sauce.

Serve with oven fries or on its own as an awesome lunch or dinner, great for a casual meal when entertaining or for a lazy Sunday afternoon.


The real deal Fergburgers from Queenstown, South Island NZ :)

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  • [email protected] September 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    OMG! that looks so good it puts any meat burger to shame! I have never been to Queensland but I can imagine why someone would like it so much. I love the idea even though I’m not a tofu person(trust me I have tried, may be not hard enough but still tried 😉 )

    Also love that you make your own sauce.

  • Jennifer September 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I am in veggie burger love!! Yum!

  • Xiaolu September 7, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I’m always on the lookout for a great veggie burger. Thanks for introducing me to this classic from your area :).

  • delicieux September 7, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Bun Laden!!! I love it!!!

    This looks fantastic!! I love a good veggie burger, but a good one is so hard to come by. I love the addition of the chili satay sauce. Yum!!

  • Apples & Onions September 8, 2010 at 5:17 am

    I’m so excited about this recipe. We’re big on veggie burger in my house and I’m always looking for ways to make them more interesting. It never would have occurred to me to do tofu tempura. My husband would love this with a squirt of siracha. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Anna September 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

    First I loved your blog, you have delicious vegetarian recipes, I’m not vegetarian but I absolutely love vegetables. I use them as much as I can.
    Your burger looks stunning. Thanks for commenting on my blog. It’s awesome to discover yours. have a great week.

  • Trudy (veggie num num) September 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thanks for the comments and feedback everyone :) There is nothing quite like a good veggie burger when you’re super hungry and yep, this one really is something different and definitely yum!!

  • PeaSoup October 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Wow! These look fantastic!!! Also, I just LOVE your blog – so many great recipes, ideas and photos. I’ll definitely be coming back for more:)

  • Trudy (veggie num num) October 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    YAY!! Thanks PeaSoup!! Been enjoying all the delicious recipes over on your blog too!! :)

  • RK December 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Looks delicious! One question though: how thick should the “slabs” of tofu be? I’m fairly inexperienced in the world of tofu (to say the least) and have no clue what is or isn’t acceptable.

  • Trudy (veggie num num) December 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Hi RK, cooking with tofu couldn’t be easier :) keep the `slabs` around 2cm (3/4 inch) thick and around 5cm (2 inch) wide. Be gentle with them when dunking into the batter and while deep frying and they should hold together nicely. These burgers really are delicious, hope you enjoy them too!!

  • Maija Haavisto February 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Satay sauce is great stuff. Never thought about putting it in a burger (though I’m sure some Dutch people do that!).

    By the way, for some reason most of the time I try to comment, your blog claims the word verification is not correct, even though it 100% certainly is…

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num February 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Hi Maija, we love satay sauce over here to, especially in burgers :) thanks for letting me know about the comment verification, I will look into it today, cheers!!

  • Mr.NYC July 8, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Just the appearance of this Tofu burger is better than the majority of burgers i usually eat. I am definitely going to try this recipe out at home with some Onion Crunch. Most importantly, though, it’s healthy!