Frikadellen (vegan “beef” patties)

The German ancestor of the Hamburger patty has many names: Bulette, Frikadelle, Fleischpflanzerl or Beefsteak. It’s a meat patty often served almost like a hotdog: with bread and mustard.


There are many different recipes for this patty. The original version calls for ground beef, eggs, stale bread, onions, and spices. If it is a German beefsteak there is no bread involved, if it is made with stale bread, it is a bulette or frikadelle. My family used to mix these up and we called a frikadelle a beefsteak. My grandmother used to make them for us and served them with  fried onions, salt potatoes, melted butter, chopped parsley, and a salad.

I came up with a very basic and versatile version. You can make this plain version or add more spices and herbs to it, more liquid smoke or mix in some tomato paste. The basic version is wonderful between a sandwich spread with hot mustard and topped with two or three tomato slices or even pickled cucumbers.

Frikadellen (makes 8 patties)

30 g (1/2 cup) TVP granules, reconstituted with
120 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable broth
ca. 80 g stale bread (3 slices of baguette)
1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
150 g tofu (5.3 oz)
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (or soy flour)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 tablespoon jerk sauce or vegan worcestersauce
1 teaspoon paprika (plain or smoked)
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence (or on tablespoon chopped parsley for a more “authentic” version)
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Reconstitute TVP granules in hot vegetable broth. Soak the bread in some water and squeeze most of it out again after the bread has softened. In a large bowl combine TVP, bread, and onion. Crumble in tofu and mash everything well. If there are some lumps of bread left, that’s okay and part of the texture. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form eight patties. Pour oil into a pan and heat well. I used only one teaspoon. If you want more “authentic” frikadellen, use more oil (3-3 tablespoons) and deep fry them. If you use only one teaspoon, fry over medium heat, turning the patties from time to time.

If you ask me, these taste best when they are not piping hot. To be honest, I like these best cold, part of a vegan buffet or served in a baguette with mustard.


28 thoughts on “Frikadellen (vegan “beef” patties)

  1. Ooooh I love vegan meat, and beef patties sound perfect. Your blog makes me drool like none other. Seriously, I love everything you make. Want to move to Saudi and cook for me everyday? Please!?!

  2. These we SO good! A much healthier version of a burger but a tasty equivalent! I put some avocado on them and some vegan slaw and they flew off the platter. There we absolutely no leftovers! I did add a little extra something to the burger mix though – chickpeas. I had these Chunky Chickpeas lying around from Tasty Bite, which are seasoned and I tend to throw them on everything. I thought they’d give the burger an interesting texture. The combination turned out great and the flavors and textures seemed to accent each other very well. I definitely recommend trying this as well as checking out the rest of Tasty Bite’s line – they have tons of vegan options! Thanks for the great recipe and bon appetit!

  3. Oooh, these look scrumptious! Where did you find vegan Worcestershire sauce in Germany? I’ve seen some that might have been but the ingredient lists were loooooong.

    I really want to try all of your recipes!

  4. Mmm…I can’t wait to try this! My partner (non-veggie) has brought home Frikadellen from the grocery and I was intrigued, but of course couldn’t try it. Now I can! (I also *love* the name — it sounds like something one would do on the dance floor — gettin’ all frikadellen on some guy/girl or something.)

  5. Mmmm, lekker! I just got some TVP so I will have to give these a whirl!

    PS- do you have any idea whether one can find vital wheat gluten flour in Germany? What would it be called?

  6. As you may know, I’m on the quest for the perfect veggie burger. These sound very good, though I don’t usually cook with TVP as it is quite processed. However, I do actually like TVP and have a bit in my cupboard for when I’m in the mood for spaghetti “bolognaise”. I love the spices you’ve used here – how well do these burgers hold together? Do you think silken tofu would work?

    1. They hold together pretty well because of the bread and the tofu. You can try to use silken tofu but I don’t think it works as well as regular firm tofu.

  7. They look like fabulous burgers! And like you, I tend to prefer patties and burgers cold! I often eat them the next day for breakfast. :)

  8. Those look perfect for autumn–I’m going to have to bookmark ’em for sure. And those lentil peanut rolls look great too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *