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.