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  • Writer's pictureCoco Tan

Vegan Adlai & Chickpea Burger Recipe

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

Healthy and full of flavor

There are lots of veggie burgers out there that uses either expensive bioengineered plant based meat or the nutritionally sparse seitan a.k.a. wheat gluten. I wanted something that not only provides a lot of nutrition but also a lot of flavors.

For today's recipe, our featured local ingredient is the Adlai. It goes by many names such as Job's tears, Coix seed or Chinese pearl barley. It is the local alternative to Quinoa that's becoming quite popular and can be locally grown in the Philippines. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, has a low glycemic index and high in fiber and protein which means that it can keep you feeling full faster and longer. Whenever I eat Adlai, I only need about half of what I normally eat if I ate white rice.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to make yiyiren 薏苡仁 , due to its many healing properties. It is believed to cure the spleen, stomach and lungs but traditionally it was used as a diuretic and treatment for appendicitis and diarrhea. Nowadays, people with diabetes look forward to using Adlai as an alternative to rice.

When cooking Adlai, make sure to wash it thoroughly just as you would for plain rice. It's grain to water ratio is 1:1.5 cooked in a rice cooker or pot with the lid on. Remember that a little goes a long way, so 1 cup of uncooked Adlai becomes about 2 cups when cooked. For this recipe we will only be using 1 cup of cooked Adlai so that means only 1/2 cup of raw Adlai. I added a pinch of salt and 2 pieces of bay leaf for that added aroma.

Our next ingredient is the chickpea or garbanzo bean. It is also rich in fiber and protein but has a slightly higher fat content which makes it so good for spreads and dips like hummus. I decided to include this to the recipe to help add to the body of the patty with its rich and creamy texture. I used canned chickpeas so I made sure to wash them thoroughly until there were no more bubbles forming. If you are feeling a bit extra, peeling the skins will make the texture extra smooth and would be really great when you're making hummus. For this recipe however, you can do either.

Mix all the ingredients together and roughly mash them together with a food processor. Make sure to leave a few bits whole as we don't want a mushy burger. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you wish.

From here you want to form your patties and place them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Put this in the freezer for about 30 minutes to help firm up the patty, making it easier to handle when cooking. This can be especially challenging when you live in a hot tropical country like the Philippines. If you are making a big batch ahead of time then these patties can also be kept in the freezer for about 3 months! Just freeze them like this individually for about 3 hours or until its rock solid then you can place them in one container. If you are going to stack them, then make sure to put a piece of parchment paper in between each patty.

Next up is our herbed vegan mayo or as I like to call it our "Green Warrior Sauce". If you want to keep that lovely bright green color, blanch the herbs first before blending it in the sauce. Herbs get easily bruised and oxidized with constant friction so blanching them really helps!

Chef's Tip:

Speaking of extra, if you would like to add a bit of flair to your burger, I highly recommend roasted bell peppers. Preferably you should use a blow torch but if you don't have one, you can simple char them over the stove or any open flame. Once the skin is fully charred, peel it off and remove the stem and seeds. You can set this aside for assembly later.

Now just sear the patties, toast the buns, slice some tomatoes, wash the lettuce and you are ready to make vegan burgers!


This recipe is good to make 4-5 burgers. It will take about 30 minutes to prepare and a total cooking time of 15 minutes. Best served hot with some chips or fries.


4-5 pcs Burger Buns

4pcs Red Tomatoes

5pcs Romaine Lettuce

5pcs Red Bell peppers (Optional)

Veggie Burger:

1 cup Cooked Adlai

1 cup Chickpeas

1/2 cup Shredded Carrots

1/4 cup Flour

4 pcs Sundried Tomatoes

1 pc Red Onion

6 pcs Garlic Cloves

4 pcs Sweet Basil

1 pc Sprig of Rosemary

1 pc Sprig of Tarragon

1/8 cup Oil

1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 tsp Spanish Paprika

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

1/4 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

Green Warrior Sauce:

1/3 cup Unsweetened Soymilk

1 tsp Mustard

2/3 cups Oil

1 pc Garlic Clove

1 tbsp Lemon juice

10g Fresh Mint

20g Fresh Sweet Basil

Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Wash the Adlai and Chickpeas thoroughly. Cook the Adlai and set aside to cool before mixing with the rest of the ingredients

  2. Peel and grate a carrot through a grater.

  3. Mix all the ingredients for the veggie burger and make sure to let it rest in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

  4. Blanch the herbs used for Green Warrior Sauce. Squeeze dry and add it in the food processor.

  5. Put all the ingredients of the Green Warrior Sauce except for the oil

  6. Slowly add the oil to the Green Warrior Sauce while it's blending to emulsify. Once you get that mayo consistency you can set it aside.

  7. Bring the pan to high heat and sear the burger patties until golden brown.

  8. Serve on a toasted bun with all of the other ingredients. Enjoy!

Join my Facebook group and share with us your experience making this recipe! You can also tag me on Facebook or Instagram @cultivatebycoco

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