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Black Rice Veggie Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Black Rice Veggie Burgers with caramelized onions are delicious vegetarian patties made with nutritious forbidden black rice, diced butternut squash and bright green edamame–topped with a generous portion of slowly caramelized onions.

caramelized onions on black rice veggie burgers

So many meals would be incomplete without onion’s aromatic flavor. Onions are treasures that transform the mundane into magical, in soups, curries, sauces, stews and more, all over the world. It’s a cryin’ shame that onions make you cry. Mildly watery eyes to burning tears so big they drip into your chop-chop–anyone who cooks knows what I mean. Caramelized onions are worth every tear.

Any onion will reduce into soft, savory golden brown heaven. You don’t need to add sugar—onions have enough natural sugar to caramelize. For more intensity and depth of flavor stir in a spoonful of salty miso and a drop of sweet rice wine.

black rice veggie patties for caramelized onions and black rice veggie burgers

“How do you cut an onion without crying.” Wearing goggles and holding something in your mouth, cutting refrigerated, under water with a very sharp knife? Hmmm. One of these might help.

The second we cut into an onion there is an enzymatic reaction—sulfuric compounds release and sneak up into our tear ducts. Some of us weep more than others, and some onion tear gas is stronger than others.

How about you? What’s your tear quotient—can you cut an onion without crying? What’s your trick?

black rice veggie burgers in skillet | caramelized onions and black rice veggie burgers

Caramelized onions enrich any and all burgers, right? Like jelly on toast, or salsa on eggs. Just plan on watering eyes, cut the pungent onions and get cooking your dang delicious dinner–caramelized onions over veggie burgers. Hmmm–could onions’ tearing tendency be related to their caramelizability?

Caramelized Onions on Black Rice Veggie Burgers notes:

  • These veggie burgers were inspired by leftover black rice from my Teriyaki Butternut Squash, Black Rice and Edamame recipe.
  • Antioxidant-rich black rice is a pantry staple around here. Cold, it’s the beginning of this fine main dish Pea Shoot and Black Rice Salad.
  • Frozen diced butternut squash is fine to use to save time.
  • Robbie loves to melt cheese on top of burgers. If you eat dairy–give it a try.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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5 from 1 vote
Caramelized Onions on Black Rice Veggie Burgers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins

Easy black rice veggie burgers with caramelized onions is a winning meal. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 8 veggie burgers
For the caramelized onions:
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil , optional
  • 3 to 4 onions , thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice miso or other dark miso
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the Veggie Burgers:
  • 2 cups cooked black rice
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash , diced in ½-inch (or smaller) chunks
  • ¼ cup cooked shelled edamame
  • 3 eggs , lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup whole grain bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce , or to taste
  • avocado or grapeseed oil as needed
  • sharp cheddar cheese, optional
Caramelize the onions:
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium flame. Add the oil. When the oil is warm enough to swirl around the pan add the sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown.
  2. Cover, lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat even more if the onions start to burn on the edges; you want them to become very soft.
  3. Keeping the flame low, remove the cover. Cook, the slower the better, stirring frequently, until the onions reduce and caramelize, at least 30 minutes.

  4. Dissolve the miso in the water. Set aside.
  5. Stir the miso and mirin into the onions. Do not let the miso boil. Add more water as needed to keep the onions slightly wet. Finish with a generous amount of black pepper.

While the onions cook, form and pan-fry the burgers:
  1. Mix the rice, squash, edamame, eggs and breadcrumbs in a bowl, smashing everything together. season with the tamari to taste. Divide into 8 portions. Press into patties using a cutter or mold about 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200°F. In a large skillet over medium high flame, heat a tablespoon or so of oil until it shimmers. Cook the burgers in 2 batches, 4 at a time. Using a wide spatula, gently slide the patties into the pan. (If an edge breaks off, press it back into the patty.)
  3. Cook about 5 minutes, and then carefully turn them over to cook the other side. When the patties are brown on both sides, transfer to a plate and keep warm in the pre-heated oven. Repeat with the second batch.
  4. If you wish, top with slices of cheese to melt. Serve with a dollop of warm caramelized onions.

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