I made this Okara Sea Burger Recipe as a kind of vegan fish burger. But is it more like a fishless burger or more like a no-crab cake? You decide. This savory patty is pan-fried crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. A little bit of nori helps to bring that fishy flavour while leaving our fishy friends in the ocean!
Wondering what the heck Okara is? It’s the pulp that’s leftover from making soymilk. It’s full of protein, fiber, and other nutrients! Waste not, want not! Check out the recipe for making your own soy milk here! It’s made from soybeans, water, and optional sweetener.
Video Tutorial for Vegan Okara Sea Cakes
I imagine this is what a crab cake is like as they are kind of delicate, but then, I have only had crab cakes once in my life. The flavour though, is very much like a deep-fried “filet o’ fish,” but the texture is something else. Not at all in a bad way, I actually love them! Okara is full of fiber though, so just one small sea burger is quite filling.
The process is very simple. Simply mix all the ingredients together. Miso is added for a salty, umami flavour and is enhanced by fresh garlic, onion powder, and minced scallions. Cooked potato is then added as an extra binding ingredient.
Okara will usually hold everything together quite well. However, if you have drier pulp or if the potato used is quite dry or powdery, you can add a couple tablespoons of strong vegetable broth to make it more sticky. Other liquids can be used, but I prefer the flavour of double strength vegan chicken-style broth. Form them into patties with your hands, then coat them in cornstarch to get a crispy crust when you fry them.
They reminded me so much of fish that I decided to make a fishless burger out of one. I was out of vegenaise so I used an avocado, mashed with onion powder and sweet relish to stand in for tartar sauce. I only wish I had some Daiya cheddar slices to make this complete. But it was tasty anyhow.
Printable Recipe for Okara Sea Burgers
- 1 1/4 cup Okara (leftover pulp from making soymilk) [215g]
- 1/4 sheet nori, cut into confetti (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 small potato, cooked
- 1-2 stalks green onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-3 tablespoons double strength vegetable broth, or as needed [30-90ml]
- 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch, or as needed
- Cooking oil as needed
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all the ingredients except for the broth and cornstarch.
- Mix the ingredients very well.
- Test the mixture to see if it will form a patty without breaking apart. If the mixture is too dry, add double strength vegetable broth a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture and squeeze it into a ball. Pat it down on the top and along the sides to form a burger shape. You may make your patties larger or smaller.
- Coat the patties in cornstarch by pressing them gently in a plate with some cornstarch on it.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat, along with one tablespoon of cooking oil.
- When the pan is hot, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt all over the surface.
- Add the okara patties, leaving at least once inch of room around each patty.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely golden brown.
- Remove and serve!
- The ingredient amounts are approximate. Feel free to add or take out any of the spices or flavouring ingredients, however the potato acts as a binder so keep that in there or use another binding ingredient.
- If you want to make bigger burgers, it may be difficult to ensure the okara is cooked through. You may opt to steam the okara first to make sure it's fully cooked before starting the recipe.
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So …. after making the milk to make the tofu ( both turned out great!) I made these burgers. So far…I’ve eaten three patties 🙂 every one of them as good as the first. Not looking good for leftovers!
Great recipe!!!! I was surprised at the texture and the flavour. It wasn’t an overwhelming fish taste, just the right amount for me. You could always add more, or less, nori to suit your taste. Super easy to make and very quick to put together.
thanks for the recipe. Will be making it again for sure 🙂
Hi Connie! I am so sorry that I seemed to miss your comment. On the off chance that you’ll see this reply, I want to thank you for sharing your experience with this recipe! I am so happy that you took the time to make the milk, tofu AND these burgers. <3 Thank you so much for sharing your experience, dear 🙂
Substituted onion powder with flounder powder. Gave it a nice kick. This was so good. Thanks.
I just made and ate this for lunch! I substituted the potato with pumpkin and it turned out good. Thank you!!!! 🙂
oOo Thank you, Jocelyn for sharing your experience. Your idea to sub in pumpkin for potato sounds excellent! <3
Great recipe! I’m wondering what’s that black kind of thing that you cut and add in your okara. Going to try it out. Thanks for sharing this recipes.
Thanks, Kholi. It’s nori AKA seaweed. It’s the wrap that goes around sushi.
Thank you for the recipe. I tried it but unfortunately, I didn’t really like it. It was quite some work and then the taste was just..not gross or anything but not that tasty either and not that very fish like. And there was no bite, at all. For other people reading this: I think in a few weeks i’ll give it another try and i’ll add even more spices and nori on top of what I already added outside the recipe, make extra small patty’s, steam them first, make my own sauce that takes away the dryness of the burger more and add some onion.
What is the reson for sprinkling seasalt in the oil in pan? I don’t use non-stick due to the toxins, and stainless steel when used properly is also non stick. But salt on the surface is a no no. So just wondering about the reason.
I have just made almond milk and am going to use this recipe to use up the pulp. I shall get back to you to let you know how it turned out.
Made these with almond pulp, and increased the flavors because of personal preferences. They held together very well and fried up nicely. They were served alone with a cabbage and kale salad, and not on a bun. I don’t think I would make them again as I found them a little dry. If I do I shall make a complementing sauce to use with them.
Oh, this is just getting better and better! Started with soy milk, then tofu, then what to do with the pulp? Oh, a fishy burger? AWESOME!!! I love your content.
This was so, so delicious. Thank you for the lovely recipe, Mary! I’ve been feeling guilty about all the okara I have in the freezer and this is a great way to consume it!
Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Shreya.
Stay well and safe,
Hi Mary! I have been making these many times, adding more variety of seaweed and with great results everytime! Now I am about to embark on a Keto journey once again. I would obviously have to tweak out some of the ingredients but I am curious about the nutrition of Okara itself!? I have tried researching it but I am unable to find a carb vs. fiber count! Any input?
These are DELICIOUS! I did taste and adjust the seasoning to my liking: I added salt, doubled the nori and garlic, as well as dill and lemon juice for a little brightness. I used tapioca starch because I did not have any cornstarch. They turned out really well – so glad to find this recipe since I’ve started making my own soymilk in this current lockdown and seem to have an endless supply of okara!
Tried these today and they were delish! Loved the seafoody flavor. Texture was more crab cake like than burger patty but it held together well. We will be making it again! Thank you!
Can we use the air fryer instead of pan Frying them?
hey ! does the okara have to be pre-cooked, or is “raw” pulp also usable? thanks in advance 🙂
While it’s possible to use raw okara, I recommend steaming the okara first – just 10 minutes will do it.