Sesame Sweet Potato and Cabbage Burgers

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes four 4-inch burgers
Sesame Sweet Potato And Cabbage Burger
(Photographer Josh Schaedel / For The Times; prop stylist Sidonie Loiseleux / For The Times)
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This is a veggie burger I’ve always loved for its unexpected richness, thanks to the combination of sweet browned onions, sesame oil and tahini. It’s worthwhile to cook the onions with some care to allow them to caramelize and become sweet. And any variety of sweet potato will work — the purple ones lend the most distinctive color. Serve with yogurt, or simply drizzled with tahini, and some crisp vegetables like cucumber slices, sprouts or lettuce.


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in your widest skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cayenne and fry until soft and beginning to color deeply, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sesame oil, followed by the sweet potato, cabbage and salt. Cover and cook until tender, stirring periodically, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.


Whisk together the egg, tahini and lemon juice until combined. Add the potato-cabbage mixture, then fold in the panko. Add additional breadcrumbs if the mixture seems loose, but err on the side of wet because the burgers will firm up in the oven. Shape into 4 patties.


To cook, warm a wide skillet over medium heat, then add the remaining oil. Add as many burgers as will fit comfortably without crowding the pan (usually 3 burgers will fit into a 10-inch/25-centimeter skillet), and cook until browned and crisped on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. The burgers will firm up a bit as they cook, and further once they’re removed from the heat and have cooled slightly. Serve warm.


If you want to grill the burgers, cook the burgers in a cast-iron skillet placed on the grill grate over direct heat on a charcoal or gas grill. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes total, depending on the strength of your grill. If you want grill marks, place the burgers directly over the grill grates once they’ve firmed up. Serve warm.

Recipe from “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, Second Edition: Fresh, Flavorful, and Healthy Plant-Based Burgers — Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns, and More.” © Lukas Volger, 2010, 2023. Reprinted by permission of publisher the Experiment,