Hajiki Tofu Burgers with Ginger Miso Dressing are a fun change from the usual veggie burger. Inspired by a New York City Favorite, these tofu burgers are made with vegetables and seaweed and slathered with a tangy dressing. Serve them for lunch on a bun or for dinner on a plate with rice and vegetables. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Dojo's Hajiki Tofu Burgers
I went vegetarian while attending Parsons School of Design in the early 90s. I worked my way through school as a shift supervisor at my local CVS, and I commuted into Manhattan from New Jersey. Between my monthly train pass and the many art supplies I needed for my classes, I didn’t have too much money leftover. All of my friends were broke, too, so I was in good company. Whenever we did splurge on a meal out, it was someplace inexpensive.
One of our favorite places to eat was Dojo on West 4th and Mercer in The Village, which had a lot of vegetarian options. I would order the Soy Burger Dinner, which was only $3.95 at the time. It came with brown rice and side salad, and both the salad and burger were topped Dojo’s famous carrot-ginger dressing. That stuff was so good that I could have eaten it out of a bowl with a spoon.
I wasn’t a very adventurous diner at the time, but one day I decided to give their Hajiki Tofu Burger a go. Seaweed seemed like a weird thing to eat, but hey, it was vegetarian, so why not? It was love at first bite, and I had found a new favorite. Luckily, it too came with a side salad topped with carrot-ginger dressing.
As the years went on, I continued to frequent Dojo. The prices of the burgers didn’t change, although the burger size seemed to get smaller and smaller every time I had one. With the influx of vegan restaurants in New York City, I began to frequent it less and less over the years.
Homemade Hajiki Tofu Burgers
Even though it’s been a while since I had one, I occasionally find myself with a hankering for both burgers. When I originally created this recipe, Dojo was still open. I didn't want to spend $13.50 on a train ticket for $7.95 burger, so I decided to recreate it at home.
Sadly, Dojo closed its doors in 2018. I'm now regretting not taking that train ride one last time for my beloved burger. I'm glad I was able to create a similar version at home to satisfy my craving.
What You Need
- Hajiki seaweed
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame seeds
- Mellow white miso
- Chickpea flour
- Sesame oil
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
How to Make Hajiki Tofu Burgers
These burgers are easy to make!
- First you preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Then you rinse the hajiki in a colander to remove any dirt. Place it in a bowl with enough warm water to cover it, and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes, until it has reconstituted. Drain the hajiki and coarsely chop into small pieces.
- Next you heat the vegetable oil to a small pan over medium-high heat. You add the carrot, scallion, garlic, sesame seeds and ginger, and cook everything, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, you mash the tofu with a potato masher or large spoon.
- You add the hajiki, cooked carrot mixture, miso, chickpea flour, tamari, sesame oil to the tofu and mix everything well. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to get everything well mixed.
You form the tofu mixture into 4 patties and gently place them on the parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the burgers for 15 minutes. Flip the burgers, and cook them for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.
- While the burgers are cooking, you mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a food processor or blender. If it seems too thick, add a little water, a teaspoon at a time.
What is Hajiki?
Hajiki, sometimes called hiziki, is a brown sea vegetable that's used often in Japanese cooking. It's loaded with dietary fiber and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Look for it in the Asian section of your grocery store.
I can't always find hajiki, so I sometimes use arame in this recipe.
Hajiki and arame need to be reconstituted before cooking with them. To prepare, place the seaweed in a colander and rinse it to remove any dirt. Then place it in a bowl with warm water and allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serving Your Hajiki Tofu Burgers
Dojo served their burgers two ways: on platter with brown rice and a side salad or on a bun with sriracha and avocado. There was always lots of ginger dressing. I usually ordered the platter because it was more filling.
Storing Your Burgers
Cooked burgers will stay fresh for about 3 days in the fridge. If you'd like to freeze them, allow them to cool completely, then place slices of parchment paper between them and place them in an air-tight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for about a month. To reheat them, thaw them in the fridge or counter and then pan fry them for a few minutes, or pop them into a 400° oven for about 10 minutes.
Hajiki Tofu Burgers with Ginger Miso Dressing
For the Hajiki Tofu Burgers
- ¼ cup dried hajiki or arame seaweed
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored vegetable oil
- 1 large carrot grated
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 15 ounce container firm or extra firm tofu drained and pressed
- 2 tablespoons mellow white miso
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
For the Ginger Miso Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons mellow white miso
- 1 medium carrot coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger chopped or grated
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse the hajiki in a colander to remove any dirt, then place it in a bowl with enough warm water to cover it. Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes, until it has reconstituted. Drain and coarsely chop into small pieces.
- Add the vegetable oil to a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, scallion, garlic, sesame seeds and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have begun to soften and are fragrant.
- In a large bowl, mash the tofu with a potato masher or large spoon. Add the hajiki, cooked carrot mixture, miso, chickpea flour, tamari, sesame oil to the tofu and mix well. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to get everything well mixed.
- Form the tofu mixture into 4 patties and gently place them on the parchment paper. Cook for 15 minutes, flip the burgers, and cook for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.
- While the burgers are cooking, mix all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. It it seems too thick, add a little water, a teaspoon at a time. Set aside until ready to use.
- Serve burgers on a plate with brown rice and a salad or on a burger bun with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Drizzle the Ginger Miso Dressing generously over the burgers.