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Murielle Banackissa

Panko Crusted Tofu Burger with Truffle Massaged Kale

Print recipe
40 mins Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins
Serves 4

This burger features tofu that is coated in a smokey spice mixture and a coat of panko then browned to golden perfection and served in a bun alongside truffle massaged kale, cucumber, onion, and pickle slices. It is a wonderful dinner to make on a weekend night and enjoy with friends or family under candlelight.


Panko Crusted Tofu

  • 1 454g block of extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 -1 cup panko (or gluten free panko)

Massaged Kale

  • 4 curly kale leaves , cut into bite sized-pieces
  • 2 tsp pickle juice
  • 1 tsp truffle oil

Garlicky Mayo

  • 4 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp pickle juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Buns & Other Garnishes

  • Vegan butter (salted or unsalted) , for toasting
  • 4 brioche buns
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup

Prepare the Panko Crusted Tofu

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Step 2

    Cut the tofu into four thick slices. I like to cut mine lengthwise then crosswise.

  3. Step 3

    To a medium bowl add the brow rice flour, milk, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Whisk until smooth.

  4. Step 4

    To another medium bowl, add 1/2 cup of panko (do not hesitate to add more as needed after you coat 2 or 3 slabs of tofu).

  5. Step 5

    Line up the bowls side by side and have your baking sheet ready in front of you.

  6. Step 6

    Use one of your hands to drop one of the tofu slabs into the bowl with the flour mixture. Give it a shake then transfer it to the bowl with the panko.

  7. Step 7

    Use your clean hand to cover it with panko then transfer onto the baking sheet.

  8. Step 8

    Repeat the process for the other 3 tofu slabs.

  9. Step 9

    Coat each piece generously with cooking spray then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

  10. Step 10

    Flip, spray some more cooking spray on the tofu blocks then place in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Massage the Kale and Prepare the Rest of the Ingredients

  1. Step 1

    To a large bowl add the kale, pickle juice, and truffle oil. Massage until soft, about 3 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Prepare the garlicky mayo by mixing together in a small bowl the vegan mayo, pickle juice, and garlic powder.

  3. Step 3

    Spread some vegan butter on the cut side of each bun and toast on medium heat in a large pan or a cast iron grill pan.


  1. Step 1

    Spread some garlicky mayo, ketchup, and mustard (or any sauce you like) on each bun.

  2. Step 2

    Top the bottom bun with some massaged kale, then add the panko crusted tofu. Top with sliced pickles, cucumbers, and onions.

  3. Step 3

    Add the top bun and enjoy with any sides!

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Can I replace the tofu with tempeh? Maybe? I have not tried it before. I feel like the flavor of tempeh might be a little too strong in this particular burger, but if you love it, go ahead and use it. Just maybe steam the tempeh slabs on medium heat for 15 minutes before coating to mellow out the intensity of its flavor.

  • Can I replace the brown rice flour? Yes you could. White rice flour or gluten free flour would be a good alternative here. If using all-purpose flour, the coating batter might be a little too thick so do not hesitate to add a bit of non dairy milk 1 teaspoon at a time.

  • Use any unflavored, unsweetened non dairy milk that you like except coconut milk.

  • Replace the panko and the brioche bun for gluten free alternatives to make this recipe fully gluten free.

  • No cooking spray? Lightly drizzle each patty with a touch of avocado, canola, or olive oil before baking for extra crispiness. Or omit the oil all together.

Panko Crusted Tofu Burger with Truffle Massaged Kale on a plate with candlelight in the background
Panko Crusted Tofu Burger with Truffle Massaged Kale cut in two set on a plate
Kale ready to be massaged in a bowl
Panko Crusted Tofu Burger with Truffle Massaged Kale

As the new year begins, I have found a new sense of clarity when it comes to the type of recipes I want to create and the message I want to share.

I have come to realize that I want my work to be a reminder to notice the beauty in the details, in the process. I want to make more space for magic and sacredness in my creation process.

And that means approaching photography, styling, recipe development, in a more conscious and connected way.

This recipe is a first step in that direction.

This Panko Crusted Tofu Burger idea actually came from Sam who was craving a burger like this one. With an evening ahead of us, we put some music on, and made it happen. Following each step of this very recipe until we had in our hands this epic, comforting, and delicious burger.

I am really excited to be sharing this recipe with you and I hope that this year, through the recipes I put out, I inspire you to also slow down in the day to day and spend more time noticing the beauty in the mundane, in the simple motions you go through, as simple as massaging kale to the rhythm of your favorite song.

Kale in a bowl
Panko Crusted Tofu Burger with Truffle Massaged Kale cut in two

When it comes to the ingredients used in this recipe, below are the ones I used. I did not include other garnishes (outside of the massaged kale and garlicky mayo), because they are just suggestions. I encourage you to fill this burger with whatever you heart and tastebuds desire.

For any modifications, refer to the Swaps & Comments section.

Extra Firm Tofu: The protein of this burger. It is a great carrier of flavour and has a lovely texture that pairs really well with the crispy panko.

Brown Rice Flour: I have found that any time I use brown rice flour in my batters (before panko), the crispy layer is always extra crispy. So I have stuck with it through the years.

Unsweetened Soy Milk: This is the milk I always have at home so I used it for the batter.

Garlic Powder: Garlic makes savory dish taste better in my opinion so I added a touch of it in the batter.

Sea Salt: Just because you need your patty to be a little salty, right?

Smoked Paprika: After testing the recipe a few times, I found that adding smoked paprika made the flavor burger patty more interesting and I loved the smokiness it added.

Black Pepper: Just for a little kick.

Panko: It gives the tofu that ultra crispy exterior.
Cooking spray: This makes the outer crispy layer extra crispy. It is not necessary, but I would highly suggest using it.

Kale: When massaged, it turns this soft, luxurious, bright green, making it a perfect vegetable to add to burgers.

Pickle juice: Bright and tangy, it complements the kale and the mayo really well.

Truffle oil: Earthy and mushroomy in flavor, this oil really adds a punch to this burger. I suggest buying a really high quality truffle oil for better flavor.

Vegan mayo: I have always found that mayo works particularly well with crispy-style burgers. That is why I used it here.

Well, I hope that this recipe inspires you to step in the kitchen and prepare something new! This burger is one that has become synonymous with comfort food and I know I will be enjoying it many more times this year.

I also want to take this opportunity to with you all a Happy New Year! Thank you showing up on my blog, for your readership, and for trying my recipes. 2023 is going to be a very special year. One I know will be filled with many sacred moments, in and out of the kitchen.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

I hope that if you try making this recipe, you share about it on social media and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Happy cooking ✦