Portabella Burger with Truffle Aioli and Cremini Mushroom Duxelle (Foodservice Portion)

Recipe courtesy Chef Todd Humphries, Martini House, St. Helena, Calif.


Mushrooms are present in every aspect of this burger, bringing layers of flavor to each bite.

Yield: 12 servings

Serving size: 1 burger


Per yield:
  • 12 portabella burgers (recipe follows)
  • 3 cups crimini mushroom duxelle (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 ½ cup truffle aioli (recipe follows)
  • 12 burger buns, toasted
  • 2 cups pickled red onions (recipe follows)
For the Portabella Burgers:
Makes 12 four-inch burgers
  • 10 pounds portabella mushrooms (cleaned; stems removed and reserved)
  • 4 gallons brine (dissolve 2⅔ cups salt and 2 cups sugar into 4 gallons water)
  • 2 ½ cups portabella liquid
  • ¼ cup agar agar powder
  • To taste kosher salt
  • To taste fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder
For the Truffle Aioli:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1  cup grape seed oil
  • ½ cup truffle oil
  • To taste Kosher salt
  • To taste white pepper
For the Crimini Mushroom Duxelle:
Makes about 3 cups
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 pounds crimini mushrooms (grated in robot coupe)
  • 6 ounces white wine
  • To taste Kosher salt
  • To taste white pepper
For the Pickled Red Onions:
Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Red peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds red onions, sliced into ¼-inch julienne


For the Portabella Burgers:
Brine the cleaned portabella mushrooms cap and stems overnight, weighting them to make sure that they remain submerged.
Drain the brined mushrooms and grill the caps over medium heat until tender and they are releasing their moisture. Meanwhile, sauté the stems in a small amount of vegetable oil until they become tender and release their moisture. Place the cooked hot mushroom caps and stems in a drain pan and cover with a lid to allow them to steam through.
When the mushrooms have come to room temperature, grind everything through the large die on a meat grinder into a drain pan lined with cheesecloth. Wrap the ground mushrooms in the cheesecloth and twist, then press under a heavy weight (approximately 20 pounds) to squeeze out the liquid (reserving for use later). Let press for 20 minutes.
When the ground mushrooms have drained, transfer them from the cheesecloth to a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and the curry powder. Leave out at room temperature.
Measure 2½ cups of the portabella liquid into a pot and add the agar agar. Allow the agar to soften for 10 minutes. Bring the liquid and agar to a boil, stirring constantly. When it has thickened, pour the liquid over the ground mushrooms and mix thoroughly, making sure they are well coated with the liquid.
While warm, quickly press the mixture into a half sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, and press to an even thickness. Refrigerate and cut into 4-inch burgers or other shape. (We cut this into approx 30 mini square burgers for a tasting menu.)

For the Truffle Aioli:
Combine the garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, ¼ cup grape seed oil and a small amount of salt and pepper in a food processor. Mix on high until the mixture has turned a pale yellow and has become light and frothy.
While the processor is still on high, slowly pour in the remaining grape seed oil in a steady stream. Then pour in the truffle oil (at any point if the aioli becomes too thick, it can be thinned out by adding water 1 teaspoon at a time.) Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and acidity with additional lemon juice or oil.

For the Crimini Mushroom Duxelle:
In a rondeau, melt the butter then add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the grated mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is dry. Add the wine and reduce until no liquid remains in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate.

For the Pickled Red Onions:
Toast the seeds and peppercorns in a warm pan for 2 to 3 minutes and tie into a sachet with cheesecloth. Combine the vinegar, sugar, sachet, and bay leaves in a heavy pot and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot liquid over the onions, placing a small plate on top to keep them submerged. Cover and refrigerate for a week before using.

For each serving, to order:
Place a burger on a tray that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick oil. Heat through for approximately 5 minutes. Warm about ¼ cup of the duxelle with 1 tablespoon of crème fraiche or sour cream. Spread each bun with 2 tablespoons of aioli, place the burger on the bun, and top with the duxelle and about 2½ tablespoons pickled red onion.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 680; Total Fat: 40g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 35mg; Sodium: 240mg; Protein: 18g; Carbohydrate: 69g; Dietary Fiber: 14g

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