Mushrooms make the tastiest, healthiest burgers in South Africa

Photo supplied by SAMFA

WHO does not love a burger? And who wouldn’t be even happier if it magically could be made healthier and even more delicious? That’s why The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) and the Restaurant Voice (RASA) got together to create the #BlendYourBurger Challenge with fresh mushrooms as the hero.

And why mushrooms as an essential burger ingredient? These meaty, umami-rich culinary nuggets are cholesterol free and contain almost no calories or fat while adding oodles of flavour to your favourite burger. They’re what your tastebuds and an increasingly popular health-conscious menu crave.

Once word got out about the #BlendYourBurger Challenge, excitement built rapidly and the entries streamed in. A live cook-off at the HTA School of Culinary Art, under the watchful eyes of the judges, was needed to find the ultimate five burgers, with the top three featured here. The judging team consisted of Ross Richardson, the chairperson of SAMFA, Wendy Alberts, the CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, and chef Kabelo Segone: HTA training and development director. Winners’ details and recipes below.

  • Winner: Tyrone Loydall of Hudsons with his Stomper (a mushroom and beef blended burger, pictured above) was the happy recipient of R25000
  • 1ST Runner-up: Godfrey Matsepe of Nikos Pineslopes and his Greek style mushroom blended burger received R10000
  • 2nd Runner-up: Rod Walker from Karoo Grill and Bar created a wonderful Mushtrich burger and received R7500


Serves 2

Blended mushroom burger patty


  • 200g free range beef mince
  • 200g portabella mushrooms
  • One bun per burger
  • 4g finely chopped parsley
  • 4g Hudson’s secret burger spice
  • 1 egg


  • Finely chop the parsley
  • Chop the portabella mushrooms into small pieces, but not too fine (to retain texture)
  • Flash fry the mushrooms before adding them to the mince
  • Mix the mushrooms, beef mince, chopped portabella mushrooms, parsley and Hudson’s burger spice together
  • Add egg and combine thoroughly
  • Shape mixture into ball and either pan fry or cook in an air fryer

Oven roasted tomatoes and mushrooms


  • 60g cherry tomatoes
  • 60g portabella mushrooms
  • 20g thyme
  • 20g rosemary
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  • Chop the portabella mushrooms into quarters
  • Place cherry tomatoes and Portabella mushrooms on a grease proof baking sheet
  • Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil
  • Add thyme and rosemary and place in oven at 200°C for 10-12 min 

To serve

  • Butter the buns with garlic butter (quality store bought will do)
  • Place fresh rocket on bottom bun
  • Place the your burger patty on top of rocket
  • Spoon on the roasted tomatoes and mushrooms over the patty
  • Top with parmesan shaving and drizzle with truffle aioli
  • Finish it off with the garlic buttered top bun



  • 40g fresh tomato
  • 12g fresh parsley
  • 300g beef mince
  • 300g button mushrooms
  • 1 slice stale white bread
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 3ml dry oregano
  • 1ml ground cinnamon
  • 1ml ground cumin
  • 12ml olive oil
  • 1ml baking powder
  • 1ml salt


  • Drench the slice of bread in water and put aside
  • Grate the tomato and finely chop the parsley and put aside
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and flash fry and put aside
  • Fry onions in olive oil until soft and put aside
  • Add the cooked mushrooms, onion, bread, spices, herbs, baking powder, chopped tomato and parsley to the raw mince. Add seasoning to taste
  • Mix by hand ensuring ingredients are well distributed
  • Form the burger patty and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Grill or fry patty

To serve

  • Two toasted sesame seed buns
  • A side salad and zucchini fries
  • Tzatziki to spoon over the patties



  • 125g ostrich mince
  • 125g chopped and cooked Portabellini mushrooms 
  • 5g tahini
  • 2g tomato paste
  • 1g garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


  • Finely chop the portabellinis and sweat off with about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter, with salt added early to help extract the moisture and pepper at the end
  • Cook the ostrich mince separately in the same way (as the moisture evaporates, so the mushroom juice is concentrated and, combined with the oil and butter, it gives a sheen to the mushrooms 
  • Hand blend the mix of ostrich mince and chopped mushrooms and shape into a burger sized patty
  • Toast the buns on the inside and stack as follows: baby lettuce leaves, a layer of pink sauce, 3 slices pickled gherkin, 2 slices melted Emmental cheese, one tablespoon of onion marmalade and then the mushroom ostrich patty on top
  • Garnished with a rosemary spear, battered onion ring, grilled portabellini and a cherry tomato


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