Vegan Pulp Fiction
Updated: Nov 6
A Tasty BURGER, Fries with Mayo (GODDAMN!) and a Vegan Milkshake that costs less than $5!
When Pulp Fiction came out, I was 16 years old, and like a lot of people, had seen nothing like it. If for some reason you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing and go watch it immediately! Tarantino and his characters have a love for burgers, fries and shakes, amongst other foods, and the way he weaves that so casually into their dialogue is one of the endearing things about his writing, and really makes the characters feel real, despite the over the top things they do.
BIG KAHUNA BURGER
One thing that's been noted about Pulp Fiction quite frequently, is the food that is referenced and shown in the film. I've seen a lot of renditions of the Big Kahuna Burger, and none of them really struck my fancy. Mostly because they have a thick ass slice of pineapple on them, and that's something I've tried and haven't liked. Texturally and spatially, the pineapple just dominates, and not in a good way if you ask me.
On top of that, the burger we see from Big Kahuna in the film is just a simple cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and ketchup, and not to mention the logo for Big Kahuna Burger doesn't feature any pineapple either. But it did seem like we needed to get some kind of pineapple flavor in there, so I decided on making a pineapple soy ginger glaze to brush on the burger patties, along with a burger sauce that at first glance looks like a typical burger sauce, but is infused with pineapple juice, sriracha and diced jalapenos (instead of pickle relish). They are both super dang good and I was shocked how delicious it was. This recipe makes plenty of glaze so feel free to half it, or use the leftovers on anything you want, vegan chick'n, tofu, veggies, stir-fry, whatever!
I also used some Omni Pork and made a blend with Impossible meat for the patties, but you can totally just use Impossible meat, I made a version of both and they were both TASTY!
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Soy Ginger Pineapple Glaze Method
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or to taste, use less for less sour)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
Combine everything in a bowl, taste and adjust to your preference. Optionally, you can blend this up and it will emulsify the sauce and make it a bit thicker too.
Sweet and Spicy Burger Sauce Method
1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 Tbsp sriracha
1 Tbsp pineapple juice
2 Tbsp diced pickled jalapenos
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything and adjust seasoning to taste. Store in fridge 3-5 days.
Big Kahuna Method
1 burger bun
Two (3 oz. patties) (like Beyond or Impossible)
2 slices vegan cheese (American if possible)
Dill pickle slices
Toast your burger buns on a pan over medium heat, set aside on wire rack.
Grill burger patties over medium heat, brush with soy ginger pineapple glaze, once browned on one side, flip them, brush with more glaze, top with vegan cheese, then cover to melt (you can add a few drops of water to the pan to help them steam and melt).
Assemble burger from bottom to top as follows: bottom bun, sweet and spicy burger sauce, pickles, lettuce, cheeseburger patty, tomato slice, cheeseburger patty, more sauce, top bun! You can put the tomato slice wherever you like, I dug it in the middle, but I would suggest wrapping your burger so it doesn't slip too much!
FRIES with MAYO
Ever since I first saw this movie almost 30 years ago, I thought fries dipped in mayo sounded gross, and have never tried it. Well, a lot of dipping sauces are mayo based, so I thought, you know it's been 28 years, let's try it out. And honestly, it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. In fact, I dare say it was good! I honestly thought that it was kinda bland, since it's just mayo, I much prefer a good old dipping sauce.
That being said, the homemade mayo is really good! I used a non-vegan recipe for Dutch Mayo found HERE and thought it was really amazing. The lemon juice does make it taste kinda lemony, so be warned, you could swap it out for another tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Also, make sure your soy milk is room temp, you can just microwave it for 15-20 seconds if its cold. You can try using other plant milks, but from what I read soy tends to make the best, so your mileage may vary!
For blending the mayo, I highly suggest a stick / immersion blender if you got one. You can use a regular blender, but you need to drizzle in the oil slowly, and when I've attempted this in the past, I screwed it up! So the stick blender is more fool-proof.
For the fries, I just used some frozen fast food style fries, but I wanted to see what the pros and cons of air frying vs. deep frying them was. Air frying is much faster, uses a lot less oil obviously, which is good for people avoiding oil, and for clean up. However the deep fried fries were just infinitely better. They were the closest to anything I've had to McDonald's fabled fries (which aren't vegan in the US). So I would say if you're just making fries, air frying is fine, but if you are already deep frying something, throw some fries in there and make it worth it!
Homemade Mayo Method
Adapted from SPRUCE EATS
1 cup neutral oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
1/2 cup room temperature soy milk
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or use more vinegar)
1 tsp mustard (any kind will do!)
Salt to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Add everything to a tall container and blend with a stick / immersion blender. Start at the bottom and pulse at first, then go ahead and blend. It will start to emulsify, move the stick blender up and down to get the oil that's at the top, and just keep moving up as it blends more and more. It might look like it's not gonna work at first, but just keep going, it will eventually!
Store in the fridge and eat within a few days! It has no preservatives!
For the $5 Milkshake, this is less a strict recipe, and more just some ideas on how to make your own. If we adjust for inflation, $5 in 1994 is worth double its value at $10 now. If you go out to eat, a $10 shake is not uncommon in my experience. So I thought, making one at home will cost at least $5 if not more! But even with the high prices for vegan ice cream, this one still came out to less than $5! I also threw in some vegan cheesecake, cherries, and some bourbon, and it was still only about $4 per shake.
In general, shakes are about 2:1 (or 4:1 for thicker) ice cream to milk ratio. Since I added more liquid in the form of bourbon, cherries, and the syrup from the maraschino cherries, I threw that off. So I just added more ice cream until I got it to the thickness I wanted. Honestly, that would be my suggestion, just add whatever you like and blend and adjust until it's where you like it! But the New York Cheesecake Milkshake I made was pretty f@cking good!