Dojo’s Soy Burger Dinner

My favorite restaurant growing up was Dojo in the East Village. It served the phenomenal Soy Burger Dinner with the INSANE carrot ginger dressing that remained $3.95 for decades! I ate there as a middle schooler (what we called Junior high), a High Schooler, a college student, a social worker and then a pregnant mom. I always got the same item; The Soy Burger Dinner.

At some point they opened another Dojo at West 4th but both restaurants are sadly no more. I  scoured the internet for the dressing’s recipe and tweaked some recipes that I found. I contributed my first version of their famous  Carrot Ginger Dressing a few years ago. How incredibly delicious is that dressing???

I now present you with my newer version of the dressing AND a recipe for the famous Dojo soy burger itself. The Soy burger is shockingly just soy beans and soy sauce? How is it so exceptional? No, I’m serious. Why is it so good?

To make it a bit healthier than the restaurant version, I do not deep fry it but pan fry it. If you’re feeling indulgent, I’d deep fry it but that’s up to you.

The burger is a delicious vegan meal when served with salad and brown rice, as you native New Yorkers/Dojo enthusiasts know.

R.I.P., Dojo :-(.

The Attempted Dojo Soy Burger:
2 cups soy beans

3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Oil for frying (I use grapeseed)Water for boiling

Soak the soybeans for at least 3 hours and boil until tender. Alternatively you can put them in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes.

When the soybeans are tender, drain them and run cold water on them until they are cooled.

Place the beans and tamari in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth . If they are too dry, add a little water until they are almost pureed.

Form patties about 3 inches in diameter. Should make about 10.

Place each patty in the panko until both sides are fully coated.

In a nonstick pan, heat up enough oil to fully cover the pan.

When the oil is hot enough to have a few breadcrumbs sizzle, add in enough patties that allow for 3 inches in between each patty.

Carefully check to see if the bottom is golden brown and flip the patties, adding more oil to the pan.

Once all the patties are golden on both sides, remove from the heat and serve with your favorite sauce, preferably the Dojo Carrot ginger dressing below!

Carrot Ginger Dressing:

2 medium sized carrots, about 8 ounces

2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 of a small onion (most recipes I saw called for a whole onion but not me! The ONLY thing wrong with this dressing is that you reek for 2 days if you use the whole onion like Dojo did. Do what you want; I’m not the boss of you. But use a whole onion at your own risk.)

1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (you can also use Mirin but mirin is really just vinegar or cooking/white wine and sugar

1 Tbs sugar (I think Dojo used a little more so play around with it)

1/4 cup unsweetened rice vinegar

1/2 cup of a neutral oil like avocado, vegetable, grapeseed, canola

2 Tbs tamari

1 tsp sesame oil


Blend in a very powerful blender until smooth. ENJOY with your brown rice, salad and soy burger!


6 Responses

  1. Wow. That’s awesome. Like you, I too ate there for many years with my friends, and I ALWAYS got the soy burger dinner.
    I miss the place so much. I never found out why they closed. Did the owner just retire, or did something bad happen?
    Anyway, I’ve managed to recreate the carrot/ginger dressing, but not the soy burger.

    I wonder if there are any other asian restaurants out there with similar menus.

  2. I too am a Dojo’s enthusiast! Dojo’s in the East Village was my FAVORITE restaurant in college and a loving favorite throughout my 16 years in Manhattan. I too only ordered the Soy Burger Dinner always with an extra side of the INSANE carrot ginger dressing!
    Thank you for your recipies. I too wish some restaurant could or would replicate this amazing dish.

    Whenever I have a Dojo’s craving, I purchase MAKOTO Ginger Dressing which is pretty darn close to the Dojo’s one.
    I pour it on a bed of raw spinach. It makes my heart sing and reminds me of Dojo’s!

  3. Thank you so much, I look forward to attempting this…

    I miss that burger and sauce so badly… I too grew up in the LES and frequented the St Marks location… I have to thank my ex-gf for introducing that burger to me it became my obsession, even to the point that at one point in my life when I was in the Army, I was home on break between postings, and was going to drive from NYC to Indiana, I made sure to stop by buy myself 2 Soy Burger dinners, ate one there and had the other somewhere in Ohio when I pulled over for a much-needed break and food. A year later (2000) on my way to Germany at my family dinner before I shipped off, we had my going away at the West 4th location. So many fond memories and I was so saddened to learn of its closing and the shadiness of reasons why.

  4. I am so glad to have found this. One of my favorite places in the city! Hop on the path after school to get a soy burger sandwich. Can’t wait to try this!!

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