Salmon burgers are light and flavorful, easy to make and a nice change from traditional ground-beef burgers. They are packed with ginger, green onions and cilantro, and they look stunning on a toasted bun with their bright array of colors.
They also make great finger food in the summer, at anchor or with a cocktail. They will elevate your summer burger game to a whole new level. And yes; you can make the patties bigger and use full-size buns, if you wish.
No matter the burger size, I recommend wild-caught salmon because it’s a sustainable and better-tasting choice. I also refrigerate the salmon before cooking it. Firming the burgers for 20 minutes does wonders for the texture. It comes out lightly crisped on the outside and browned to perfection. Be careful not to overcook; fish dries out a lot when it’s overcooked, since it has a much lower fat content than beef.
The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd, and can be prepped up to a day in advance to be ready for your get-together.
FOR THE SALMON PATTIES (makes 10 patties)
2 cups wild salmon, cooked, chilled, flaked
2 cups panko bread crumbs, plus ½ to ¾ cup for forming
½ cup green onions, minced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons each lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons each rice vinegar, minced fresh ginger, minced jalapeños
1 tablespoon each granulated sugar, sea salt
¼ cup sesame seeds
extra-virgin olive oil for frying
FOR THE SAUCE
2 teaspoons jalapeños, minced
½ cup mayonnaise
FOR THE BURGERS
10 slider buns or brioche rolls
5 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced in half, baked until crisp.
crisp lettuce leaves
thinly sliced tomato and onion
MAKE THE PATTIES
In a large bowl, combine salmon, bread crumbs, onions and
cilantro. Whisk together eggs, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar,
ginger, jalapeño, sugar and salt. Combine with salmon mixture. Form mixture into 10 patties, packing each firmly. Press them into the remaining bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Place in the freezer until just firm, about 20 minutes.
MAKE THE SAUCE
In a small bowl, stir together jalapeños and mayonnaise.
COOK THE BURGERS
The recipe calls for pan-frying the burgers, but they can be barbecued, adding smoky flavor and great-looking grill marks.
To pan-fry, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add salmon patties two at a time; cook until browned on both sides, about two to three minutes per side. Transfer the cakes to a plate.
ASSEMBLE THE BURGERS
Place the burgers on the roll bottoms. Top with the bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. Spread the roll tops with the sauce.
This article was originally published in the September 2022 issue.