Sunday, August 12, 2012

Salmon Burgers

Print or download the recipe:
Salmon Burgers

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My quest for the perfect salmon burger has taught me one very important thing: when it comes to burgers, it's always best to stick with the basics. The first time I made them I tried to be too original and topped them with homemade olive tapenade. It was a nice idea, but turned out overwhelmingly rich and salty. So when I made them again I reverted to the classic onions, lettuce, and tomato and both the flavors and textures were much better balanced. Another very bad mistake I made the first time was to overload the food processor, which meant I had to over-process the salmon in order to get everything mixed together. This made for some very dry, dense patties. So hopefully you will learn from my mistakes and make these delicious, healthy burgers perfect the first time!

Salmon burgers were on the menu today when, the woman I'm caretaker to being out of town, I had the rare opportunity to entertain. My family was constantly having people over as I grew up, and I got to work alongside my mom, learning the art of hospitality from her. I've really missed the joy of using meals as a way to fellowship with friends, and I had so much fun hosting my own little dinner party this evening. I figured since I don't know when I'll be able to do it again, I'd better do it right, which meant NOT using the ugly old pink placemats the two of us use every day. But a search of all the cupboards and closets in the house turned up not a single tablecloth. I did, however, find an old set of sheets in good condition with a nice woven texture, which I turned into a beautiful tablecloth and napkins!

But to get back to the important part of this post, start by cutting up some fresh salmon into large chunks. Add it to a food processor with parsley, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and an egg to bind everything together.

Remember not to fill the processor more than about half full, so if you're using more than about 3/4 of a pound of salmon, do it in batches. Pulse 10-15 times, just until things are well incorporated, but the salmon should not be too finely ground.

At this point it helps to refrigerate the mixture for at least half an hour so that's it's easier to handle. After refrigerating, form into patties and place these on wax paper on a baking sheet and return them to the fridge for at least another half hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and finely chopped fresh basil. Spread this mixture on both halves of your buns, which should preferably be of good quality. Put the buns, mayo side up, under a broiler for about a minute, just until they're toasty golden-brown on top. Then remove them from the oven and set aside.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and coat it with oil or butter, depending on whether you wanna go the healthy or not-so-much route. When the fat is sizzling, carefully place the salmon patties in it and cook about 3 or 4 minutes on both sides.

Before they're quite done cooking, add a thin slice of fresh asiago or parmesan to each patty so the cheese can melt a bit. Place the patties on the buns and serve with sliced tomatoes and red onions and a big ol' heap of arugula.

M-mm-mmm. Perfect summer meal!


  1. I love salmon burgers, they just taste so fresh and healthy. I think you nailed these ones :)

    1. Thank you! I've been browsing through your blog and drooling over all your recipes, so I'm pretty sure that's a big compliment coming from you. :) I lived in Scotland for a year as a kid. Don't suppose you have a recipe for fish 'n' chips that tastes like the ones over there? Nothing in the States even comes close...