Salmon Burger Recipe
Inspired by the first harvest from our winter garden, this Salmon Burger recipe puts the fresh produce I have on hand to work. Well, it is hardly a harvest, because it was really just a thinning. In order for the vegetables to have room to grow, thinning them down and pulling some babies is a necessary evil. I say evil because it is a time consuming task, but the rewards are two fold - we used baby greens on this Salmon Burger, and later when there are mature greens, we will use those for something else.
I am always down for a quick pickle, so I used the first round of radishes that came up in our garden to give these wild salmon burgers a little crunch. No special tools were needed and they came together super quickly. The recipe for them follows after the Salmon Burger recipe because they work so well together.
For those of you who want to practice skinning raw salmon before you attempt a poke bowl, this recipe is for you. It is okay if you mess up because you will mince most of it up for this dish anyway. There are a few methods, most common is skin side down, making a cut under the flesh starting at the tail end so you can hold on to the skin with your non-knife hand. Then, push the knife at a 45 degree angle between the skin and flesh to release the bond. However, I prefer to put the flesh side down and peel back the skin from a raw salmon fillet, which does require a bit of a tug along with the help of a nudge from the knife along any stubborn spots. Either way, this particular dish is oblivious to the state in which your salmon looks once skinned. That is why it is a great recipe to perfect your skinning method, since you won’t be wasting anything that gets mutilated.
Salmon Burger Recipe
Pride of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon fillet
2 cloves Garlic - peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fresh Ginger - peeled and minced
4 Green Onions - cleaned, trimmed and chopped
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons of Flour (for sprinkling on patties before cooking)
2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
Brioche Buns (or your bread of choice)
Baby greens of your choice
Pickled Radish (recipe follows)
Mayonnaise or your favorite sandwich dressing
First, pat dry the salmon (I use a clean paper towel for this). Then, pat it dry again with a new dry towel. Let towel sit on the salmon while you prep the other ingredients.
Mince the garlic cloves and ginger — I find that a microplane is my go to tool for this as there is no need to wash a garlic press when one tool can handle both the garlic and the ginger. Wash the green onions and trim off both ends, just above the root and just below the tops for a fresh edge. You will use both the green and the white part of the green onion because they both have properties you want in this dish. The white part is where the onion flavor is most concentrated, and the green part has the vitamin benefits found in leafy green vegetables. Add these three ingredients to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Next, discard the towel and skin the salmon, then cut it into one or two inch pieces. Add about half of it to a food processor and pulse so that it is almost smooth, then add the remaining salmon and pulse about five times. The purpose of this is so that you have moldable salmon which still has enough texture to hold a shape.
Transfer the salmon to the mixing bowl with the garlic, ginger, and green onions. Add the mayonnaise and salt. Mix until combined and form mixture into four patties about the diameter of your buns, placing them on a plate when formed. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so that they hold their shape.
Meanwhile, wash any baby greens that you plan to use on the burgers and store them in the refrigerator until you need them.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil begins to shimmer. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and sprinkle each side with flour, and carefully place in the pan with hot oil. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, just until golden brown.
While the burgers are cooking on their second side, stack the buns with greens and pickled radishes, adding mayonnaise or your favorite sandwich dressing to one or both buns. Slide the cooked burger on the buns, close and serve.
Quick Pickled Radishes
Radishes, enough to make a half cup when sliced.
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Measure out the vinegars, honey and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk until the honey is dissolved.
Diligently clean and trim the radishes. Slice into thin medallions with a knife - there is no need for a fancy slicer because you are only doing a few, and if they are too thin, you will lose the crunch.
Add the sliced radishes to the vinegar mixture and cover, leaving it to stand on the counter for 20 minutes or so. Then, move it to the refrigerator to chill for a half hour or so, which will help the crunch factor. It is ok to make these ahead of time, but they will not be as crunchy the second day.
Nancy Ingersoll is a recipe developer and food photographer currently living in San Diego, California. She learned the art of sauces and soufflés from one of James Beard Award winner Roy’s Yamaguchi’s executive chefs, and her curious spirit has been fed with cooking classes domestically and abroad. Nancy is also known as The Creative Resource and you can find her work on nancyingersoll.com and on instagram as @thecreativeresource