You get me.
These burgers are super easy, and very yummy. We were huge fans. The recipe below should actually make three burgers, but I made 2 massive patties that ended up not fitting on our buns like an idiot, so ignore half these pictures. I'm not a good cook. The sweet salmon with the spicy sauce and lemon running through it is just...YES. You'll love these, and how fun for a weekend meal! Maybe Saturday lunch? I'll do burgers, you do beer. Sold.
In addition to salmon (1 4 ounce or so filet per burger) you need garlic, scallion, lemon zest, panko, and an egg. For the toppings, buns, lettuce, sriracha, and mayo. That's Japanese mayo, but seriously use anything that you like.
Make the burger mixture first! In a food processor, add the salmon, egg, lemon zest, garlic, scallion, and panko with a sprinkle of salt. Start with a little panko - we can add more later. How much you need will depend on how wet your salmon is.
Whir all this together, and add more panko until the mixture is sticky and almost coming together like a dough - you want to be able to form loose patties with your hands, kind of like working with ground chicken.
You can coat your hands with water or cooking spray to do this, but I find it's best to just work quickly and GENTLY. Mold the patties while kind of trying to barely touch them, if that makes sense. If you mash too hard you'll end up with all the salmon in between your fingers. If the first burgers are grody looking, mash them up again and start over - no worries! When the patties are formed, set them into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit.
While the burgers are chilling, heat a large dry skillet to medium heat and toast the buns in it, then set them aside. Leave the heat on and add some olive oil - we'll use the same pan to make the burgers.
Now, let's make burgers! By now, the pan used to toast the buns with the oil that you added should be hot. Grab the burgers from the fridge, and SUPER DUPER GENTLY slide them in to the pan. A spatula coated with olive oil might help this process.
How long your cook your burgers depends on your salmon preference - not cooked all the way through is totally fine if you're not finicky about raw egg (mayo, people) or raw fish. For medium, the burgers can go 3 minutes on each side, but mainly we want to LEAVE THEM ALONE on each side so that a nice crusts develops. My method is to drop the burgers in, hear them sizzle (turn the heat up if they don't), then flip them once the edges become slightly opaque. When I can see the salmon cooking up the sides of the burger I can be pretty sure that a nice crust has forms.
So, long story long, after 3-5 minutes of sizzle, flip the burgers and let them cook on the second side.
These are really delicious. The citrus in the salmon is GREAT, but if you aren't into lemon you can leave it out. Because of the panko and the egg, these get a nice texture too, so they hold together nicely. The key to cooking is to do a hot pan for the CRUST, then go as short as you can on cooking time for a non-dry center.
Spicy Citrus Salmon Burgers
- 3 small filets salmon 4-6 ounces each
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest half a lemon or so
- salt to taste
- 3 scallions ends removed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 egg
- ¼ - ½ cup panko bread crumb
- butter lettuce leaves for serving
- 3 sandwich buns for serving
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce plus more to taste
- In a food processor, combine the salmon, scallion, garlic, lemon, egg, and 2 tablespoons panko with a sprinkle of salt. Pulse to combine everything, then add more panko as needed to form a thick paste, almost like ground chicken.
- Gently form the salmon mixture into three even patties, then place on a plate and into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- While the burgers chill, toast the buns in a large dry skillet cut side down, then set aside. Keeping the pan on medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet and let it warm to nearly smoking. While the oil warms, combine the mayo and sriracha and taste; add more hot sauce if you'd like.
- When the burgers are chilled, cook them in the hot oil (increase the heat if the burgers don't immediately sizzle) for 3- 5 minutes on each side, turning only once, and not moving once flipped to create a brown exterior crust.
- Serve the burgers on the buns with butter lettuce topped with the sriracha mayo. Enjoy!
Shared with Weekend Potluck!