These salmon burgers are featured in the new episode of Reel Food in movie theaters nationwide. And they are my favorite thing to grill. They’re fresh, meaty and have bold, bright flavor thanks to juicy-sweet mango, spicy jalapeno and a shot of white vinegar. What makes them so delicious is Alaska wild salmon. When you’re at the grocery store, buy it at the fish counter. #AskForAlaska – the quality and taste is unmatched. These burgers (and the mayo) can be made the night before and placed on a sheet pan covered in plastic in the refrigerator. Dab them gently with paper towel before grilling to wick up any juices. YUM!
Makes 6 burgers
For the burgers
- 1 lb. skinless Alaska wild salmon fillet (ask the fishmonger to remove it for you)
- ⅓ cup finely diced Vidalia onion
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- ½ cup finely diced fresh mango (use frozen if not in season)
- 2 tablespoons seeded, finely diced fresh jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2½ tablespoons canola oil
For the mayo
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 4 brioche buns (use potato rolls if you can’t find brioche buns)
- 12 sweet pickle chips
- 1 cup baby arugula
Find the pin bones of the salmon by running a forefinger down the center of the fillet against the grain of the of flesh (you will feel the little bones gently prick your finger). Using beauty or chef grade pin bone tweezers, pull each pin bone gently out of the fish until all of the pin bones are removed (there should be 15-20 bones).
Using a sharp chef’s knife, divide the salmon fillet in two 8-ounce pieces. Cut one piece into ¼-inch cubes. Place the second piece into a large bowl and mash up using two forks until it becomes a chunky paste consistency. Add the salmon cubes to the paste.
To the salmon, add the remaining ingredients and gently fold with a rubber spatula to combine – try not to break up the chunks of salmon meat. Form the meat into four equal patties, about 7-ounces each, to 1-inch thick. Place on a plate, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the cilantro lime mayo. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the burgers are finished grilling.
Heat a grill or 12” cast iron grill pan on medium-high. If grilling, brush both sides of the raw burgers with the canola oil to prevent them from sticking to the grates. If using the grill pan, brush both the pan and both sides of the burgers with the oil. Cook the burgers for 6 minutes until char marks appear. Flip and continue cooking another 3 minutes, until the burgers just turn opaque pink. Transfer them to a cutting board and let rest 4-5 minutes (this lets them plump up before eating).
Meanwhile, place the buns, cut-side down, onto the grill or grill pan and allow them to toast for 2 minutes until lightly browned.
To build the burgers, place the salmon patties on top of the bottom toasted bun. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the aioli on top of each burger. Add 3 sweet pickles. Top with a small handful of fresh arugula and the top bun.