Grilling season is upon us! With our jump from winter to summer weather, the air almost sizzles with anticipation for all the delicious grilling options. And while the classic beef burger is a tasty go-to choice, you can mix in an alternative when the mood strikes and try a salmon burger. The key to these moist, flavor-packed burgers is grinding a portion of salmon to create a binder that holds together the flavorings and the rest of the coarsely chopped fish, says chef and cookbook author Molly Stevens, who created this recipe for Real Food. This step avoids the need for added fillers (like breadcrumbs and eggs) that can weigh down other versions. If you want to keep things extra light, she suggests serving the burgers on lettuce leaf wraps, or for a more traditional presentation, fine-crumbed brioche-style rolls are ideal.
Plus, scroll down for a “lucky 13” roundup of burgers I have highlighted on this site that are made with beef, turkey, black beans, and more and you’ll have delicious options to keep you going all season long.
Looking for more grilling inspiration and delicious bites and beverages? Check out the 10th annual Minnesota Monthly Grill Fest May 21-22, 2022 at CHS Field.
Ginger-Scallion Salmon Burgers
Makes 6 Burgers
2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño (no seeds)
4 scallions, green and white parts, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Canola or peanut oil, for grilling
For the Sauce
½ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sriracha, or to taste
Bibb lettuce leaves or soft hamburger rolls
Thinly sliced cucumber and fresh cilantro sprigs, for topping
Pickled ginger (optional)
- Cut the salmon into 1- to 2-inch chunks and put about one-third of it into a food processor. Turn on the machine and process—stopping to scrape down the sides as needed—until smooth and thick. Add the remaining salmon, along with the ginger, jalapeño, scallions, lime and salt, and pulse until the additional salmon is coarsely chopped and everything is well combined. Scrape into a bowl.
- Divide the salmon mixture into 6 equal lumps and then shape into patties, no more than 1-inch thick. Arrange on a plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 4 hours).
- Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Heat a grill to medium-hot. Lightly brush the surface of the salmon burgers with oil and grill, flipping a few times, until cooked to your liking, 5 to 10 minutes. If using rolls, toast these on the grill as well.
- Serve the burgers on lettuce wraps or toasted rolls, topping with the sauce, cucumber, cilantro and, if using, pickled ginger.
- If someone is available behind the fish counter, ask them to remove the skin for you. Otherwise, lay the fish on your cutting board and align a sharp, thin-bladed knife between the fillet and the skin; grab hold of the skin and tug the skin to keep it taut as you slide the knife to separate the fish.
- Before cutting the fish into chunks, run a finger down the center line to make sure there are no tiny bones remaining. If you feel any bones, use a pair of tweezers or the edge of a knife to remove.
- If you don’t have a food processor, in Step 1 use a large chef’s knife to chop one-third of the salmon as finely as possible to create almost a puree. Chop the remaining two-thirds into ¼-inch pieces and use a silicon spatula to blend the two together, along with the ginger, jalapeño, scallions, lime and salt and proceed with recipe.
- Salmon burgers will dry out if overcooked and are best left a little pink inside. An internal temperature of 130°F will give you a medium burger and 140°F will be medium-well.
Tip: An easy way to create equal-sized burgers is to eyeball even portions and arrange them, before shaping, on a large plate. This way you can add or remove a little here and there until you have equal-size lumps to start with.
Nutrition info (per serving) Ginger-Scallion Salmon Burgers: Calories 320; Fat 14g (Sat. 3g); Chol 86mg; Sodium 875mg; Carb 12g; Fiber 1g; Added Sugars 6g; Protein 34g
Hungry for More?
Up your grilling game with this roundup of innovative burger recipes made from black beans, beef, turkey and more.