Salmon Burgers

Grilling, Main Courses, Sandwich, Seafood / Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


A couple of years ago, I worked at a bakery/café that served some amazing salmon burgers. But the burgers weren’t made in-house, so I always assumed the process was complicated or time-consuming.

It’s neither.

In fact, you can crank out these Salmon Burgers in about the same amount of time it takes to heat up a frozen pizza. And they are good.

When I stumbled onto Mark Bittman’s recipe yesterday, I was ready for it to require an overnight chilling or truffle oil, but it’s incredibly simple. You might even have most of the ingredients on hand: salmon, Dijon mustard, shallots, bread crumbs and capers. The “secret” is that you let your food processor do most of the work, followed by a little stirring. Shape the burgers, cook them in a nonstick skillet, and you’re done.

The burgers are firm but juicy, and the capers add a nice surprise to each bite. I sandwiched mine in a toasted hamburger bun with lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, a slice of Provolone and a little tartar sauce, but they could definitely hold their own on a bed of greens.

Salmon Burgers

Adapted from Mark Bittman (“Bitten,” NYT, June 6, 2008)

Yield: 4 large burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Optional burger toppings: lettuce, red onion, Provolone, tartar sauce
  1. Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on, and let it run – stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary – until the mixture becomes pasty.
  2. Add the shallots and the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine until the fish is chopped and combined with the puree. No piece should be larger than a quarter inch or so; be careful not make the mixture too fine.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers.
  4. Place the butter or oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Alternatively, you can grill them: let them firm up on the first side, grilling about 4 minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. To check for doneness, make a small cut and peek inside. Be careful not to overcook. Serve on a bed of greens or on buns or by themselves, with lemon wedges and Tabasco or any dressing you like.

Nutritional Information (Per Salmon Patty) – calories: 362, fat: 18g, carbs: 10.7g, fiber: 0.7g, protein: 35.8g, PP+ = 14

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50 thoughts on “Salmon Burgers

  1. depressing as it is, salisbury steak. i live with 3 southen men so it was something always asked for that i cared nothing about, especially to eat. But as the pregnancy hormones took firmly hold, i found myself needng to nourish the mens' inner children, and salisbury steak was their cafeteria food of choice.

    1. Really? I've never had salisbury steak outside of a school cafeteria. When you've got your groove back, you'll have to make some for me. I'll bring dessert.

  2. Oh that sounds good! I tried to convince my brother to do a salmon burger post for our weeks long – ode to the burger – coming up next week – but alas he said he wouldn't try another salmon burger ever again with his Alaskan salmon that he worksd so hard to catch each year.
    And speaking of salisbury steak – We made it into a burger and it's the first one up on the 31st – hope you check it out -DELICIOUS!
    And one last note – I've been dreaming of your NYT cookies – I've seen many a post on them, but yours put me over the edge – I'm stopping by Whole Foods tomorrow to pick up the chocolate – and here I was being so good with sugar and alcohol – thanks Rebecca!

    1. Oh, the thing with the NYT cookies is that you've got to share them or you'll OD on the magic. Last time I made them, I ate one and gave away 11. They're karma-enhancers.

      If I had to CATCH the salmon, I'd probably lose my taste for it completely. But then again, I used to make croissants every day, and I could polish off a pain au chocolat right now.

      A salisbury steak burger? Oh, you're doing a burger week leading up to Labor Day! That's brilliant! Can't wait to check it out.

    1. Yeah, the first time I tried one, I was afraid it would be like a salmon croquette, but this is a totally different experience.

      Also, this recipe makes four kinda big burgers, so feel free to make them smaller. They might even make good sliders …

  3. I made a crazy-easy (but yummy!) pasta dish.
    1. cook bowtie pasta. while it's cooking, rinse fresh spinach in a colander.
    2. when the pasta's done, dump it over the spinach (this wilts it)
    3. put the pasta & spinach in a serving bowl. pour over 1T lemon juice, 2 T olive oil, and stir in some feta (I used some pre-crumbled, pre-mixed with herbs).

    Enjoy! If you're feeling ambitious you can add olives, red peppers, capers, etc.

  4. Holy moly….this is one good looking burger. I will DEFINITELY be trying this soon. I love salmon. The recipe is a keeper for sure!

    BAKING is my ZeN…sweet nibbles for the soul

    1. Thanks! I used some hamburger buns made in the Publix bakery. The pickings were sad on the shelves, so I tried the bakery inside the grocery, and I was really impressed.

  5. Great timing…i"ve been craving salmon burgers. I'll have to try it out…thanks. This summer, I've been making my mango and bean salad quite a bit. The sweet mango with the tangy vinaigrette, and protein rich beans go very well together.

  6. Oh girl… this looks SO good and might even be easy enough for me to do! I'm going to try it so we'll see. I'll report back. LOVE the idea of capers in the burger!

  7. I want this! I want this! I SO want this :)
    I've being craving burgers lately but a) can't find a nice burger restaurant (apart from Mcdonald's) and also I being avoiding meat lately.

    You have the answer to my prayers! I will add salmon burguers to my next week menu.

  8. I don't know how you disappeared in my reader but you are back now! That looks so good, definitely getting a star. And I don't consider it a summer food so it'll go into a skillet any time I want.

  9. Wow-these look great! Bittman scores again. One recipe I discovered this summer that we loooove is this fabulous chipotle lime glazed shrimp. But I got that one here, so I’ll have to think a bit to come up with one that might be new to you.

  10. Wow! those look amazing! Capers–what a good idea! What do you think about dill? either in the burger or on top?

  11. […] Salmon Burgers: I have been looking for a salmon burger recipe forever. Really. Forever. I keep trying ones that just don’t work for me for various reasons. The capers intrigue me and besides, this looks like it would be super easy to make. […]

  12. Looks great! Whenever I have tried any type of fish burger, they always end up crumbling into bits…. very nice, but not exactly the most presentable things. How do you stop them from crumbling? Perhaps you have a bit of a gentler touch than I do in the pan!

    Andy –

  13. […] burger. Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake says this salmon burger recipe (adapted from Mark Bittman) is a keeper – it’s so easy she makes it again and […]

  14. […] Dus vanmorgen stond het volgende op mijn boodschappenlijstje (vrij naar een recept van Ezra Pound Cake): […]

  15. I know if Whole Foods' salmon burgers are delicious (though a bit too salty), these are gonna be KILLER! Going to get the salmon and stuff in a few minutes! Yaaaaaaaaaaaayyy…. I was just gonna wing it and oddly enough, I was gonna use capers too!<3

  16. The problem I always seem to have with salmon burgers is the salmon itself, its hard to find good salmon to begin with where I'm located at.

  17. Can these burgers be made with canned salmon?

    Please tell me what a N Y T cookies consists of, chocolate? I am a cookie nut.

  18. Do you think you can make these on the grill? We're having a bbq tomorrow and am looking for a salmon recipe. Thanks!

  19. Beautiful, but I think tartar sauce spoils the flavors. A sublime sauce would be a squirt of Kewpie Doll mayonnaise, a pairing that Japanese sushi chefs do with salmon.

  20. […]  Salmon Burger Recipe a la Mark Bittman from Ezra Poundcake […]

  21. […] thinking about burgers? Try this Salmon Burger recipe from Ezra Pound Cake. Recipe looks really simple and it’s a healthy […]

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