A quick week-night salmon burger hits all the sweet spots–it’s fast, it’s healthy, and it tastes great. The addition of creamy avocado and tangy, crunchy quick-pickled shallots gives you all the textures, too.–Anna Helm-Baxter
HOW DO I KEEP SALMON BURGERS FROM FALLING APART?
The beauty of these patties is that they taste like salmon–not breadcrumbs or eggs. While that comes at a cost (they’re a little more delicate), it makes them taste fabulous. In this recipe, you give the meat just a quick whirl through the food processor, keeping the salmon mostly in chunks but with a bit of purée to hold them together. Don’t over purée though, or you might as well just buy the patties premade.
The secret though, besides using the thinnest metal spatula you can find, is to refrigerate the patties for at least 15 minutes before putting them in the skillet. Packed tightly and cooled, you’ll find that they gain a little more structure and will stand up to a little bit more movement.
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 pound boneless skinless salmon, cut into large chunks
- 1 scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 4 brioche burger buns or homemade burger buns, split and lightly toasted (optional)
- 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- In a small bowl, combine the shallot and vinegar and let it rest, tossing occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the salmon, scallion, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper until it’s broken into small chunks but not puréed into mush. Firmly press the mixture together to form into 4 thick burgers.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then fry the burgers, using a thin metal spatula to carefully flip them just once after they turn crusty and golden on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. And then cook until golden on the other side and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
- While the burgers cook, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha. If using buns, slather the mayo mixture on both top and bottom buns.
- Slip a thin metal spatula between the burgers and skillet and gently move them to plates or buns. The burgers are delicate and can fall apart, so use care. If not using buns, slather the mayo mixture on the burgers. Top with avocado and shallots.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
On an evening when I truly didn’t feel like making dinner but decided I had to because the salmon was thawed out, the initial excitement about this recipe was how quickly I was able to make it. Start to finish in 35 minutes! Once we sat down to eat, though, I was completely blown away by how such a simple salmon burger tasted so wonderful. My husband was also impressed.
The salmon itself was on the plain side, with just one scallion, salt, and pepper added. This allowed the salmon flavor to shine. The Sriracha mayonnaise and marinated shallots elevated the flavor of the salmon, making it sing. The salmon formed into patties beautifully. No problem at all. I cooked for 3 minutes on the first side and 4 on the second side. They were perfect.
When we had the leftovers for lunch the next day, my husband again mentioned how much he enjoyed them. This is a perfect weeknight meal and I know it will become part of our regular rotation. The only thing I’ll add next time is some crisp lettuce.
This salmon burger recipe was a winner! I couldn’t believe the patties stayed together but amazingly they did during frying in a cast-iron skillet.
After pulsing the salmon, spring onion, and salt and pepper quickly (about 10 seconds) in the food processor, I fried the patties for 4 minutes on each side. The patties held their shape perfectly during the cooking.
The slight sweetness of the brioche burger buns and the creaminess of the avocado was perfect with the salmon patties and Sriracha mayonnaise. The Sriracha mayonnaise was also a hit with everyone.
I’ll definitely be making these burgers again!
Love this! Avocado and salmon are so perfect together and I loved how there really wasn’t a bunch of other ingredients in the burger itself.
I used a press to help form the patty and that definitely helped. I also loved that the Sriracha is mixed with the mayonnaise so you can adjust to whatever level of spiciness you want.
These salmon burgers are not your mother’s salmon croquettes made from canned salmon. These are delicious! And so easy and quick to make.
I made them for Sunday dinner for 4 at TV halftime for a football game. Earlier in the day, I made the shallot and vinegar mixture and let it sit on the counter. I prepared the salmon burgers and put them uncooked in the refrigerator along with the Sriracha mayonnaise. This meant that at halftime, all I had to do was fry the burgers, toast the brioche burger rolls, slice the avocado, and assemble.
It worked out well that I did the prep early because I found that 1 pound of salmon was simply not enough to feed 4 adults. I went back to the store to buy another 1/2 pound filet and repeated my steps while halving the recipe. The 1 1/2 pounds fed 4 nicely. This was so easy. The burgers came together nicely, although they were a bit soft. Refrigerating them actually helped to solidify them a bit more. I cooked them 5 minutes on a side and they were perfectly done.
The brioche buns were perfect with these burgers—both the texture and the taste. Everyone loved them.
Overall I was drawn to the simplicity of this recipe, from the minimal ingredients in the actual salmon patties to the simple sauce to the super simple pickled shallot topping. The burgers had a great texture and nice brown crust, the sauce, and avocado gave everything a creamy element, the Sriracha component some heat, and the pickled shallots a punch of acidity.
In terms of the burgers themselves, I liked that there weren’t any fillers in the patties. Simply scallions, salmon, salt, and pepper. The recipe instructions say to pulse the salmon in a food processor to small pieces; I only pulsed the fish 5 times, but honestly, it was hard for some of the salmon to not “purée.” I don’t think this was a bad thing, though; with no filler in the patties, I think having a bit of purée and a few small pieces really held the patties together for cooking. Unless you cut the fish by hand into small pieces as suggested, it’s hard to not get a bit of a purée in a food processor, in my opinion. It’s just the nature of a fish like salmon—the oil content makes a puree happen easily, I think. Again, not a complaint, the resulting texture of the patties was right on, in my opinion.
I cooked my burgers for 4 minutes per side in my oiled grill pan and they were a lovely shade of light brown and cooked through. The recipe did make 4 burgers; they were not the biggest burgers out there, but a nice size to feed 4 people. I used a nice French hamburger bun for the burgers which was a nice touch. Toasted, preferably.
Overall we loved these burgers—everything from their easy preparation, minimal ingredients, and maximum flavor. I served the burgers with some roasted radishes and a small bowl of roasted red pepper soup.
This is a great weeknight dinner idea for any family looking for a nutritious entrée!
I love a good burger and a salmon burger reduces a lot of my guilt! For me, a burger goes from “good” to “great” when a delicious sauce is added to an amazing bun and that’s perfectly achieved by this recipe.
Don’t skimp on the buns. Spend the extra money on the brioche buns and you will feel like you are eating a restaurant-quality burger. The quick-pickled onions are everything and I will be using these again on other burgers, fish tacos, and wraps.
The salmon burger patties didn’t bind together at all. So much so that I quickly researched other salmon burger recipes and confirmed my suspicion that I would need to add 1 egg to bind the patties together. Even after adding an egg, I had 2 out of the 5 burger patties fall apart while flipping them. Next time, I think it will help to shape the patties (with the help of the egg) and then place them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up before cooking.
I don’t think the added fat and soft texture of the avocado is necessary here. I enjoyed the acid and crunch of the shallots to cut through the fat and soft texture of the avocado and the salmon burgers.