I’m going to make a very controversial statement…this salmon burger is better than some of the best beef burgers I’ve ever tasted. In fact, I would choose this burger over a beef burger any day. It’s seriously that juicy and flavorful. It’s kind of no wonder that it has so much flavor because it’s seasoned with mustard, horseradish, lemon juice and zest, capers, cayenne pepper, chives and a shallot….plus salt and pepper. That seems like a lot but somehow it’s not too much and the natural flavor of the fresh salmon still manages to shine through. We went to a local bakery to buy buns but I’m picky and they didn’t have the perfect brioche buns that I wanted for these. So, the only thing to do in this situation was to make my own and they came out great! Easy, light and fluffy…I will definitely be making my own buns from now on. We topped our burgers off with zesty homemade tartar sauce for a burger that is one of the best I’ve ever had! You’ve got to try it!
Nathan’s Saison won this particular pairing but this wine was still a lovely complement to the burgers! It’s bright, crisp and refreshing with notes of grapefruit, lime and orange. The burger overpowered the wine just a little bit but the wine still offered a refreshing and light contrast to the meal. I would recommend for a light meal or all by itself!
This saison was great both on its own and with our salmon burger! When paired with the burger the spicy, grassy, lemony citrus flavors complimented the capers and lemon in the burger perfectly! On its own, the beer is a great balance of funky Belgian yeast and fresh citrus flavors with a light body and crisp finish.
Makes 4 large burgers
1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon prepared white horseradish
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon chives
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 4 brioche buns, split
Tartar sauce (recipe below) and greens, for topping
1. Cut three-quarters of the salmon into 1/4-inch cubes. Put in a large bowl. Cut the rest of the salmon into chunks; transfer the salmon chunks to a food processor along with the mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, horseradish, capers and cayenne. Pulse to make a smooth paste.
2. Add the pureed salmon mixture to the bowl with the diced salmon. Add the scallions, shallot, 2 tablespoons of the panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Gently mix until just combined.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment paper. Dampen your hands and then pat the salmon into 4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the broiler. Spread the remaining 1 cup panko on a plate. Press both sides of the salmon patties in the panko. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties two at a time and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the center, 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
5. Arrange the buns, cut-side up, on a broiler pan and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with tartar sauce, tomato slices and lettuce pieces.
Zesty Tartar Sauce
Adapted from this recipe
1/2 cup good mayonnaise (We used Hellman’s olive oil mayo)
2 tablespoons small-diced Kosher pickles or cornichons
1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1. Place all the ingredients in a mini chopper fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed but not pureed.
Easy and light brioche buns
From this recipe
Makes 8 buns
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup warm water, 3 tbsp. milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, salt and butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the butter is the size of crumbs.
3. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg. Run the mixer on medium-low until a dough forms, about 8-10 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1- 3 hours. My dough took about two hours to rise…be patient!
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts weighing each piece to guarantee that they’re all the same size.
6. To shape the dough into balls, gently flatten each piece like a pancake. Pull up each side pinching it together in the center. Repeat until the ball is sealed. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your board (it’s easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, placing them 2 to 3 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let buns rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until puffy and slightly risen.
7. To make the egg wash, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. When the buns are finished with the 2nd rise, gently brush each one with egg wash.
8. Preheat your oven to 400 F. and place a shallow baking pan on the oven floor. Before the dough goes in, add about ½ cup of water to the pan (to create steam). This will help keep the bread moist. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.