Burger or Cake?

One of the toughest parts about making non-beef burgers, is replicating that unbelievable texture and mouthfeel you get from each and every bite. This is a bit easier with ground chicken or turkey but then you are faced with the problem of dry and overdone patties. So when it comes to seafood burgers, the consistency is often lacking. Think of all the tuna burgers that tasted good but didn’t live up to their namesake. And I think the big issue stems from the way the seafood is mixed. Because in order to keep the patties together, the addition of eggs, breadcrumbs, mayo and a number of other ingredients is often relied on. This sounds more like a fish cake to me. And when I see “burger”, a “burger” I expect.

Last night I may have found a perfect solution. Rather than relying on filler to hold my patties together, I wanted my salmon burgers to hold true on their own. I ground half of the salmon meat with two tbsp of brown mustard in my food processor until a coarse paste developed. The rest of the salmon meat was added after a rough chop and mixed with a bit more seasoning (curry powder, salt, and pepper). Adding in just a handful of breadcrumbs and barely mixing, these salmon patties not only tasted delicious but had that perfect burger consistency.

Topped with slices of avocado and tomato along with a quick slaw made of cabbage, ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and a bit of mayo these were really delicious. And with siracha in place of ketchup, and romaine lettuce in place of a bun, the colors jumped off the plate, and the flavors popped in your mouth. I can’t wait to make these on the grill this coming summer!

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