Dinner Tonight: Salmon Burgers

Normally I'm suspicious when it comes to non-beef burgers, since a proper hamburger is such a marvelous culinary pinnacle. Why mess with a good thing? Yet so many preconceived notions have met their doom (see Nick's turkey burger and lamburger in earlier Dinner Tonight entries). I became a salmon burger believer at a restaurant near my old apartment in Brooklyn called Petit Crevette, where they served up not a dry crumbly abomination, but a moist patty that flaked like a fillet on a brioche bun. Saddled with a craving recently, I set out to find a recipe.

I ended up with this Mark Bittman recipe on Bitten, which solves the problem of holding the meat together by totally pureeing 1/4 of the meat into a paste which holds the larger chunks of salmon together. While some recipes call for mayonnaise or an egg to keep the patties intact, I liked this purer salmon-only approach.

The result is a wonderful way to enjoy salmon. Taking the cue from some other recipes I found, I stirred in a little lemon juice and parsley into mayonnaise to create an herby sauce. A perfect match for the rich, flaky burger.

Salmon Burgers

Adapted from Bitten

Dinner Tonight: Salmon Burgers

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: This Week in Recipes


  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 soft hamburger buns


  1. 1

    Cut the salmon into large pieces, and combine 1/4 of the pieces with the mustard in a food processor. Process until the mixture becomes pasty, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the shallots near the end so they are also finely chopped.

  2. 2

  3. 3

    Turn out the mixture into a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs by hand. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper, and shape into four patties.

  4. 4

    Heat butter or oil in a large (12-inch) skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, carefully place the patties inside and cook 2-3 minutes per side, turning once. Alternatively, grill them for the same amount of time, though be careful as the patties are rather fragile.

  5. 5

    In the meantime, stir the remaining parsley and the lemon juice into the mayonnaise. Serve with the burgers on a bun or a bed of greens.


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