Eric Ripert's Fish Burger with Saffron Aioli

Though burger purists will probably scoff at the title "fish burger," insisting it's more of a fish sandwich than an actual burger, that's what chef Eric Ripert is calling it on his menu at Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C. And since it's so tasty, people don't seem to care. (If it really bothers you, use air quotes.)

The Le Bernardin chef is known for his magical ways with seafood—scorched scallop with goat's milk butter emulsion, charred octopus with fermented black bean—but on the weekends, this is what he likes to make for his family. He recommends using striped bass, challah buns (for the fluffy factor), and a swipe of saffron aioli.

Eric Ripert's Fish Burger with Saffron Aioli

About This Recipe

Yield:approximately four 6.5-ounce burgers


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. 1

    Sweat the shallots and garlic in the butter. When cooked cool and reserve.

  2. 2

    Place ground and diced fish in a stainless steel bowl, add the shallots, garlic, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and egg. Mix well. Season with sea salt, lemon juice and pepper. Make a small patty and taste test. Form 6.5-ounce patties and dredge in panko crumbs. Reserve on a sheet tray lined with parchment.

  3. 3

    Place a small amount of canola oil in a pan. Gently place fish burger in pan and brown, then place in oven cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.

  4. 4

    Brush the bun with softened butter and gently toast on flat top. Place a small amount of saffron aioli (see recipe below) on both sides of roll. Place the fish burger on bottom half of roll and top with shaved fennel (seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper) and tomato confit. Place bun top on burger. Serve immediately with extra saffron aioli on the side.

  5. 5

    Saffron Aioli

  6. 6

    - makes 1/2 cup -

  7. 7

    Whisk the lemon juice, garlic, and saffron into the mayonnaise.

  8. 8

    Season with salt and pepper and reserve.


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