Here in Boston it seems that spring has sprung. Everybody’s out walking, with dogs or pushing baby strollers. Young girls are out sporting tank tops, sandals and legs so lily-white that I have to remind myself that staring is impolite. I find myself quickening my pace as I walk to see if the girl in front of me is wearing white hose. I catch myself thinking, “Can there possibly be any blood in those limbs?”. And go back to my original thought, “That’s not very nice, Alicia.” to which the other side of my brain responds, “Well, I’M not very nice”. Flowers have bloomed everywhere; the Public Garden and the Common are a riot of color with purple globes of allium, banks of roses and borders of pansies.
Toddlers run every which way on soft beds of grass as the sunlight bounces brilliantly off the emerald-green leaves of massive elm trees. This is the weather that begs for clean food, light food, tasty, healthful food.
I started craving fresh salmon burgers for dinner a few days ago and set about to fulfill that desire. Here in Boston at the beginning of summer finds me without a fully equipped kitchen. At home I would pulse fresh salmon through the food processor a few times and not give it a second thought. Luckily for me salmon is soft and delicate and with the aid of two dinner forks I easily scraped the fish off of the skin leaving a lovely coral mound with the same texture as that of ground beef. In fact, I much preferred the fish I flaked by hand as it’s just too easy to over-process it in the food processor. I added panko crumbs to lighten the dish; I didn’t want a heavy, dense burger plus I knew that addition would help the burgers keep their shape. I mixed the bread crumbs with all the herbs and seasonings so I could taste it and check for seasoning adjustments before adding the salmon. That done I shaped four large patties, covered them with plastic wrap and set them in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. That, too, would help them retain their shape while cooking.
After a workout on Commonwealth Mall and catching up with all my SoFlo peeps it was time to prepare dinner. I put together a quick Asian style slaw to serve with the open face burgers so we wouldn’t miss the buns. Totally fooled my stomach! And they came out great. I’ve since discovered uncooked salmon burgers freeze extremely well so keep that in mind when salmon goes on sale. Make some for dinner and throw a few in the freezer for the nights you come home too tired to cook. Life is good.
Fresh and Spicy Salmon Burgers
- 1 1/4 pounds salmon filet, SKIN ON!
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3-4 thinly sliced scallions, all of the white and 3/4 of the green
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Combine all ingredients except salmon in a medium-sized bowl and mix well to combine all flavors. Taste for adjustments and set aside.
- Place salmon filet skin side down on a non-skid surface such as a wooden cutting board.
- Use a dinner fork in one hand to hold fish in place and holding a dinner fork in your other hand gently scrape fish off skin working from one end to the other.
- Without overworking fish, combine salmon with panko mixture until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Gently form into four patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Cook salmon burgers for three to four minutes per side for medium rare.
- Serve immediately open face or on toasted buns. If you go with the buns, drop a little heat or sesame oil into some mayonnaise and slather that on one side of the bun.