Halibut or salmon burger meat is a natural choice for these super delicious Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches because the work of chopping the fish is already done, thanks to our fish handlers. Every delicious morsel of fish is carefully scraped from the bones, yielding tender little bites, perfect for burgers, stir-fries, or tacos.
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 Persian cucumber
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 pound halibut or salmon burger, thawed and pressed of excess liquid
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for serving
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 bird's eye chili, minced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha plus more for serving
- 4 brioche rolls, split and toasted
Make the pickled cucumbers and carrots
In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, and garlic and stir until dissolved. Add the cucumbers and carrots and let sit, stirring occasionally, while you make the burgers.
Make the burgers
In another bowl, combine the fish, chopped cilantro, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, and chili, and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in ¼ cup of the panko and ¼ cup of the mayonnaise and form into 8 patties. Press the patties into the remaining panko.
In a small bowl, combine the Sriracha and remaining mayonnaise.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 5 minutes total.
Spread the Sriracha mayonnaise on the cut sides of the bread and top with the fish patties. Use a slotted spoon to top with the cucumbers and carrots. Top with the whole cilantro leaves and drizzle some of the pickling liquid over top. Close the sandwiches and serve right away. Enjoy!
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Pair it Up
Full-bodied yet crisp, white wines like Gewurztraminer have the richness of a red and a freshness that compliments the pickled vegetables.
Spice it Up
Add fresh or dried chiles to the cucumber and carrot pickling liquid for a little extra heat.
Change it Up
Roll leftover fish burgers and pickled veggies into rice paper wrappers and served cold or at room temperature, or fold into fried rice with extra pickled veggies as a garnish.
Lighten it Up
Bake the fish burgers in a 400°F oven for 6 to 7 minutes instead of pan-frying to save fat and a few calories.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.