Fresh ginger, lemongrass, and scallion come together with tender keta salmon to create an Asian-inspired burger that’s as much at home on a toasted bun with all the fixings as it is over a bowl of rice with sautéed spinach and a sticky sweet soy glaze, as seen here. Chopping the salmon by hand (not as daunting as it sounds) allows better control of the texture.
- 1 portion keta salmon (8 to 10 ounces), skin and pin bones removed
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion, white and green parts, plus sliced scallion for garnish
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red chile or jalapeño, plus sliced chiles for garnish
- ½ teaspoon minced or grated lemongrass
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Neutral oil for sauteing
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Steamed rice and spinach for serving
Make the burgers
On a cutting board, cut the salmon lengthwise into thin strips. Turn and cut into small cubes, then finely chop the salmon. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Add the panko, mayonnaise, ginger, lemongrass, finely chopped scallions and chiles. Season with salt and pepper and stir until uniformly combined. Form the mixture into two patties (3 ½ to 4 inches).
Make the sauce
In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until glossy and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Cook the burgers and serve
In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the patties and cook turning once, until firm to the touch and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes total.
Serve over rice. Drizzle with the soy glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds, sliced scallions and chiles.
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Spice it Up
Add ½ teaspoon finely chopped lime leaves or grated lime zest for a punch of Thai-inspired flavor.
Wrap it Up
Make a double batch and freeze individually wrapped burgers that you don’t cook right away. While we don’t recommend re-freezing our fish, in this case, the mayonnaise and panko help maintain texture. No need to thaw before cooking.
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.
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