I’m sitting here in an ice storm (it finally feels like winter! it finally feels like winter!) listening to ice tink on the windows and know I won’t be going anywhere today.
It’s these days that make me grateful for a strategically stocked pantry and freezer. I have a few meals that are my go-to quick meals (hello taco salad!) and these salmon burgers have definitely become a staple on days when I need a quick meal, or when I can’t drive the 20 minutes to the grocery store.
First, let’s talk salmon burgers. How many times have you ordered a salmon burger and gotten a bland, dry, lame excuse of a burger? Salmon burgers, like turkey burgers, can be really awful if the cook doesn’t take the time to add some serious flavor to them. You’ve got to go big or go home with seasoning. I’ve become a big fan of salmon burgers in the last year because they’re a great way to get all the nutrition that comes from wild Alaskan salmon without the price tag. For health and sustainability purposes, we only eat wild Alaskan salmon (as I read somewhere “there are no salmon left in the Atlantic”), but it can run you $10-20/lb, which makes it a treat, not an everyday meal. I discovered canned wild Alaskan salmon and buy it in bulk. It’s pink salmon, not the fancy sockeye or king salmon, but is affordable, healthy, and works great for salmon burgers. I buy it once a month at Costco. As an FYI, you could also call these salmon cakes, like crab cakes, if that makes you feel better.
Second, let’s talk Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. This book was one of my first purchases (also from Costco, are you sensing a theme here?) when we went paleo more than a year ago and it’s been a lifesaver. It does a great job of outlining the different versions of paleo and offers options for what your restrictions are (FODMAP, nightshade, or egg free). It makes it easy and delicious to cut out all grains and dairy. I use her base for salmon burgers and then throw in whatever tasty ingredients we have on hand.
Third, let’s talk cookbook notes. I am a huge fan of writing in cookbooks because, as TimTheFarmer will attest to, I have an awful memory. This is a great way of remembering if a recipe was good and what changes I made to the recipe. Your cookbooks are not library books kids – mark them up!
I’d highly recommend adding canned wild salmon (and coconut flour) to your pantry – you’ll have the rest of the ingredients in your pantry and will have another easy, go-to meal in your dinner (or lunch) arsenal.
- Use some sort of onion/garlic flavor. Depending on the season I use garlic scapes, green onions/scallions, red onions, garlic, or some combo of the above.
- Use a zesty sauce. Or not. I love horseradish, so I often use that, but dijon mustard or siracha would work. If you’re not into heat, just add a bit of mayonnaise to add a little creaminess.
- Use fresh (or dried) herbs. Again, depending on the season I’ll add chopped parsley or dill.
- Add lemon juice or zest. I love the freshness this adds.
- Make a dipping sauce. I love a dipping sauce. I usually just mix homemade mayonnaise with a bit of horseradish or lemon and garlic to spread on top of the burgers.
- 2 6 oz cans of wild salmon, drained
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3-5 tbsp minced onion (green onions, scapes, shallots, red onions)
- 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/4 smoked paprika
- 2 tsp sauce (dijon mustard, horseradish etc.)
- 1-2 tsp of coconut flour
- coconut oil or butter for frying
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp horseradish OR 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients except coconut flour in a bowl.
- Sprinkle the coconut flour over the mixture and mix in.
- Form the mixture into four equal sized patties.
- Heat the oil/butter in a large pan over medium heat. You need enough oil to create a 1/4 inch layer on the pan.
- Place the patties into the pan and allow to brown on one side before flipping. Brown both sides and cook through. Serve with sauce or a lemon wedge.
- Combine mayonnaise with horseradish or lemon juice and garlic. Yep, it's that easy.
- I'll serve this on a bed of greens, wrapped in butter lettuce, with avocado, or on an actual bun for non-paleo peeps.