This post was sponsored by Alaska Seafood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Alaska salmon burgers are a bright, fresh change from the regular baked fillets you may already know. Made with no binders or fillers, these burgers are far from the traditional “salmon patty” and their simplicity lets the Alaska salmon that should be front and center get all the praise.
There are a lot of things southerners love–grits (if you don’t we’ll challenge your birthright), monograms, and giving vague directions that include saying “just a piece down that way” and “over yonder”.
But one thing this southerner isn’t vague about is my love of good seafood–I’ll stake my claim on some gulf shrimp, but a piece of buttery, rich, mild Alaska salmon wins me over almost every time.
Years ago I made the discovery that all salmon at the store wasn’t the same. I did some research and found out that in this case (and in most of life), you do indeed get what you pay for.
Pick that bag of pale, flat, mystery salmon and you’ll want to sit farther from it than a snake on your tractor seat. I’ll spare you the details of what goes on with that salmon that’s shipped here from China but feel free to look it up. It’s just a sad story all around.
Why is Alaska seafood the healthy choice?
Because it’s always sustainably harvested and wild–right from it’s natural environment–not grown in tanks and fed a diet of who-knows-what. The American Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat 8 ounces of seafood each week, and it’s easy to get the vitamins, minerals and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids your body craves from good quality seafood.
Alaska is our nations’ largest supplier of fresh wild seafood–60% in fact–and takes great measure to harvest only enough seafood each season to keep the ecosystem alive and vibrant.
Plus they are the only state with sustainability laws written in to their constitution. That means seafood varieties like Alaska pollock, halibut, crab, cod and salmon aren’t stripped to their bare minimum each year and will be back to healthy numbers before the next season arrives.
They also work with state, federal and international lawmakers to ensure that sustainable fishery management practices are meeting their very high quality standards.
As a farmer, I like the way they think.
Hands to work, hearts to good food
I have a great admiration for anyone who works hard and takes pride in what they harvest. Alaska is full of proud, hard working fishermen and women who have been working the Alaska waters for generations. They are truly good stewards of what’s around them and make sure it’s there for generations to come.
I may not be a fisherman, (I’d need a Dramamine drip) but I know what it means to see your tie to the land as more than a one-way street. Take care of what feeds you, and everyone stays happy.
That’s why you can and should do your part to support sustainable seafood operations. When you shop for your next salmon, cod or crab, I want to urge you to #AskForAlaska. When you’re eating out, or shopping for your family ask your server or fishmonger if the seafood is from Alaska. You can also find the word Alaska right there on the package along with a little blue label that tells you your dinner was grown sustainably.
Tips for the best Alaska salmon burgers
- Don’t be tempted to add binders like egg or breadcrumbs to your salmon burgers. We aren’t making salmon patties–chop your fish finely enough and be gentle with it and it will hold together without all the extras.
- Chop your salmon fillets by hand with a sharp knife for the best texture. Running your fish through a food processor makes a tough, “meatloaf” style final result.
- If your fish has skin when you buy it, lay it flat on your cutting board, skin side down and run a sharp knife along it to remove it.
- As always, use fresh ingredients here. Since there aren’t many, buy good ones. Use fresh ginger (it’s a must in this recipe!) it’s 40 cents for a short piece of it at the store and get fresh herbs.
- Once your fish is chopped, make sure to give it 15 minutes in the fridge to firm up. It will be easer to make your salmon burgers when they are a bit cool.
- Don’t let the ingredients in the lemon herb mayonnaise scare you. Capers are just little pickled juniper berries–they’re tart like an olive. If you don’t want them in there you can leave them out. You may just want to add some extra lemon juice.
- If you don’t want anchovy paste (it keeps forever in the fridge) use a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Use a hot, non stick skillet or grill for your fish and be gentle with it. I used my trusty cast iron–but don’t over cook it or the fish will dry out. One-inch thick salmon burgers will need about 4 minutes on the first side and about 3 on the other. If you want them more rare, take your salmon burgers out a couple of minutes early.
Alaska Salmon Burgers with Lemon Herb Mayo
Craving the clean, hearty taste of salmon but want to try something different than your regular filet? These burgers are pure, bright and fresh.
- 1 1/2 pounds Alaska salmon filets skin removed
- 2 tablespoons red onion minced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or sunflower oil for frying
Lemon Herb Mayo
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise not Miracle Whip
- 2 tablespoons light sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1/2 lemon zested
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
With a sharp knife, chop the salmon into 1/4" pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the onion, cilantro, parsley, ginger, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you make the sauce.
In a food processor, mix the mayo, sour cream, anchovy paste, chives, parsley, capers, lemon juice and zest and the olive oil. Process until the herbs are chopped--just a minute or so. Set aside.
Remove the bowl from the fridge and form your salmon in to 5 1-inch thick patties. Work with them gently, and they will come together.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Add the filets and sear on one side without moving them for 3 to 4 minutes. They should release naturally from the pan when they have a good crust. Turn, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until desired doneness.
Serve warm with the lemon herb mayonnaise on your favorite buns with lettuce.