Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Salmon Burgers with Hoisin BBQ and Cabbage Slaw

Hey Blogstalkers, long time no see.

In the last couple of weeks I've been craving salmon like crazy.  My dilemma though, is that Ryan doesn't take kindly to a grilled piece of salmon for dinner.  He's not on a delicate lady diet LAUREN.

So I turned to my book of tricks.  Which has exactly two tricks in it: hide lady food in soup or hide lady food in a burger.  And since salmon soup wasn't exactly doing it for me and I wasn't certain Ryan would eat a pink soup anyway, a burger it was.

There are three components to this burger but each one is completed pretty quickly and I swear to you the end result is absolutely worth using three pans.  After eating these, sweet little salmon burgers swam through my dreams all night.

Salmon burger with hoisin bbq sauce, pickled ginger and Cabbage slaw

**Adapted From A Recipe From Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Shakes**

Makes 2 Burgers


1 Tablespoon Canola Oil                      

1 Large Shallot *coarsely chopped*

1 Clove Garlic *coarsely chopped*        

1/4 cup Hoisin sauce

1 Tablespoon Ketchup                          

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 teaspoon Soy Sauce                          

1 teaspoon Fish Sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar

 DIRECTIONS (Hoisin BBQ Sauce)

Heat tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.

Throw the rest of the ingredients into the pan and cook until the sauce begins to thicken (I find about 8 minutes) stirring frequently.  Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.

INGREDIENTS (Salmon Burgers)

2x 6 ounce Fresh Salmon Fillets*      

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

Salt and Black Pepper to taste           

2 Hamburger Buns

*When possible I try to get wild salmon rather than farmed salmon.  Farmed salmon contains more fat (and less of it is the good Omega 3 fat) and thus more calories and less protein.  Farmed salmon can also contain chemicals like antibiotics and pesticides and are usually dyed pink** with a chemical that is associated with retinal damage.  The bad news is that yes, wild salmon is harder to find and is more expensive, so from time to time when I have to, I use farmed.

**Wild salmon have a natural pink color because of their crustacean inclusive diet.

 DIRECTIONS (Salmon Burgers)

Chop the salmon in large chunks whilst singing "Le Poisson" from The Little Mermaid.

Les poissons, les poissons
How I love les poissons
Love to chop and to serve little fish
First I cut off their heads
Then I pull out their bones
Ah mes oui, savez toujours delice

Then I throw the chunks in my mini food processor and process briefly.  If you don't have a food processor just go at the fish with a sharp knife for a couple of minutes.  Some bigger chunks in the mixture are just fine.

Next gently form two 3/4 inch - 1 inch thick burgers.  Do not over-handle the fish, this can make the patties fall apart while cooking.  Then take the back of a spoon and make a depression in the center of each burger. (As burgers tend to puff up in the center while cooking, making a depression in the center allows the burgers to keep their shape instead of puffing up into meatball-ish patties.)

Cover the salmon and let it chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking.

Use the time the salmon is chilling to make the cabbage slaw.

INGREDIENTS (Cabbage Slaw)

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil                                 

1/8 cup Pickled Ginger *thinly sliced*

1 clove Garlic *minced*                                 

2 cups Savoy (purple) Cabbage *shredded*

1 cup Napa (green) Cabbage *shredded*        

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/8 cup Rice Wine Vinegar                             

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

1 1/2 Tablespoons Cilantro *chopped*

Pickled Ginger or, alternatively, Sushi Ginger can usually be found in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores.

DIRECTIONS (Cabbage Slaw)

Heat tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook about one minute, until soft and aromatic.  Add the cabbage to the pan and season sparingly with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring rarely, about three minutes or until cabbage just begins to wilt.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.  Let sit at room temperature.

DIRECTIONS (Back to the Salmon Burgers)

Heat tablespoon oil in a grill pan (or a saute pan if you don't have a grill pan) over medium high heat.  Season both sides of burger with salt and pepper.  Add to the pan and cook about three minutes, flipping when the bottom is golden brown.

I like my buns lightly toasted so I throw them on the stove near a burner while the salmon cooks.

Brush the cooked side of the salmon with some of the BBQ sauce and continue cooking about three more minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Now assemble the burgers like so: Bun Bottom, Burger, More Hoisin Sauce, Cabbage Slaw, Pickled Ginger as garnish, Bun Top.

These are seriously seriously one of my favorite burgers of ALL TIME.  The buns are slightly crispy, the cabbage still has a bit of a crunch and the hoisin sauce is sweet and tangy.  The ginger adds a vinegary kick.   All of this on top of the delicate and sweet salmon is insane.

God I love little fishies don't you?


  1. Those look amazing! Get in my bell-aaay!

    & now I'm hungry and stuck at work for the next 9 hours...!!!

    1. Seriously they are SO good. Perfectly satisfied my salmon craving and Ryan's obsession with all things between two buns.

  2. You know what would make this burger better? .... Hot Buns!

  3. I'm sitting at work with no snack and I won't be home for another 3-1/2 hours and after seeing this I am now SERIOUSLY hungry!!! It looks amazing! :)

    1. Sorry! They're so so so so good though!

    2. Ohhhh AND AND AND I make my salmon with a brown sugar and bourbon glaze because nothing says manly like bourbon! Works like a charm!

    3. Hmmm...that just might work...

  4. Another impressive recipe that I will never attempt to cook. I will, however, sing the crazy chef song to the pizza man who delivers dinner tonight.

    1. I sing it when I shake the frozen poissons in stick form onto the baking sheet. (Yes, the same tray that I put my baked goods on...mmm,chocolate chip cookies ala air des poisson.)((The really sad part is that my fiance is a french chef, unsure which pains him more, my cooking or attempt at speaking french.))
      Your recipes sound great, Miss Lauren! I will probably be calling back Carl,(my pizza dude who I'm on a first name basis with.) and asking him to put some salmon on with that pepperoni now.

  5. I will definitely have to try this. I suspect that the singing adds flavor too.

  6. Heeheehee! Hohn, hohn, hohn!!!

  7. I'm going to have to try this with chicken. Fish is yucky :)

  8. And please-add a Pinterest button!

  9. Arrgggg. wish I had read "Sushi ginger" is same as pickled ginger, before I wasted 60 minutes of my life wandering the grocery store and cursing Superstore .... wahhhh for poor reading comprehension :( But yay for trying this tonight and hey! I just remembered I dislike sushi, so shall try with the minced ginger in vinegar I had to settle for!!

  10. I CAN NOT WAIT to try these! They look so good! I am hoping that my picky girls will eat them too! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  11. Made these last night and they were delicious. I have a little bit of a mental block against salmon (well, fish generally) but these were delicious and the hoison bbq was so flavorful!

    1. Oh--and my husband and I had a sing-off of "Les Poissons" while we cooked---I won.

  12. I feel so crazy bloggerstalking this, but I feel you don't mind..ihope! I was just missing your food blog too & was curious if you have any disney themed posts. I am sure to laugh & smile if you do! Wasn't sure where else to comment. Is there a comment me button that i was clueless on?? if so,sorry!! Thanks for listening to my ramble to you! Karen Carr

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