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Food and Drink

Recipe: Building a better salmon burger

  • Author: Maya Evoy
  • Updated: June 21, 2016
  • Published July 31, 2014
Dear Maya,
I sure do enjoy your recipes. Question -- do you use cooked or raw salmon in your salmon burgers? I have been trying to make salmon burgers for several years; I use leftover cooked salmon. It just doesn’t stick together. I would love to make something that hangs together like a true burger.

Dear Maria,

Salmon burgers are a household favorite that we enjoy several times a year, especially in the summer. My favorite method, which I originally learned from the Food Network, is to use uncooked salmon (usually wild local sockeye), skin removed and diced. I also prefer to use panko crumbs, as opposed to the more traditional bread crumbs, to help bind the burgers. The uncooked salmon and the panko together produce a burger that holds its shape well, while at the same time not drying out.

I like to whip up a flavorful cilantro mayonnaise to spread generously on the burger buns. I highly recommend this extra step because it truly makes these burgers shine. I also like mine with all the fixin's -- lettuce, tomato, red onion and ripe avocado. I hope you enjoy these!

Happy cooking,


Salmon burgers with cilantro mayo

Makes 4-6 burgers, depending on the size of the patties

For the cilantro mayo:

½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
dash of cayenne pepper
squeeze of lemon

For the salmon burgers:

2 pounds uncooked salmon, skin removed and diced (I use sockeye salmon)
¾ cup panko crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

For serving:

hamburger buns, preferably toasted
lettuce, torn
tomato, sliced
avocado, sliced
red onion, sliced
lemon wedges (optional)


1. In a small bowl, combine mayo ingredients and stir until completely combined (you can give them a whirl in a food processor). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For salmon burgers:

2. In a bowl, add salmon, garlic, green onions and panko. Mix gently until well-combined.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine egg whites, soy, lemon and salt. Whisk. Pour over salmon/panko mixture and toss gently until mixture is moistened.

4. Heat a skillet to medium and swirl with canola oil.

5. On a cutting board or work surface, form salmon into 4-6 equally sized patties, packing firmly. Using a sturdy spatula, transfer patties to hot pan.

6. Cook until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes. Flip and repeat until burgers are cooked through, but not dried out, about 3-4 more minutes, depending on thickness. Sprinkle finished burgers with sea salt.

7. Serve on a bun with cilantro mayo (be generous), lettuce, tomato, red onion and avocado, with lemon wedges on the side (optional).

Recipe inspired by the Food Network. Cilantro mayo adapted from Annie's Eats.

Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and is the face behind the food blog

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