~ These super-fast Asian Salmon Burgers are a huge hit with our families! They’re the perfect make-ahead dinner for busy nights, and because these burgers don’t have bread crumbs as a filler, they’re a terrific gluten-free option, too! Absolutely bursting with fantastic Asian flavors, and so satisfyingly delicious with hoisin sauce and creamy avocado! ~
Please tell me that I’m not the only one who stares into the grocery store seafood case, almost like peering wishfully into a jeweler’s glass display counter? Am I alone in this, friends? (You’ve just discovered my secret … that I’m a food-crazed lunatic!)
After I’ve imagined the possibilities of those lovely swordfish steaks, mentally dressed up the unassuming tilapia, and lusted just a little over the succulent scallops, my eyes fall upon the colorful salmon burgers.
The possibilities …
Flecked with bright bits of vegetables and laced with whatever savory spices and sauces the fish monger dreamed up that morning. Mmmmmmm … maybe a spicy chipotle? Or a feta-laced Greek? Or how about Asian?
Yes, that! An Asian salmon burger! Y-U-M! (tummy grumbles happily at the thought)
The week’s menu will just have to be rearranged (since, tonight, my family will be noshing on the glistening crown jewel of the seafood case). (more happy tummy grumbles as I ask for four salmon burgers)
Sometimes, those salmon burgers turn out to be every bit as wonderful as they’d looked, winking at you from their icy bed under the glass countertop. But sometimes not. (sad sniffling)
Sometimes they’re filled with almost more bread crumbs than salmon, or you find yourself second-guessing the ingredients hidden within (here’s looking at you, oodles of mayo).
But … you wanna know a little secret? Those gorgeously displayed, siren-song salmon burgers calling your name from the fish case? They’re actually a total cinch to make! And you can vary the flavor profiles to fit your mood … all while also completely controlling the ingredients you mix into them. Yes friends, this is so true! You can do this!
As proof of this amazing truth, I offer exhibit A: today’s Asian Salmon Burgers recipe.
These burgers are so incredibly flavor-packed, with cilantro, green onions, ginger, and hoisin sauce … and then topped with a bit more hoisin and decadently creamy mashed avocado. They sing with flavor!
Joy. Bliss. Happy dance.
And also …
Easy-peasy! (Or, as my kids’ friend inexplicably say, “easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.”)
All you have to do to make these salmon burgers is give some garlic, ginger and green onions a quick chop and then dump everything into the food processor for a couple quick whirls.
Then shape four patties … let ’em rest a little while in the fridge … and give ’em a super-fast cook!
Wasn’t that simple?!
And just for you, friends – a little bonus:
These beauties are make-ahead! Yeeeeehaw!
We know busy people
love need make-ahead recipes, which is just one more reason these salmon burgers are a dream! You actually have to make them ahead! Brilliant!
Because they’re not loaded with binders like bread crumbs, they’re rather delicate, but refrigerating them for an hour (or even overnight!) before cooking them allows them to bind together perfectly. Make ’em before you go to bed, or quick-quick in the morning, and they’ll be ready in just moments for your dinnertime rush! Love that!
But that’s not all! (I say in my best television infomercial voice!)
Because these salmon burgers don’t have bread crumbs as binders, it’s easy to enjoy them gluten-free (just be sure to grab gluten-free hoisin sauce). For family or friends who avoid gluten, you can serve these as a lettuce wrap, rather than nestling them into a bun. Perfect!
This recipe is a spin on a salmon burger recipe I found years ago in the July 2002 issue of Bon Appétit. Although we loved it from the very first time I made it, through the years, I’ve adapted it a bit (this doesn’t surprise you, I know), mainly looking for ways to eliminate the mayo.
The first thing I tried was simply swapping in Greek yogurt for the mayo, which works beautifully in the salmon patty itself … but I definitely didn’t love using Greek yogurt instead of mayo as a topping condiment (blech).
The slam-dunk solution was avocado! Avocado works as a silky, delicious binder, and also as a way-better-than-mayo topping. Salmon and avocado are notoriously fabulous together, and I feel so much better about noshing nutrient-dense avocado than slathering an otherwise-healthy salmon burger with mayo!
There’s just so much to love here!
So stop staring wishfully at the grocery store salmon burgers … and make these instead! They’re even more delicious … filled with healthy ingredients (that you control!) … and they’re a total win with kiddos (you know we tested that! 😀 )!
A dream come true.
Love Healthy Fish, Seafood and Salmon Recipes? Try these, too! …
- Easy Honey-Glazed Salmon from Two Healthy Kitchens
- Barramundi White Fish with Mushrooms and Browned Butter from Abbe at This Is How I Cook
- Super-Fast Herbed Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta from Two Healthy Kitchens
- Skillet Cajun Spiced Flounder with Tomatoes from Gina at Skinnytaste
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- 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon filets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves (gently packed)
- ¼ cup chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 avocado, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Remaining ¾ of avocado
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 whole-grain sandwich buns (for sandwiches) or large lettuce leaves (for gluten-free wraps)
- Desired toppings: leaves of tender lettuce (like butter or Bibb), sliced tomato, plus additional hoisin sauce
- Place salmon, cilantro, green onions, hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons avocado, ginger, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a food processor. Using pulsed on/off bursts, process just briefly, until the mixture is combined and the salmon is coarsely ground to the consistency of your liking (we recommend that it's still a bit chunky and that you're careful not to turn it into a paste).
- Shape salmon mixture into four ½-inch thick patties and place them on a plate.
- Cover and refrigerate a minimum of one hour, or overnight at most. (Also wrap and refrigerate remaining avocado.) This helps the delicate salmon patties to adhere together and makes them easier to work with and less likely to fall apart during cooking.
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, swirling to coat.
- Cook salmon patties in sesame oil, covered, for about 4 minutes on the first side. Gently flip the patties and cook about 3 minutes more, until salmon is cooked through but is not dried out and is still very tender and juicy.
- Meanwhile, as salmon cooks, mash remaining avocado with ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon black pepper.
- Serve salmon burgers immediately on whole grain buns, with mashed avocado mixture, tomato slices, lettuce, and additional hoisin sauce. For a gluten-free option, serve salmon patties on lettuce leaves, as a lettuce wrap (also be sure to purchase gluten-free hoisin sauce).
This recipe is adapted from the recipe for Salmon Burgers with Hoisin and Ginger I found years ago in the July 2002 issue of Bon Appétit.