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Chunky salmon burgers

Sat, 2 October, 2021

You want your salmon burgers chunky, but not falling apart? The answer is to mince some of the fish and dice the rest.

chunky salmon burgers

Salmon is the chicken of the fish world: nobody dislikes it, but it’s not exactly anyone’s firm favourite unless prepared in an outstanding way.

Is farmed salmon good for us?

Salmon is rich in nutrients with lots of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and potassium. But pay attention to where you source your salmon from: standard farmed salmon, especially if it’s cheap, may be a little nasty when you look into it.

Lice and antibiotics fighting the lice, artificial colour necessary to compensate for poor diet of sometimes algae, insects or vegetable oil.

Add to that the negative impact of salmon farms on the marine environment – escapees breeding with wild salmon spread infection and genetic changes; pollution of the sea bed in and around the farms; overfishing in order to feed the salmon – and your appetite is spoilt beyond repair.

If you thought going for organic farmed salmon is a better option, think again. The so called ‘organic’ fish is also kept in the sea cages except at lower density. It is also treated with antibiotics and growth hormone to increase its fatty tissue. The impact on the environment is as negative. Organic salmon is a con.

salmon burgers with yoghurt chilli dip

Is wild salmon the only choice then?

Alaskan wild salmon is without question the best choice, and there are underrated, less expensive varieties like keta or sockeye. It is not as fatty as the farmed salmon, especially the kind artificially fattened up, so might taste a little dry: just cook it less.

There are also some sustainable salmon farms that limit the use of antibiotics and hormones, have stringent standard of cleanliness and use fish industry by-products as feed.

Loch Duart is one of the best valued in the UK, but otherwise look out for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification to ascertain if the fish has been farmed responsibly.

grilled salmon burger

Why burgers?

Why indeed? Isn’t it better to simply grill your salmon or bake it with maple syrup and soy sauce? It might well be ‘better’ but variety is important too and no amount of omega-3 will persuade you to eat the dish that is always prepared in the same way.

Plus, the (very) young generation will often only accept things mashed up, minced or burgerised.

But I don’t think the fish used for fishcakes or burgers should be pulverised – we’re not aiming at baby food after all. On the other hands, chunks won’t gel into patties as I know from bitter experience.

The solution is to pulp less attractive bits of the fillet, the fatty underside or the edges, so it constitutes the glue. The rest can be cut into chunkier or smaller dice.

how to make chunky salmon burgers

How to season salmon burgers?

This recipe is for a mild option, children palate friendly. If you want sharp flavours, double up the capers and herbs. Or rely on the sauce that I suggest to serve with the burgers, only whack in more sriracha.

But I don’t believe salmon should be smothered in spices: if you have fresh fish, from a sustainable source, you want to enhance the flavour rather than overpower it.

How to shape salmon burgers?

With wet hands – that’s the only secret. Press the mixture firmly into a ball, packing it tightly, then flatten it on a wet plate with a spatula and turn it round and round with your hands, like in a pottery class.

Chill the patties for a while because chilling will firm them up.

how to shape salmon patties

How to cook salmon burgers?

Again, the answer is brief: not too long. Whether in the frying pan or, more health-consciously, under the grill, five minutes on each side will be adequate. When the inside is just opaque or very slightly translucent, that’s the best salmon.

It’s lovely in a light and airy bun, with a slice of gherkin and a leaf of lettuce, but I like it naked: just with the yoghurt dip and some green salad.

how long to grill salmon burgers

More salmon recipes

Simply grilled salmon fillet is hard to beat, it’s true. Keep the skin on and don’t overcook it.

If you want your salmon perfectly delicate, juicy and succulent, roast it at low temperature. It tastes like cooked sous-vide!

Or go a step further and don’t cook it at all. Cured salmon, homemade gravadlax is absolutely fantastic and ready in a few days.

naked salmon burger with sweet chilli sauce

More burger recipes

The same technique, mincing plus dicing, applies to prawns. Chunky prawn burgers are really seriously due a comeback.

And since I compared salmon to chicken of the fish world, here’s the chicken burger recipe.

Plus the buns – the best burger buns are definitely homemade.

Chunky salmon burgers

Servings: 2Time: 30 minutes plus chilling


  • 350g (8 oz.) salmon, skinless and boneless
  • 1 tbsp. French mustard
  • 2 tbsp. dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill
  • For the yoghurt dip:
  • 100ml (½ cup) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sweet chilli sauce


1. Dice the salmon into small pieces, about 1cm/½ inch. Place a quarter (the fatty pieces and trimmings) in a small blender or food processor and blitz to a pulp with the mustard.

2. Scrape it into a bowl and add the diced salmon, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, egg, salt and black pepper.

3. Roughly chop the capers, finely chop the mint and dill and add all to the bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or your hands.

4. Divide the mixture in half. With wet hands shape 2 patties, packing the mixture together tightly. Place the patties on a plate and chill for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven grill to high. Place the salmon patties on a baking sheet brushed with oil. Grill for 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned on top and opaque pink around the sides.

6. Serve with the sriracha sauce and sweet chilli sauce swirled into the yoghurt in a bowl.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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