Salmon Burgers

From Geoff Last

2015 Sep/Oct

These have become a staple around my house; try to find a nice soft bun for them as they’re quite delicate. If you don’t have a food processor, the salmon can be chopped by hand, it will just take a while longer.


  • 1-1/2 lb. skinless, boneless salmon
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. hot sauce (Tabasco or Franks)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 T. capers, drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T. butter or olive oil
  • 4 soft buns for serving
  • salad greens or traditional burger garnishes


Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on, and let it run – stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary – until the mixture becomes pasty. Add the lemon zest, juice, hot sauce and shallots and the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine on and off until the fish is chopped and well combined with the purée. No piece should be larger than a quarter inch or so, but be careful not to make the mixture too fine. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and, by hand, stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers roughly an inch thick. (You can cover and refrigerate the burgers for a few hours at this point.) Place the butter or oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Alternatively, you can grill them: oil the grill first or the burgers will stick. Let them firm up on the first side, grilling about 4 minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. To check for doneness, make a small cut and peek inside. Be careful not to overcook. Serve on a bun with traditional burger garnishes (lettuce, red onion, pickles, tomato and mayo) or on a bed of greens. Serves 4.