Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipe for Grilled Fresh Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayonnaise

Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayonnaise
Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayonnaise are fantastic with or without the bun!

I'm always surprised when people tell me they don't have an outdoor grill.  At my house the grill is under a covered deck, and it uses natural gas, so I'm always ready to grill.  I don't venture out there much in the dead of winter, but from early spring to late fall you'll find me out there cooking all kinds of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill.  This recipe for Grilled Fresh Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayonnaise is one I tried with my nephew Jake, and we gobbled ours up without a bun, but they would also be delicious on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and the caper mayonnaise spread on the bun.  And the good news is, if you don't have an outdoor grill you could easily cook these on a Stove-Top Grill Pan with equally good results!

This recipe originally called for a cup of panko crumbs which I replaced with half whole wheat breadcrumbs and half almond meal.  We thought the almond meal added a lot of good flavor, and I wondered how they would work with no breadcrumbs and all almond meal, which would make the burger patties Phase One as well as gluten-free.  If anyone tries that, I'd love to hear how they turn out.  I would definitely chill the burgers before grilling if you leave out the breadcrumbs.

Chop up the capers so they will get well distributed in the caper mayonnaise.

Then mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, chopped capers, pickle relish, and salt and pepper to make the caper mayonnaise.  Let the flavors blend for a while in the fridge.

Pre-chop the onion, celery, and chives to go in the salmon.

Then pulse the whole wheat breadcrumbs, almond meal, onion, celery, chives, egg, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the food processor until it's well blended.

Dice the salmon into small pieces so it will chop up quickly in the food processor.

Add diced salmon to the food processor and pulse just a few times, until salmon is barely chopped and combined with the other ingredients.

Form the salmon mixture into four large or six medium patties.  (We chilled them for about 20 minutes in the freezer, but later we wondered whether they needed it.)

Spray the grill well with non-stick spray and preheat to medium high.  Just before you put the salmon on the grill, brush the surface of each burger with olive or grapeseed oil.

Rotating the salmon burgers on the first side will give those criss-cross grill marks I like so well.  Serve salmon burgers hot (with or without a bun) with caper mayonnaise.

Grilled Fresh Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayonnaise
(Makes 4 large or 6 medium salmon burgers; recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home Weeknight Grilling 2007.)

Caper Mayonnaise Ingredients:
2 T capers, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T dill pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
(or if you don't have chives, use 1/2 cup green onion to replace the onion and chives)
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup almond meal
1 egg
1 T Sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce of your choice)
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper)
1 lb. skinless salmon, diced into pieces about 1/2 inch square
olive or grapeseed oil, for brushing burgers so they won't stick on the grill

buns, lettuce and tomatoes for serving burgers

Drain the capers and finely chop.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the chopped capers, mayo, light mayo, lemon juice, and dill pickle relish.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Let the caper mayonnaise chill in the fridge while you make the burgers.

Coarsely chop the celery, onion, and fresh chives; then add to food processor with the whole wheat breadcrumbs, almond meal, egg, Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Pulse just until the veggies are chopped and the mixture is combined.  Add the diced salmon cubes and pulse a few more times until the salmon is barely chopped and mixed with the other ingredients.

Wash your hands, and with wet hands form the salmon into 4 large or 6 medium burgers.  Place them on a cookie sheet as you make each one.  (We chilled them for about 20 minutes in the freezer, but I'm not sure they need it.)

Spray the grill grates well with non-stick spray for the grill; then preheat grill to medium-high.  (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 minutes at that temperature.)  When you're ready to grill, use a basting brush to brush both sides of the burgers with olive or grapeseed oil.

Lay burgers carefully on the grill and let them cook without moving for about 4 minutes; then lift one side to see if you have good grill marks starting to show.  If you want criss-cross grill marks, rotate the burgers and cook 2-3 minutes more on the same side.  Then turn burgers carefully with a large turner and cook 2-4 minutes on the second side, or until they feel firm to the touch and are nicely browned.  Serve burgers hot with caper mayonnaise.  You can serve just the salmon burger patty on a plate or on a bun with lettuce and tomato.

These were so good that I was excited to eat the leftover salmon burgers.  I reheated them in a dry frying pan and they were just as delicious the second day.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Salmon is a healthful low-glycemic food, and if made with partly or all light mayo and whole wheat breadcrumbs, these burgers are a good option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.  (I suspect that you could make the burgers without breadcrumbs, doubling the almond meal, which would make them a Phase One option, but I haven't tried it.)
Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Ideas with Salmon on the Grill:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Salmon with Asian Dipping Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Salmon Packets with Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, Thyme, and Saffron from Kalyn's Kitchen
Maple Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice from Iowa Girl Eats
Grilled Salmon Skewers with Wild Fennel Pollen from Sippity Sup
Grilled Salmon Panang from Use Real Butter
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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  1. See I'm always surprised to hear about people who DO grill because they're so few and far between in NYC! I love the sound of these salmon burgers and the caper mayo is the icing on the patties!

  2. Yes, yes, yes! I'm a huge fan of salmon burgers, though I've been cooking them in a pan on the stove. I'm going to try grilling them on my panini press!

  3. I couldn't agree any more with you about grilling. How else do people cook in the summer? I'm so crazy about it though, I do it through the winter months as well!

    I love this recipe idea! We normally smoke our salmon (we have our recipe posted on our site) but I am really intrigued with trying this recipe!

    Have you ever tried freezing these? It would be great to make extras and freeze for quick, easy dinners.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Joanne, even if I lived in an apartment I think I'd have to have a deck so I could grill!

    Lydia, love that idea, and you have inspired me to think about cooking them on the George Foreman Grill.

    Kevin, love the idea of making extra and freezing them! I think that would work well. I would thaw or partly thaw in the fridge before you grill them.

  5. I just bought my first grill this spring. I can't believe I waited so long. I'm absolutely making this soon. And that caper mayo will appear on many other dishes for me too.

    Love it all!

  6. I'm with Joanne--I'm surprised that anyone owns a grill, because 95% of my friends live in apartments (even if not in NYC). In our last apartment it was actually against the lease to have a grill on the balcony. Fortunately, now we have a house and can grill whenever we please--so I may have to make some of these this weekend!

  7. I haven't tried salmon burgers. Looks easy enough and lots of good ingredients. Does it taste fishy. I would love to make it and not tell my daughter what's in it.

  8. I think the recipe itself is a good one. I remember myself getting hungry after viewing this recipe. I remember having the same feeling of hunger after viewing Gourmandia. :D

  9. I would not say this tastes "fishy" but it does taste like salmon, with other flavors mixed in.

    Becky and Eileen, happy grilling!

  10. These sound great! We've made salmon burgers for years but have never thought to grill them - which is weird because we grill almost everything else year round, lol. I bet the caper mayonnaise is the perfect extra touch!

  11. Thanks Susan. We loved the caper mayo.

  12. We're fortunate to have the same setup in our new home, so we grill most time of the year. Sometimes even in the winter when the power goes out. I love the caper mayonnaise. I'll have to pass the recipe along to my daughter. She eat capers right out of the jar.

  13. I have no idea how we'd survive summer without an outdoor grill! :o) Love capers & definitely want to try this :)

  14. So happy I stumbled on this recipe! It's salmon season and this burger is the perfect way to celebrate it. To be honest though, it's the caper mayo that has me tickled. Can't wait to try it!

  15. The caper mayonnaise is so good with this; glad so many people are liking it!


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