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Convert any Salmon-Skeptic

May 23, 2013

My taste buds are controlled by the weather. When it’s cool, chilly or downright cold, I want hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare. When things start warming up, though, my body says, “Don’t weigh me down!”

It’s getting toasty out there, folks, so it’s time to lighten things up a bit. Fish is a perfect way to accomplish that deliciously. It’s satisfying, protein-packed, fast and simple. It’s a wonderful solution for the on-the-go family in the summer.

Salmon is a crowd-pleasing fish choice under most circumstances, but when it’s turned into a burger, it can convert even the most entrenched fish-haters.

A food processor makes fast work of breaking down the fish. Admittedly, when you’ve pulsed the fish into a chunky puree, it looks like you might be going down the wrong road, but stick with it because it’s so darned good when it’s all said and done!

When it comes to serving these beautifully moist salmon burgers with a hint of ginger, you have a couple of options. The grown-ups in our house like them wrapped in a tender lettuce leaf with a dollop of Wasabi Mayonnaise, some Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad, and some Asian Pickled Carrots. The kids like them on toasted whole wheat hamburger rolls with just a smear of Wasabi Mayonnaise. Either way, they are fabulous.

Serve these up on Memorial Day for a surefire hit! Visit Kraft Recipes for more Memorial Day friendly sandwich recipes!

Asian Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Ingredients for the Salmon Burgers:
2 lbs. salmon fillets, skin and bones removed carefully.
1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus more if needed
1 bunch green onions, washed
¼ cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. pickling liquid from a jar of pickled ginger (Gari)
Oil (canola, peanut, or vegetable) for pan frying

Ingredients for the Wasabi Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
1-3 Tbsp. wasabi paste, according to taste

Optional Ingredients for Serving:
Whole wheat buns, toasted or tender lettuce leaves (like butter or red leaf lettuce)
Asian pickled carrots
Japanese Cucumber Salad
Pickled ginger

 

To Prepare the Burgers:
Cut the salmon into 2-inch chunks and put into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the fish is broken down into chunky puree. It should still have pebble sized pieces (about ¼-inch) in it. Scrape this into a bowl.

Cut the root end from the green onions, slice in half lengthwise, turn them 90° and slice them very thinly. Put this into the bowl with the salmon, ½ cup of the panko bread crumbs, mayonnaise, and pickled ginger liquid. Mix until uniform.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Divide the salmon mixture into 8 mounds and form those mounds into patties that are ¾-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1-8 hours before cooking.

Pour the remaining panko bread crumbs onto a plate. Gently lift and place each salmon patty on the bread crumbs, press down lightly to help the panko stick, flip the patties over and repeat.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl it to coat.

Ease the panko crusted patties into the pan. A 12-inch pan should hold 4 patties at a time and still give you room to maneuver the spatula when it comes time to flip them. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the first side is deep golden brown. Carefully flip the patties using a wide spatula. Be cautious because the oil will want to splatter. Fry the second side for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and firm around the outer edges. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate or platter. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat until fried all of the salmon burgers.

To Prepare the Wasabi Mayonnaise:
Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl and use a fork or small whisk to stir in the wasabi paste, starting with 1 tablespoon. Taste the mayonnaise and adjust with more wasabi if you want a stronger flavor.

To Serve the Salmon Burgers:
If you’re watching how much bread you eat, serve the Salmon Burgers on a tender lettuce leaf topped with a dollop of the Wasabi Mayonnaise and any other optional toppings you’d like. If you want to eat it burger style, put a patty on top of a toasted whole wheat bun, spread some wasabi mayonnaise over the burger and top as desired.

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