Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


A Local Dish: Japanese Salmon Burgers

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I know I’m beginning to sound like the refrigerator police. “Use what you have” has become my latest mantra. It’s like I’m not allowed to put anything else in the fridge until I’ve taken some things out and used them. Reluctantly, I rummaged around in the freezer and found half of a salmon we filleted (more like butchered) around Christmas. Examining the salmon more carefully, I quickly realized that it would make great salmon burgers. After all, much of the chopping was already done.

Several weeks ago I bought Harumi’s Japanese Cooking as a birthday gift for my sister-in-law. This is a wonderful cookbook by Harumi Kurihara, who has taken traditional Japanese dishes and made them more contemporary and accessible by using easy-to-find, seasonal ingredients. It was the type of gift that I kinda really bought because I was lusting over it myself. I justified my purchase by the fact that Michelle travelled to Japan and loved it — and the food. In a perfect twist of fate, she was on her way out-of-town and offered to let me use it until she returned.

Harumi’s recipe for salmon burgers can be completely local in the Northwest. As a matter of fact, I already had everything I needed — salmon from Loki Fish, ground pork from Skagit River Ranch, an onion from Willie Greens, an egg and potato from Stoney Plains. Hmmm…. salmon & pork, a surprisingly delicious combo that makes these juicy burgers superior to any others I’ve tried.

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Here’s Harumi’s recipe. It was so good, I didn’t change a thing except for the sauces on top.

Salmon Burgers

12 oz. salmon

4 oz. ground or chopped pork

1/2 small onion

1T butter

1 small potato, peeled

1 small beaten egg

salt & pepper

vegetable oil for frying

Remove bones and skin from salmon and chop until it is almost ground.

Chop the onion finely and cook lightly in the butter. Leave to cool.

Steam the potato for 15-20 minutes until soft enough to mash. Mash with a fork (don’t add anything to it) leave it to cool.

In a large bowl mix the chopped salmon and ground pork. Add cooked onion, mashed potato, beaten egg, salt & pepper.

Shape the mixture into small burgers (I made 8, the recipe says 12). Heat oil in a frying pan and cook burgers evenly on both sides. Serve with your favorite toppings. Some suggestions are soy sauce, lemon, mayo, wasabi mayo, chopped watercress (from Foraged & Found) and chives.

Chives are just beginning to pop up in my garden…..

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7 Responses »

  1. On a similar note, I made delicious ground turkey burgers last night. We are trying to get more vegetables and whole foods in our diet and less meat, so I chopped up an onion, garlic, and mushrooms and worked that in with the turkey. It added a great flavor and we ended up eating about 1/3 less meat.

  2. Krista, I fixed turkey meatloaf this week, another great way to sneak in more veggies.

  3. So there’s a silver lining to the shredding of salmon during the process of filleting. Truthfully, I’ve never been interested in a salmon burger. However, these look and sound seriously delicious and I’m going to make them.

  4. These were great, thanks! We made them last night and had them with wasabi mayo and a sweet-hot chili sauce.


  5. Chris,
    Good call on the chili sauce. I forgot about that but it would have been excellent.

  6. These are some of the best salmon burgers I’ve ever had, thanks a lot for the recipe

  7. Japanese Salmon Burger is very tasty. i had this and it was wonderful. this is a Japanese local dish. so you can also add restaurant . thanks……