These moist and spicy burgers are from Zov Karamardian, the chef and owner of Zov's Bistro in Tustin, California. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients: Everything is easy to assemble and can be made ahead. All you have to do is pan-fry the burgers just before serving.
All-Time Favorite Burgers
2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note) or hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups Japanese panko or plain dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
1 small cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 onion rolls, split and toasted
How to Make It
In a food processor, pulse the chopped salmon about 10 times, or until minced. Scrape the salmon into a bowl. Mix the mayonnaise with the fish sauce, sambal oelek, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the mint, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the mixture to the salmon along with 1 cup of the panko. Fold the salmon mixture together with a rubber spatula. With lightly oiled hands, pat the mixture into 6 burgers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lemon and lime juice with the vinegar. Add the sugar; stir until dissolved. Add the cabbage, cucumber, onion, red pepper and the remaining 1/2 cup each of cilantro and mint and toss well.
In a shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of panko with the sesame seeds. Pat the mixture onto the salmon burgers.
In each of 2 large nonstick skillets, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add 3 salmon burgers to each skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned but barely cooked in the center, about 7 minutes.