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Pan-Fried Salmon Burgers with Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Aioli
© Tina Rupp

Pan-Fried Salmon Burgers with Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Aioli

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS
  • SERVINGS: 6

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.

  1. 1 1/2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, finely chopped
  2. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  3. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note) or hot sauce
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 medium shallot, minced
  7. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  8. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  9. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  10. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  11. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  12. 1 1/2 cups Japanese panko or plain dry bread crumbs
  13. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  14. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  15. 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  16. 1 teaspoon sugar
  17. 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
  18. 1 small cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and julienned
  19. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  20. 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  21. 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  22. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  23. Avocado Aioli
  24. 6 onion rolls, split and toasted
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of panko with the sesame seeds. Pat the mixture onto the salmon burgers.
  4. 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.
  5. Spread the Avocado Aioli on the rolls. Add the salmon burgers, top with the slaw, close the sandwiches and serve.
Make Ahead The uncooked salmon burgers and the slaw can be refrigerated overnight. Notes Sambal oelek, an Indonesian chili-garlic sauce, is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.
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