Salmon Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise


For a flavorful and extra-tender burger, chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas folds harissa-spiced mayo into his salmon burger patties. When pulsing the salmon in the food processor, be sure not to over-process the fish. You're looking for a slightly chunky consistency. Slideshow:  More Seafood Burgers 

Salmon Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise
Photo: © Eva Kolenko
Total Time:
1 hrs



  • 1 English cucumber—halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons harissa

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped

  • 1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1 small green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen for 30 minutes

  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 brioche buns, split and toasted

  • Lettuce and tomato slices, for serving


Make the cucumber relish

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Make the harissa mayo

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the salmon burgers

  1. In a food processor, pulse the scallions and bell peppers until finely chopped; transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse the salmon in the food processor until finely chopped but with some bigger chunks remaining. Add the salmon to the bowl with the scallions and peppers and fold in the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup of the harissa mayo. Using lightly oiled hands, shape the salmon into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Transfer to a lightly oiled plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Light a grill. Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add 3 of the salmon burgers to the skillet; cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil and salmon burgers.

  3. Spread some of the harissa mayo on the buns. Top with the salmon burgers, cucumber relish, lettuce and tomato slices and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Bold Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc.

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