Chunky Salmon Patties

salmonpatty4We have been trying to incorporate more fish into our diet recently. I didn’t like fish at all (except tuna salad) until I was a full-grown, independent, out of college, out of grad school even, real actual adult, so I’m pretty fresh to this game. Conveniently, I went from totally not wanting anything to do with pretty much most seafood, to wanting every kind of sashimi and sushi in front of me at all times, and on top of that, our Tiny Sous Chef basically emerged a seafood fanatic — her father’s daughter — so *deciding* to add more fish to our routine wasn’t so hard. In reality, though, my limited experience with fish does make this a little tricky. I have to be willing to try preparing proteins I’ve literally never handled. It’s one thing to order a beautiful halibut dinner at a restaurant, it’s quite another entirely to know intuitively, or at least confidently/comfortably, how to work with it yourself. Or even to order it. Man oh man does the seafood counter intimidate me! Long story short, I figure out one preparation and I kind of stick with it for a while. Which, logically, gets boring.

My mother in-law usually eats with us on Wednesday evenings, which has become a really lovely tradition. And she loves salmon, but rarely prepares it for herself, so I frequently like to make it for her when she’s here. But it’s-another-salmon-fillet-dinner gets a little tiresome, too, so I wanted to mix things up a little. Quick side discussion – how do you like your salmon? Got any great recipes or tips you’d like to pass along? Please do!

I decided to make salmon burgers for dinner – that’s different, right?! And after scouring books and blogs for recipes, decided to try something really out of my element, a patty made with *fresh* salmon that could be whipped up on a busy weeknight. The result was, if I do say so myself, totally wonderful. Keeping the salmon a bit chunkier, rather than ground, gives such a rich and luscious texture to the burger patty. Fresh and bright, light, flaky, and herby–in spite of a little extra prep work, this patty is great, and is actually really simple to make, and you probably already most of the ingredients (maybe not the salmon and dill) at home. Plus! It got serious thumbs up from my MIL who also reminded me that if she didn’t like it she would not pretend, so, hey, you know it’s legit. Here you go.

* 1lb fresh salmon, boneless and skin removed, chopped into a small dice (you can definitely make this using a canned salmon, by the way – it will still be delicious!)
* 2T Panko breadcrumbs (plus possibly a little extra)
* juice of 1/2 a lemon
* 2T red onion, diced tiny
* 1T fresh dill, chopped
* 1T mayonnaise
* 1T grainy Dijon mustard
* 1t salt
* 1/4t black pepper
* 1T olive oil
* 1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving

Mix together your diced salmon and Panko until well combined. Add the lemon juice, red onion, dill, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine, using a large spoon. Press and crush the salmon down a bit as you mix – to help everything stick together. But allow for some larger chunks to hold up. If your consistency seems a bit loose, add a little bit more Panko, half a teaspoon at a time, until you like the texture and the mixture holds together well.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil glistens, form the mixture into patties (this recipe will yield 4-6 patties, depending on the size you want to make them) and place them into the pan.

Cook about 5 minutes, then flip and cook another 4. Serve warm with lemon wedges – on a bun or over a beautiful fresh salad.


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