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Paleo Wild Caught Salmon Burgers With Dairy Free Garlic Aioli

September 30, 2017

Enjoy these light and flaky, Paleo wild caught salmon burgers with creamy dairy free garlic aioli for a fuss free dinner prep perfect for any weeknight!

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Salmon…a household baby favorite!

Years ago, when my older girls were really little, I started making little salmon “cakes” or “patties” – whatever you like to call them! It mostly started because I did not grow up eating fish, and I needed a way that I could…get it down! My babies were completely obsessed with fish, and making salmon cakes was one of the ways I was able to mold my adult palate toward the fish.

You can see my special, nutrient filled ways to introduce baby to wild caught fish in my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings! I truly believe that starting my little ones out with little bits of wild caught salmon while they were young paved the way for their love of fish!

A much needed trip, and a fresh idea!

This summer, my husband and I got away one day {without kids!}, and enjoyed some time to savor each other’s company, shopping…and good food! The trip itself was refreshing, but one particular meal at Fish Lad’s, a fish monger dedicated to wild caught, sustainable fishing methods, had me absolutely over the moon with joy. With each amazing, dilly, juicy bite of their delicious wild caught salmon burger, a new idea on how to make salmon “patties” was realized!

It’s all about the texture

I was never really able to nail down what was missing from every other salmon “cake” or “patty” recipe I tried, until that day. With every bite I remember thinking “this is so light and airy, and yet so hearty, and meaty…and satisfying. It didn’t feel like a dense, egg-y, fish patty. It also didn’t taste like a salmon meatloaf stuffed with breadcrumbs.

Salmon worthy of the name…burger!

Not that there is anything wrong with those typical salmon patty textures, but this salmon…THIS felt like the texture of a burger. I could see tiny flakes of salmon with each airy, juicy bite, and it hit me.

They hand chopped this fish. And it was fresh fish.

You see, most salmon cake recipes used pureed fresh fish, or canned fish. Since fish is SO delicate, it turns into a paste when you puree it, so you add an egg or two to bind it all up, some breadcrumbs to soak up all the moisture, and you get a beautiful salmon “meatloaf” type texture. It works…but this salmon burger texture was nothing short of amazing. And I’m here to tell you it is absolutely worthy of the “burger” name.

My first try…

My first few attempts at my new salmon burger approach this summer had my kiddos absolutely in love, and I was completely sold on this new approach. Instead of pureeing the fish to oblivion, I hand chopped it. I bought a whole wild salmon, skinned it, cubed it…and then ran a chopping knife through it. The result was the texture of what you would be used to feeling with beef hamburger – little small bits of meat.

I was so nervous to see if it would stick together without an egg. But if we make hamburgers without a binder, shouldn’t this stick together too? This chopped salmon texture really does, and it is as fast prep as making hamburgers too, which is SO nice for a quick Friday night dinner.

Because a burger this special deserves a special sauce!

I have been able to nail down my seasoning ratios on the salmon burgers in my last few attempts, as well a brand new aioli topping that everyone will love! The aioli is a dilly, creamy, garlicky dream, and it just puts these burgers over the top – just like the aioli I had on my salmon burger at Fish Lads! It will make your Friday night in feel so special, and because it is loaded with friendly fats and healthy ingredients, you can feel free to pile it up high.

Of course, just like any burger, these salmon burgers are really a blank slate!

Change up the seasonings to your style, and enjoy! You can make them Asian style, or give it some heat with cayenne or flavorful chipotle (this is my favorite way of detailing my specific burger!), use Italian seasoning – whatever suits you! We served the burgers this night with roasted sweet potatoes, but you can change that up too! Homemade restaurant style french fries are always a hit too!

Supporting local…and some thoughts on fish quality

I can tell you that I am 100% sure that Fish Lads’ salmon burgers will be my staple order whenever I’m in Grand Rapids, but I’m so glad I can replicate their masterpiece even by a little at home! If you are newer to adding fresh fish to your household menu, know that the quality does matter. Wild caught fish is superior not only in taste, but in nutrition. If the salmon isn’t that super bright pinkish red flesh, it is farmed and not as good in quality.

Thankfully wild caught Alaskan salmon can be found so much easier these days. Even places like Costco carry fresh, wild caught salmon in the freezer section of their store! Look up your local fish mongers. The demand for quality has risen as  more and more people become aware of the importance of fish being wild caught. Ask the fish mongers questions – my findings have been that these people love what they do, and they want to tell you about their skill!

Onto the salmon burgers!

5.0 from 15 reviews
Paleo Wild Caught Salmon Burgers With Dairy Free Garlic Aioli
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SALMON BURGERS ::
  • 1 - 1¼ lbs fresh wild caught salmon
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup friendly fat to cook in such as avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, tallow, etc.
  • 3-4 tbsp potato starch to dredge (optional but gives amazing aroma, flavor, and crispy seared texture. If you tolerate white rice flour, that has the same effect.)
  • FOR THE GARLIC AIOLI ::
  • 1 small avocado, pitted
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil (I used a garlic infused olive oil which was even more amazing!)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic (if you don’t care for the “heat” of raw garlic, you can use 2 tsp of powdered garlic)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp dill
  • ¼ - ½ tsp sea salt per your taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or more to your taste
Instructions
  1. Skin and cube up your salmon. Then run a chopping knife through the cubed salmon until the bits are small but not to a puree. The texture should resemble that of ground beef.
  2. Combine the chopped salmon and salmon burger seasonings in a medium mixing bowl. Place in the fridge while you prepare the aioli.
  3. To make the aioli, put all of the aioli ingredients into a pint mason jar, and blend with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend everything except the oil with your food processor, and then drizzle the oil in slowly while it blends. Set the aioli aside in the fridge while you cook the salmon burgers.
  4. Heat a skillet with your friendly cooking fat of choice over medium-high heat while you form your salmon burgers.
  5. Divide the salmon mixture into the sized burgers you want, and form burger patties with your hands. This takes just a little bit of time, but it is worth working the patties gently so they come together and aren't too overworked.
  6. Dust the salmon burgers on both sides in a small bowl of potato starch. Place the potato starch dusted salmon burgers into the hot oil, and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook another 3-5 minutes, until both sides are golden brown, crispy on the outside, and cooked on the inside. If you make smaller salmon burgers your cook time will be shorter - this cook time was for 1 pound of salmon formed into 4 burgers.

Make sure to check out my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings for safe recipes to introduce your baby to wild caught fish – create that broad taste palate for enjoying fish, and they will be enjoying salmon burgers with the family as they grow toddlers!

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25 Comments

  • Reply Megan Stevens October 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Mmm, love that garlic and onion powder! These look great. I’m a big fan of salmon burgers and love your interpretation.

  • Reply Carrie @ Clean Eating Kitchen October 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    These look absolutely delicious! I might try them using canned salmon, and that garlic sauce sounds perfect to go with!

  • Reply Joni Gomes October 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    This dish looks like a winner! Absolutely MUST be wild-caught and the sauce sounds amazing!

  • Reply Tina October 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Mmmmmm DROOLING! Never made Salmon burgers – def going to try!

  • Reply Hannah Healy October 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Yum! I love salmon burgers!

  • Reply Raia Todd October 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Those look so delicious! I’ve never tried to make salmon burgers before, I might have to try these…

  • Reply Jean October 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    This looks so darn delicious! Love that sound of that garlic aioli.

  • Reply linda spiker October 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Rene these look incredible! I am swooning over here!

  • Reply Yang October 2, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Oh my, this looks SOOO good! I just made salmon patties from canned wild salmon for breakfast on the weekend. I can’t lie – your fresh salmon looks so much better! I have to get my hands on some fresh wild salmon for this recipe.

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish October 3, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Yum!!! I want some! My family would LOVE these salmon burgers, especially Tiny Love. I’ve never made salmon burgers before and I can’t wait to make these soon.

  • Reply Tina | The Worktop October 4, 2017 at 4:01 am

    The salmon burgers look so tasty! It’s good to know that it holds together well without an egg binder. My toddler loves salmon too, I’ll be making this for him soon.

  • Reply Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! October 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look amazing, and I can’t resist anything with aioli on it!

  • Reply Corrine October 4, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Hand chopping the salmon is a great idea! I’ve never made salmon patties for fear of having to puree the filets, but I’m totally going to give this a try!

  • Reply Donna October 7, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Such a great way to get salmon into my guys. They are a little fatigued of fillets so burgers will make a great change! Good one Renee xxD

  • Reply Irena October 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I am so making these as soon as I am back in my kitchen. Love that you’re using fresh salmon for this recipe and that the flesh is chopped rather than processed, so it still has that lovely texture. And that aioli sounds and looks delicious!

  • Reply ChihYu October 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Love salmon especially wild caught fishes ! I love that you pair them with garlic aioli sauce. Delicious !!

  • Reply Katja October 8, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    These salmon burgers are PERFECT!! I’m totally making them this week. Thanks.

  • Reply Cristina October 9, 2017 at 2:26 am

    I LoVE that you use fresh salmon here. Definitely makes for exceptional burgers! Yum!

  • Reply Vanessa Woozley October 9, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I’m salivating looking at your gorgeous pics, I cant wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply Darryl October 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve never had salmon fish cakes before, this is certainly something I need!

  • Reply Holley @ ThePrimalDesire.com October 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    We didn’t eat fish growing up either, I know the first few times it was tough to swallow. These look delicious!

  • Reply Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving October 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    OMG, I love how you paired your salmon burger with garlic aioli! Looks amazing!

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