This Vietnamese-inspired burger hits all the notes: salty, sweet and and spicy. If you don’t want to make your aioli from scratch, you can simply stir the chopped fresh herbs and the lemon juice into a cup of prepared mayonnaise, but it’s really worth the effort to make the aioli, which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Saigon Salmon Burgers with Carrot-Daikon Slaw
For the herbed aioli:
1 garlic clove
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
For the carrot-daikon slaw:
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup (5 oz./155 g) shredded daikon radish
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1/2 small jalapeño, sliced and seeded
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. Asian fish sauce
1/8 tsp. sugar
For the burgers:
1 lb. (500 g) center-cut wild salmon fillet, pin bones and skin removed, finely diced
6 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 Tbs. finely chopped shallots
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped lemongrass
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
4 kaiser rolls, split
To make the aioli, combine the garlic and a big pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse several times until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the egg and egg yolk and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly drip a few drops of oil, and then follow with a slow, steady stream of oil. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the basil, parsley, tarragon and lemon juice. Season with salt and set aside at room temperature until you are ready to serve, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To make the carrot-daikon slaw, in a nonreactive bowl, combine the carrots and daikon. Add the basil, mint and jalapeño and toss to combine. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and stir well. Let stand at room temperature until ready to top the burgers. The slaw will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To make the burgers, in a large bowl, combine the salmon with the panko, shallots, egg, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Form into 4 patties, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
In a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil. Add the burgers and cook, turning once with a spatula, until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.
Spread the cut sides of the buns with aioli. Set the burgers on the buns and top generously with the slaw. Close the burgers and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for burgers you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Burger Night, by Kate McMillan.