Asian Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumber on Pumpernickel

4 sandwiches
  • 1 large cucumber (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh gingerroot
  • A 3/4-pound piece salmon fillet, skin discarded and fish cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 small green-leaf lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices firm pumpernickel (about 10 ounces)
  • With a Japanese rotary slicer, cut cucumber into 1 long spiral. (Alternatively, with a sharp knife cut cucumber into very thin slices.) In a bowl toss cucumber with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.

  • In another bowl whisk together egg white, soy sauce and gingerroot until combined well and stir in salmon, bread crumbs, scallions, mustard seeds, and salt to taste. In a food processor puree 1/3 cup salmon mixture and return to salmon mixture remaining in bowl. (Alternatively, chop 1/3 cup salmon mixture fine and mash to a paste with flat side of a knife.) Stir mixture to combine and form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Drain cucumber well.

  • In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook patties until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Cook patties, covered, over moderate heat until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Arrange lettuce leaves on 4 pumpernickel slices and top with salmon burgers, pickled cucumber, and remaining 4 pumpernickel slices.

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