When Chelsea and I first started Port and Fin, we came armed with a stack of tried-and-true recipes, a mutual love of kitchen experimentation and two ‘professionally creative’ brains (in the sense that we are both trained graphic designers).
She had taken a photography course or two during her time at Art School and I… had gotten my worst grade in Photoshop. Sooo… at least I brought it when it came to the cooking and writing part.
Chelsea’s first few blog posts were beautiful, as always.
Mine were… fine. Sort of.
The recipes were good, at least.
Sometimes I told mildly eccentric stories that wove around said recipes. I’m happy with the wild yarns I shared, although I expect almost no one reads the fine print on these posts and instead chooses just to look at the pretty pictures (of which I had very few at that point).
My first photos on this site were taken on my iPhone (!) and given minor edits with the free VSCOcam app. Even then, they left something to be desired.
For someone who usually insists on being ‘immediately good at something’ and- if not- ceasing to try at all (see also: school gym class and sports in general), it’s a wonder I kept at it. I credit Chels with encouraging me to go on, even when I was less than impressed with the photos I was churning out.
Even now, I find myself unhappy with a lot of the photos I take- but hey, it’s getting better! It’s true what they say, practice does make perfect. There was no amazing short-cut to improving my skills here, I just had to work at it. I’m still working at it.
But the recipes- now that is something I can be proud that I have a natural talent for. That is something that comes easy to me.
On that note, I have decided to bring back some of my early favourites, recipes I continue to make over and over and over again, family favourites that didn’t get much love or traffic the first time around due to some frankly horrid photography skills. It’s a do-over. Same great recipe, slightly improved photos. 🙂
I love these salmon burgers. LOVE. They manage to convert event the staunchest anti-salmon-burger people (like my husband, Colin, who not only feels lukewarm about salmon in general, but also feels strongly about burgers containing beef), but also please the salmon lovers among us (like my mum).
In lieu of traditional condiments- because I just can’t see a salmon burger jiving that hard with ketchup and cheese- a sweet and spicy Asian-inspired mayo, fresh cilantro and zippy quick-pickled cucumbers. That’s it.
Infused with ginger and garlic, the quick-pickled cuke slices add freshness, crunch and acidity to the burger, as well as a powerful punch of flavour. The salmon patty itself is infused with tangy lime zest, green onions and salty-umami soy sauce with egg and crispy panko crumbs to help bind it together. Spicy Sriracha and sweet hoisin sauce whipped into rich mayo, adds not only another layer of flavour, but also a small touch of much-needed fats to allow all those flavours to really sing on the palette.
If you can’t find good salmon where you live, I have also made this recipe using other fish. I love the rich flavour good salmon imparts, but with so many other flavours going on, you’ll still have a successful fish burger if you use what’s local to your area. In Hawaii, I once made these with mahi mahi (and added a few slices of ripe avocado). Yum.
|Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Hoisin Mayo and Pickled Cucumbers|| |
- Quick-pickled cucumbers:
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 25-30 slices cucumber, thinly sliced
- Salmon patties:
- ¾ cup panko crumbs
- 3 large green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 lime, zest
- ~1.25 lbs wild salmon, skinned and cut into chunks
- 1 large egg
- Sriracha Hoisin Mayonnaise:
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp hoisin
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha
- 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
- 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves picked
- For the cucumbers, combine water, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Heat through and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour over cucumber slices and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days).
- For the mayo, combine mayo, hoisin, lemon juice and Sriracha in a small bowl, stirring well until all lumps are smoothed. Set aside.
- For the burger patties combine all ingredients in a food processor (or chop very finely by hand). Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts, gently shaping each into a ½ inch thick patty. (If your patties are not staying together, most likely it is because the fish is not chopped finely enough)
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add a touch of vegetable oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add patties to the pan, cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until desired level of doneness.
- Coat both sides of the hamburger buns with hoisin mayo and top patties with quick-pickles cucumbers and fresh cilantro leaves.