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Monday, August 24, 2009

Salmon Burgers

I like salmon, kind of. It's not my favorite fish, I find it a bit strong in taste. But if it has enough marinade or other flavors, I love it. I had a large chunk of salmon in the freezer and didn't feel like another filet so I mashed it up into these burgers and they were great! This recipe isn't exact - it's another attempt to replicate an item from Zola's menu, the restaurant where I worked in Ann Arbor. So if you're craving a burger but you're guilted into a healthy protein, try this!! It's great served with rice and veggies, a cold noodle salad or just on it's own...

1/2 lb fresh salmon (or less - depends on # of people and how big you want your burgers!)
(this should give you 2-3 large burgers)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp of chili garlic paste if you've got it
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
3-4 tbsp canola oil
Burger buns
Mayonnaise & more chili garlic paste to spread on the bun

1. Put the salmon in a food processor for a few pulses or chop the salmon finely and then mash a bit with a fork (this is how I do it). You don't want it pastey, be sure to see it a little chunky but mashed enough that it will stick together.

2. Put the salmon in a bowl and mix in the next 6 ingredients. If a little runny, add more breadcrumbs.

3. In a large skillet (cast iron works well but any pan will do), heat the oil on medium high. There should be enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom and a little more.

4. As the oil heats up, with your hands, make your patties and set aside. Be sure to make them like discs, not balls - you want them to cook evenly and all the way through without getting tough on the outside. As far as size - aim for the size of your buns!

5. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook a couple of minutes on each side and then flip. BE CAREFUL flipping - these things are fragile and will fall apart. You need to use your hands & spatula.

6. Dress your bun with mayonnaise and a little chili garlic paste or hot sauce if you've got it. Throw on a little lettuce.

7. Once the outside of the patties are golden brown on each side (flip only once!), remove from heat and place in your buns.

Singapore (Curry) Noodles

Paddy gave me a noodle cookbook for my bday (perhaps more of a present to himself than vice versa?!) so it's been noodles all the time... Be prepared to see oodles more noodles in the next few months as I make my way through the book. This one I love - incredibly easy and very tasty! I prefer to use very thin egg noodles but you're supposed to use rice noodles. It's up to you...

8oz thin egg noodles, rice vermicelli, or angel hair pasta (only if you have to!)
1/2 lb shrimp, or cubed or shredded chicken or pork
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion cut into thin wedges or rough chunks
1/2 cup peas
Handful of snow peas if you've got 'em, mushrooms also nice to add
2 tsp curry powder (or more depending on taste)
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup cilantro
Salt & pepper

1. Boil a pot of water and cook the noodles until tender but firm. Once done, take them out and rinse in cold water.

2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil and cook the shrimp, chicken or pork.

3. When done, remove and set aside.

4. In same pan, add onion. Once tender, add the peas and any other vegetable you decide to use.

5. Add the noodles and the curry powder. Toss well until all noodles are yellow (you may decide to add more curry - I like mine fairly potent!). Add the shrimp/chicken/pork and stir with the noodles (tongs are handy for this).

6. Season with salt and pepper and serve once the noodles are nice and hot.