Sara's Killer Salmon Burgers

Makes 4 Servings Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total preparation time: 25 minutes

This is a quick "from the pantry" meal. Canned salmon has come a long way in terms of quality, and when combined with chiles, crushed tortilla chips, and cumin, moistened with mayonnaise, and topped with corn salsa, you almost wouldn't know that it was canned. I have long been a fan of frozen corn, at least when fresh was out of season. As soon as you pick corn, its sugar begins to turn to starch and it is not as tasty. (The same goes for peas.) Frozen corn is picked when ripe and then immediately blanched and frozen at the height of its tastiness, which is why it is a good idea to keep a stash in the freezer for the off season. One could argue that you should never eat vegetables out of season, but when you have a son who eats only about five vegetables, you can't be all that seasonal.


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • One 7 ½-ounce can red salmon, drained
  • One 4 ½-ounce can chopped mild green chiles, drained
  • ½ C. crumbled tortilla chips
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ C. Wondra flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • One 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 C. bottled salsa
  • Directions:

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon; set the skillet aside.

    Add the salmon, chiles, tortilla chips, mayonnaise, and cumin to the onion in the bowl and stir until combined. Form the mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick cakes (or patties). Coat the cakes lightly in flour on all sides. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium and add the salmon cakes. Sauté until well browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, cook the corn in water following package directions. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Add the salsa and heat just until hot. Serve the salmon burgers topped with corn salsa.

    Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton from her book "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals"; Broadway Books, 2005.

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