Everyday Meals

‘Healthy’ recipe for ‘flaky’ and ‘tender’ air fryer salmon burgers

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Fresh salmon fillets are packed full of healthy oils and nutrients, but serving them with vegetables and potatoes can quickly become dull if you’re trying to eat more healthily. Blending the pink fish into patties – also known as fish cakes is easy to do in the oven – but it’s even quicker using an air fryer. An avid home cook has shared her easy recipe so you can enjoy your own “alternative” burgers at home.

Air fryers are the ideal appliance for home cooks looking to avoid excess oil and grease, making it easy to cook everything from meat and fish to potatoes without added fats.

Tati, founder of the ChefJar blog wrote: “These air fryer salmon burgers are a healthy alternative to beef burgers. Whether you’re looking to add some omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats to your diet, or you’re simply doing meat-free Mondays, this will be an awesome addition to your kitchen repertoire.

“When you don’t always feel like a hefty, stodgy beef burger, salmon, with its lighter flavour and texture, is the perfect alternative. It also comes with vitamin D for your immune system, omega-3 fatty acids, and of course plenty of protein to build those muscles.”

All you need is a few basic ingredients to whip up an easy weekend dinner though you can experiment with your own seasoning combinations to suit your personal taste.


To make four salmon burgers, you will need:

  • 500g salmon fillets
  • One tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • Zest one lemon
  • One teaspoon of dry dill
  • Two tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs – Panko is best
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Burger buns, tartar sauce, lemon wedges and lettuce leaves to serve

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Start by dicing the raw salmon into large chunks and set aside. Tati said: “Don’t worry too much about breaking down the salmon.

“We expect a chunky, hearty texture to a great burger. You don’t need the smooth, puree-like texture of a fully broken down salmon fillet – overly processing the salmon will turn your burger mix into something more closely resembling pate.”

Add the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon zest into the bowl if you’re using a hand blender, or pour all the ingredients into a food processor.

Pulse for a few seconds until combined but still chunky. The processing will break down the salmon while your mayo will help everything bind together to make them easier to shape into patties.

Once your mixture is made up, you can move it to another bowl to make it easier to season. Tati recommended adding finely chopped parsley, breadcrumbs, dry dill, salt and pepper.

This combination of seasoning adds plenty of flavour and texture to make it feel more like a burger, but you can add anything you like.

When it comes to rolling the salmon mixture into patties, try to make them around one inch or less in diameter to your burger buns.

Tati’s recipe should make enough for four-one-ounce burgers. She noted that “they’re pretty bulky and very filling” so you can even skip the buns for a lighter meal.

At this point, you can cook the salmon patties. As with most air fryer recipes, they should cook fairly quickly, around 10-12 minutes at 200C. The ChefJar founder explained that “a good rule of thumb” is to keep a close eye on your patties and flip them over halfway through cooking for a “tender, flaky, perfectly cooked salmon”.

She added: “Salmon, like most other types of fish, is somewhat prone to drying out, which the addition of add-ins like breadcrumbs exacerbates.

“I’d recommend that you serve this dish medium rare in the middle, as overcooking the salmon will result in dry patties.”

To serve your homemade fish burgers, there are plenty of additions and toppings you can use in a bun or on the side of your plate. These include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Tartar sauce
  • Peppers

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