Salmon is synonymous with Seattle! So much so that there’s even a special ceremony at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport each year upon arrival of Copper River salmon from Alaska, coveted for its large fat reserves and rich flavor.

Almost everyone loves salmon. As we break out our grills for the Memorial Day holiday, I offer up to you my family’s favorite salmon-burger recipe.


Homemade Salmon Burgers with Basil and Pickle Mayonnaise

Food processor
Large mixing bowl
Parchment-lined baking sheet
Grill or large nonstick skillet

Ingredients for burgers:
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless salmon, patted dry
5 scallions, green parts finely chopped, white parts thinly sliced
10 large basil leaves, julienned
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ cup vegetable oil (if cooking on stove)
½ cup rice flour (if cooking on stove)
4 brioche buns, toast lightly

For pickle mayo:
8 dill pickle coins or 3 full-sized dill pickles, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons drained capers, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper

For garnish:
1 ⅓ cups green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Cut the salmon into 2-inch pieces. Take about a third (8 ounces) of the salmon and place it into your food processor. Pulse the salmon and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl; you want the processed salmon to be almost pastelike. Add in your remaining pieces of salmon and press down on the pulse button about four to five times; you want those pieces to diminish in size until they are no bigger than a quarter-inch thick. Pour out contents into your large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in your scallions, basil, garlic, mayo and salt. Combine well. With clean, slightly damp hands, form your patties. This recipe should make about four patties that are about three-quarters of an inch thick. Gently place your patties onto the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for one to three hours to help the patties hold their shape.
  3. To prepare the pickle mayonnaise, finely chop dill pickles and whisk in mayonnaise and capers. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your burgers.
  4. You can cook your salmon burgers one of two ways. Place the patties on your grill and sear on both sides, flipping after three or four minutes depending how hot the grill is. Or you can fry your burgers in a nonstick frying pan. Heat your oil over medium-high heat (oil is ready when it looks shimmery). Sprinkle your patties with flour just to coat the outside. Work in batches and add more oil in between, if necessary. Cook the patties until golden brown, about three to four minutes on each side.
  5. Assemble your burgers: Place one patty on one side of a sliced, lightly toasted brioche bun. Toss the cabbage with half of the pickle mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper; add onto patty. Slather remaining pickle mayo on the other side of the bun. Place a slice of red onion to finish the burger and add on a few drops of hot sauce if that’s how you roll.