There’s a guy at the farmer’s market in my neighborhood who sells frozen wild-caught, vacu-sealed, Alaskan Salmon steaks and fillets. This weekend I purchased a two-pounds of salmon filets; half of which we broiled and ate that night with farm-fresh organic green beans and organic garlic mashed potatoes.
Last night, I wanted to do something different with the second pound of delicious wild salmon, so I made gluten-free salmon burgers.
My family tries to avoid eating farm-raised salmon whenever possible. Farm-raised salmon is more affordable because the fish are raised unnaturally in pens, fed soy- or corn-based feed pellets (not their natural diet), liberally dosed with antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs (necessary due to the close quarters), and fed dye to tint their flesh pinkish like their wild cousins’.
If we see salmon on a restaurant menu and it is not preceded by the adjective “wild,” we do not order it. If a restaurant has salmon on the menu for less than $17, you can be sure it is farm-raised fish.
Wild salmon, on the other hand, can live for years swimming through the oceans and then make a final migration up-river, fighting the current as they swim upstream to spawn where they were born. Their flesh is developed from activity, not unfamiliar proteins; they do not need antibiotics or other drugs to keep them healthy; and their flesh is naturally pinkish-colored from their natural diet in the sea.
After surveying a number of salmon burger recipes for inspiration, I started cooking my own recipe. I wanted to make them gluten-free, so I substituted quinoa flakes for the bread crumbs. How did it turn out? Loved by everyone!
PS: I call these “Fresh Wild Salmon Burgers” because many salmon burger recipes use canned salmon.
Fresh Wild Salmon Burgers with Quinoa (Gluten-free)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tsp. horseradish
- 1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 lb. skinless salmon
- 3/4 cup quinoa flakes
- Coconut oil
- Toasted sesame oil
Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl until blended.
Trim the ends and quarter the zucchini. Pulse quarters in a food processor until diced. Add to the bowl of eggs with horseradish, basil, salt and pepper.
Cut the salmon into large chunks and pulse in the food processor until diced (do not process into a paste). Add to the egg-zucchini mixture and mix in quinoa flakes to make a mixture that will hold together in patties.
On a cast iron griddle or skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil with 1 tsp. of sesame oil. Place the patties into the oil, flipping when needed until cooked through.
Serve with mashed avocados with sea salt and sliced tomatoes on a bed of lettuce or on a bun.