Recipe Catfish Burger and Salmon Burger

The Late Night Gourmet

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I have to admit, I felt pretty cocky with my meat grinding prowess before I made these. The grind was perfect, and I figured I would be able to make these like hamburgers. I was wrong.

Ground fish starts to get mushy, even at refrigerator temps. I decided to re-freeze the meat after forming the patties. I also realized I needed both egg and breadcrumbs as binders. The mixes still felt sticky as I attempted to form the patties.

But, the problems ended when they hit the pan. Both got a nice crust, and both were moist and flavorful. I thought about posting them separately, but they're basically the same recipe, with some variation in ingredients.

I made the catfish burger like a fish taco, with masa harina, pickled peppers, spicy mayo, and cilantro. The salmon burger is made like a bagel and lox, with capers, pickled onions, and cilantro, and mayo taking the place of cream cheese. I’m not ashamed to admit I ate both of them in the same sitting.

I cut up and froze both fishies before running them through the grinder.

Ingredients

For Catfish Burger


1 pound catfish, cleaned and deboned
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pickled peppers, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup masa harina
1 tablespoon bacon grease or oil
4 hamburger buns
spicy mayonnaise and cilantro for serving

For Salmon Burger

1 pound salmon, cleaned and deboned
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon bacon grease or oil
4 hamburger buns
mayonnaise, pickled onions, and cilantro for serving

Directions

1. Prepare fish on different cutting boards. Trim any skin and remove any bones from the fish. Cut both into large chunks, and seal in separate zipper bags. Distribute fish in the bag so they lay flat, and freeze for about an hour, until the flesh is firm, but not rock hard. If you own a meat grinder, please refer to the thread Meat Grinder Tips and Tricks for optimal grinding tips. Frozen fish grinds similarly (maybe more smoothly) than land-based critters.

TIP: Continue to next step immediately after grinding, while the fish is still partly frozen.

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2. Cut a sheet of parchment paper into 8 squares. Blend together catfish burger ingredients, and divide into 4 patties, placing each on a parchment square. Repeat for salmon burger ingredients.

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3. Place patties in the freezer, then heat a skillet to medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough, add oil. Remove enough patties from the freezer to fill the pan, and place in pan. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip over. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125° F (51° C). Place on cooling rack. Remaining patties can be frozen for later, or removed from the freezer and cooked one pan at a time to prevent early thawing.

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4. Toast hamburger buns. Add catfish patties to 4 buns, spread with spicy mayonnaise, and top with cilantro. For salmon patties, spread with
mayonnaise, and top with pickled onions and cilantro.
 
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