A Refreshing Twist on Baked Fillets
Alaska salmon burgers offer a vibrant and refreshing alternative to the typical baked fillets you may be accustomed to. Unlike traditional “salmon patties” loaded with binders and fillers, these burgers let the Alaska salmon take center stage and receive all the praise it deserves.
Southerners are known for their love of certain things: grits (if you don’t like them, we may question your birthright), monograms, and giving directions that include phrases like “just a piece down that way” and “over yonder.” But one thing this southern belle is not vague about is her love for good seafood. While I still hold a special place in my heart for Gulf shrimp, a piece of buttery, rich, and mild Alaska salmon wins me over almost every time.
Years ago, I discovered that not all salmon at the store is created equal. Through research, I learned that in this case (and in most aspects of life), you truly get what you pay for. That pale, flat, mystery salmon in the bag might just make you want to sit as far away from it as a snake on your tractor seat. I won’t go into all the distressing details about the salmon shipped here from China, but feel free to look it up. It’s a sad story all around.
Why Choose Alaska Seafood for a Healthy Option?
One compelling reason to opt for Alaska seafood is its commitment to sustainability. Alaska seafood is always sustainably harvested and wild, straight from its natural environment. It’s not grown in tanks and fed a questionable diet. The American Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 8 ounces of seafood per week, and with good quality seafood like Alaska salmon, it’s easy to obtain the vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids your body craves.
Alaska is the largest supplier of fresh wild seafood in the nation, accounting for 60% of the total. The state takes great care to harvest only what is necessary to maintain a thriving ecosystem. Furthermore, Alaska is the only state with sustainability laws enshrined in its constitution. This means that seafood varieties such as Alaska pollock, halibut, crab, cod, and salmon are not depleted to their bare minimum each year. The numbers are carefully managed, ensuring healthy stocks for future seasons. Alaska also collaborates with state, federal, and international lawmakers to ensure that their fishery management practices meet the highest quality standards.
As a farmer, I appreciate their approach.
Hard Work and Good Food
I have the utmost respect for those who work tirelessly and take pride in what they harvest. Alaska is home to a community of dedicated and hardworking fishermen and women who have been plying the Alaskan waters for generations. They serve as exemplary stewards of their surroundings, ensuring that their bountiful resources are preserved for generations to come.
While I may not be cut out for a life as a fisherman (I’d need a constant supply of Dramamine), I do understand the importance of viewing your ties to the land as a reciprocal relationship. By caring for what sustains you, everyone remains content and fulfilled.
This is why it’s vital for us all to support sustainable seafood operations. Next time you’re shopping for salmon, cod, or crab, I urge you to #AskForAlaska. Whether dining out or buying for your family, inquire if the seafood originates from Alaska. Look for the word “Alaska” on the package, along with a small blue label indicating that your dinner was grown sustainably.
Tips for Crafting the Perfect Alaska Salmon Burgers
Here are a few pointers to ensure your Alaska salmon burgers turn out absolutely divine:
Resist the temptation to add binders like eggs or breadcrumbs to your burgers. We’re not making salmon patties here. By finely chopping the fish and handling it delicately, it will hold together without any additional ingredients.
Use a sharp knife to hand-chop your salmon fillets. Running them through a food processor will result in a tough, “meatloaf” texture.
If your fish comes with skin, lay it flat on your cutting board with the skin side down and use a sharp knife to remove it.
As always, opt for fresh ingredients. Even though there aren’t many in this recipe, each one plays a crucial role. Use fresh ginger (a must for this recipe!) and opt for fresh herbs.
After chopping your fish, let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up. This will make it easier to shape your salmon burgers.
To complement your salmon burgers, consider adding a zesty lemon herb mayonnaise. Don’t worry if some of the ingredients seem unfamiliar. Capers are simply pickled juniper berries with a tart flavor akin to olives. If you’d rather omit them, feel free to add extra lemon juice. Additionally, if you don’t have anchovy paste (although it does keep well in the fridge), a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce serves as an acceptable alternative.
For cooking, choose a hot non-stick skillet or grill and handle the fish gently. Personally, I prefer my trusty cast iron skillet, but be cautious not to overcook the burgers, as too much heat can cause the fish to dry out. Salmon burgers that are approximately one inch thick will need around 4 minutes on the first side and about 3 minutes on the other. If you prefer your burgers more rare, remove them from the heat a couple of minutes early.
Enjoy the flavorful satisfaction of Alaska salmon burgers and savor the natural goodness they bring to the table.
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