Black Salmon Burger

Black Salmon Burger

When I was in Lisbon this year I tasted the most amazing thing: a squid ink salmon burger. Not only did it look freakin’ cool it tasted even better. The squid ink is subtle, yet completely noticeable and integral. The flavour, which I can only describe as being “the sea’ or having a ‘seaness’ transforms a simple salmon burger into a fantastical delight – there really is something quite fun in eating a black burger.

The squid ink compliments the salmon perfectly; and the wonderful pink of the salmon contrasts beautifully with the black of the ink. It is a great show-stopper at any dinner party and will definitely amuse more than just the taste buds.

Since my return from my European trip (July), I have wanted to make this burger. There is a long explanation to why it’s only being posted now, but I have saved you from having to read said boring explanation. However, I have brought this up because I I felt the need to express that I was not influenced by the Burger King Black Burger. And was MOST upset when I saw it ALL over Facebook a couple of months back, and also I had a few friends send me the pic and link. My burger is one that is inspired by my time in Lisbon and that wonderful day when I ate the most delicious burger in the world!

Now that that’s clear..

I decided to make brioche rolls which I think work perfectly with burgers and I think these rolls would also go fabulously with a beef patty. However, you could always make normal burger rolls, just add the squid ink to the wet ingredients.

I serve mine with cucumber ribbons, mayonnaise and tomatoes, but you can choose what accompaniments you think work best. In Lisbon they used seaweed salad, which is amazing and works perfectly with the squid ink and salmon, however I cannot find it in South Africa. I think pickled daikon or other pickles would go down wel or even a slaw. I like mine quite simple as I like the salmon and squid ink to shine.

For the Squid Ink Brioche Burger Bun

makes 8

1 cup warm water

¼ cup warm milk

2 tsp active dry yeast (1 x 10mg bag)

2 tbls sugar

5x 4g squid ink sachets

2 large eggs

31/3 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

6 tbls unsalted butter, softened.

black sesame seeds (optional)

In a measuring cup or jug, combine the warm water, milk, yeast, sugar and squid ink. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, salt and 2 tablespoons of butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the butter is the size of crumbs.

Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg. Run the mixer on medium-low until a dough begins to form –about 6–8 minutes.

While the mixer is running, add a tablespoon of butter, once it has been fully incorporated add another tablespoon and continue until all the remaining butter has been incorporated.

Continue to mix/knead the dough until it pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a large bowl (it will be sticky and wet). Cover the bowl with a cling film, and let the dough rise in a warm-draft-free place until it has doubles in size about 1 hour. Be careful not to place it directly in the sum=n or too a hot a place as it can begin to cook on the outside.

Using a dough scraper (or chef’s knife), divide the dough into 8 equal parts.

To shape the dough into balls, gently flatten each piece like a pancake. Pull up each side pinching it together in the center. Repeat until the ball is sealed. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your board (it’s easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. Transfer to a baking tray, placing them about 5cm apart. Place in a bin bag, or cover loosely with cling film and let the buns rise in a warm place for about 30–45mins, or until puffy and slightly risen.

To make the egg wash, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. When the buns are finished with the 2nd rise, gently brush each one with egg wash. At this point, you could add sesame seeds to the top of your rolls if desired.

Preheat your oven to 200degrees Celsius. Bake for about 15–20 minutes or until they have a hollow sounds when tapped at the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Salmon Patties

makes 4

500g salmon fillet

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

1 chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

zest of a lemon

juice of half a lemon

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

pepper and salt, to taste

Finely chop the salmon fillet either by hand or in a food processor – I like to chop it by hand to keep the texture of the salmon, the food processor can make it a bit gloopy if processed too long so only pulse it a few times.

Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm.

Form into 4 patties. Cover with cling film and set in the fridge for another 15–20 minutes to firm again.

When ready to cook, fry or grill for a bout 3–4 minutes on eat side.

To serve, spread some mayonnaise over the base of a squid ink brioche bun, top with cucumber ribbons, followed by a salmon patty, then some tomato slices and lastly, some micro herbs or lettuce.

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