Flounder Burgers with Habanero Aioli

I love these burgers not only because are they really delicious, but also because they’re really cheap.  From time to time I check out the frozen seafood section of my grocery store, and I got a 2 pound package of flounder for $5.  Yes, $5.  That’s $2.50/pound!  Pretty awesome, right?  However, there’s a catch, and the catch is that the filets aren’t all that pretty.  That means they are perfect for some flounder burgers because they’ll be flaked up into little pieces anyway.  If you don’t have cheap flounder at your grocery store, use cod or any other mild white fish you can find.

12 oz flounder, cooked and flakes (1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp packed lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (Do 1/4 tsp if you don’t like spicy)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp flour
Habanero Aioli, recipe follows

Cook the fish fully in a skillet over medium heat until it flakes, then put the fish in a towel and squeeze all the moisture out of the fish (no really, squeeze the living daylights out of it.  Water is the enemy of crispy, which is what we want for the burgers).

Flake the fish up in a large bowl, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, red pepper flakes, and old bay.  Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set up your breading station with the flour on the first plate, the egg in the next, then the breadcrumbs.
Pack the fish mixture into a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or whatever size you’d like to cook your burgers).

Really pack the mixture as tight as you can, then tap the handle of the measuring cup on the edge of a bowl with your hand underneath it, and it should fall out in a compacted cake comparable to how packed brown sugar falls out of the cup (if little pieces fall out, it means you need to pack it in harder).  Roll the burger in flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs, getting rid of the excess all along the way (Have you ever breaded something and had the breading fall off during cooking?  This happens when you don’t pat off the extra flour and/or let the excess egg drip off).

Heat a couple tbsp of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat until when you throw a couple droplets of water in the pan, they sizzle and crackle.  Place your fish burgers in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until brown.  Place the cooked burgers on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil, then build your burger.  Place the burgers on your bread, then add any toppings you like (I like lettuce and tomato), and dollop on some of the habanero aioli.

Habanero Aioli
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 a habanero
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1 small clove of garlic minced
1/8 tsp dried dill

Mince the habanero as small as you can, then take the side of your knife and scrape it against the cutting board a few times to turn it into a paste.  Combine all the ingredients, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir, and dollop onto the burgers.

I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions, or questions below =)  Hope you’re all having a great day!

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5 Responses to Flounder Burgers with Habanero Aioli

  1. Mariana says:

    This really looks delicious and I could use a creative way to cook fish!! I’m going to try this when I get a chance! Do you have any tips in making sure I’m buying good quality fish?

  2. Pete says:

    Looks like a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it. What is the best way to cook fish? Should I season it with salt and pepper? Can I steam it instead of frying it in oil to make it healthier?


    • I just cooked the fish in a nonstick pan with no oil. Basically you just want to get it cooked so it isn’t raw when you make the burgers, and you can do that any way you would like (boil it, steam it, saute, etc). And yes, you should season it with salt and pepper. I used to freak out about salt a little bit, but I think the problems with salt are from oversalted processed food, and since I make everything from scratch, it’s important and okay to season everything (because everybody needs some salt, just not a ton).

  3. Liz says:

    Hi Joanne! I am a friend of Lydia’s, who told me about your website. This recipe was incredible! I made it for my family, who described it as “a masterpiece.” Thank you for posting! Looking forward to checking back.

Enlighten us all with your food thoughts and wisdom =)

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