Growing up in Seattle, I was spoiled with an abundance of gorgeous, high-quality, sustainable Alaskan salmon. Sockeye is my favorite. I never tasted farmed or Atlantic salmon until college, and to this day the creamy, fatty flesh of farmed salmon still puts me off. Not to mention the environmental and health hazards of farmed salmon (I’ll get into that another day). Unfortunately, finding wild salmon at a reasonable price in Singapore is no easy feat. I’ve tried to devise many ways of importing salmon myself – purchasing sockeye fillets in Seattle, freezing them in vacuum-packed bags packed with dry ice, and checking them in on our flights back to Singapore – but it all just seemed like too much work and too risky given there are no direct flights between Singapore and Seattle.
Last June when we were at my favorite place on earth (aka Costco), I saw a package of canned wild salmon and threw it into my shopping cart on a whim (this happens a lot at Costco). The cans flew 8,000 miles back with us and sat in my pantry in Singapore for months until I had a moment of genius and made these burgers.
Not to toot my own horn, but these burgers are amazing. I guarantee they are better than any salmon burger you’ve had at a restaurant (which is actually a pretty low bar – why are restaurant salmon burgers universally awful?). And they are the perfect lazy weeknight meal as the patties only take about 10 minutes to come together and under 10 to cook. That’s my kind of meal! In celebration, I’ve started a new tag called “30 minute meals” which, as the name suggests, are meals that take 30 or fewer minutes to come together.
Shall we get started?
My friend Anna came over two Saturdays ago to teach me how to make Korean seafood pancakes – my favorite Korean dish. The idea was for her to teach me how to make them, since she’s Korean, so when she arrived I let her take the lead. But I’m incapable of fully trusting others in the kitchen so inside I was thinking this as I watched her-
Doesn’t the batter look too thick?
Why are you cutting the spring onions so small?
Shouldn’t we add more peppers?
But possibly for the first time in my life, I managed to hold my tongue.
The result was perfect, yet for some absurd reason (re: trust issues) I still felt like I should try it with my amendments. So later that week I made Korean pancakes again, the way I thought they should be made based on zero evidence or experience, and…
They were terrible!!!
The moral of the story is: when making Korean food, listen to your Korean friend.
I feel like an imposter writing this post. I cook a lot of different cuisines, but the food that I grew up with is somehow the hardest for me. Every time I try, it doesn’t turn out exactly right. By that I mean that it doesn’t taste exactly like how my mom makes it. Maybe because I don’t cook with the same motherly love that my mom does (although I have a very strong cat-mom instinct so that can’t be it). More likely it’s because my mom doesn’t cook with recipes. Like any true master of the art, she just tastes here, adds there, etc etc. I haven’t developed that skill yet for Vietnamese food. I taste here, add there, and still it’s off. (Isaiah cheekily pointed out that maybe the reason why it doesn’t taste like my mom’s is because I don’t cook with meat… he makes fair point).
If you google Vietnamese egg roll recipe you won’t find one that looks like this one. That’s because this one is special. It’s my mom’s. And they’re the best freaking egg rolls you will ever eat in your life. My mom’s egg rolls have the power to stop two nations from going to war. They will one day bring about world peace. Trust me.