Country Cleaver

Cookin' My Way Back to the Country

Copper River Salmon Burgers & Healthified Coleslaw

Keep your healthy new year’s resolutions with these wild salmon burgers with skinny coleslaw! Don’t miss out on flavors with this burger!

Dish Count :: 1 Mesh Strainer, 1 Grill, 1 Mixing Bowl

As the clock rolled over to 4:30 AM, what did I wake up to? Not sun shining and singing birds with a summer awaiting me – but a torrential downpour that actually lifted me out of bed and sent me running to my deck terrified that the craptacular downspouts were unleashing their rage and overflow on my poor little basil plants that were clinging to life and taking a beating – Nearly naked… de classe.

Really Seattle, REALLY?! Not. Cool.

But as it was Four Freakin’ Thirty Ayyy Emm – I was not nearly awake enough with the plague lolling around in my system to realize that I was stumbling through my house nearly nakie and about to fall out onto my deck to rescue my plants as my neighbor was out having a morning smoke at the same time…


Boy was I awake after THAT close call!!  As I tripped over stacks of clothes ready to pack for my weekend vacation and Huck getting up to join Mom in her panic over basil plants, I was able to grab a sweat shirt, jump into some yoga pants, fall over, get stepped on by the bouncing dog who thought it was time to play and jump outside – FULLY CLOTHED to rescue the plants as they reached to me and told me to go on with out them… *cue the emotional Hollywood style best buddy death scene*.


With basil plants on the mend – and temperatures in the 60’s in JULY, I am craving a little summer. Make that summer at all! Seattle, once again you have disappointed me. At this point, I will volunteer to take a little heat from the rest of the country so they can get some relief. Because that’s the kind of selfless person I am… You’re welcome.

So with no summer in sight – I had to create it myself. A girl, a grill and a slab of salmon. And some coleslaw, too.  Just for good measure. This is what screams summer to me. What about you?

I learned the best trick of making coleslaw through America’s Test Kitchen – whom I absolutely and unequivocally adore – that yielded crunchy slaw that wasn’t swimming and soggy in watery sauce.

Ya wanna know? Okay I’ll fill you in – wilt your cabbage and carrots with salt for an hour before you finish your slaw. It will extract the excess moisture that would other wise release itself into the finished product. Just let it rest, salted up, in a colander over a bowl, rinse, pat dry and you’re golden.

Then – crack a beer. This 4 Peaks Kiltlifter was a gift from my BBFF Allison who shipped it up to me from Arizona. New favorite, right here. I even (reluctantly) shared one with Ben. We’re in heart.

The next piece of the puzzle was the burger itself.

With a 3 pound package of lovingly door step delivered Copper River King Salmon freshly arrived at my door – a salmon burger was mandatory. Salmon should be made simply – not overly fancified, nothing to cover up the delicate flavor. It’s salmon – enjoy it as is.


With a 4 ounce steak cut to burger size, and a little Talkeetna Savory Salmon Seasoning sprinkled on top – it was ready to go on le grill. Grill baby, Grill!

Just a few minutes on the grill and it was done – because as we’ve all been scolded kindly told – that salmon shouldn’t be cooked more than medium rare.

After a few minutes of rest for the salmon and me with a minute to grab another beer – it was time to pile it all together and dive right in mouth first into this beauty.

Just like with pulled pork – it is your sworn duty to add coleslaw to the top – and with a salmon burger – it is no different. Best Salmon Burger Topping Ever. When do you have seafood without coleslaw? Never! Why keep it on the side like a wallflower? Bring it to the party in your mouth, people!  With a dollop of tartar sauce from my favorite fish mongers, I was about sliding out of my chair. *Thump*

And in the interest of full disclosure – this burger was gone in five minutes flat. Unhinge your jaw like a snake and just do it. Take no prisoners. And be judged by no one. This is that good.

Now – I’m going to try and imagine what summer is like and avoid the looks of my neighbor and pray that no glimpses were caught. Thank goodness it’s still mostly dark at 4:30 am…Whew!

Salmon Coleslaw Burger

Grilled Salmon burger with a hefty heap of healthified coleslaw

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Cook Time: 15 Minues

Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

PrintPrint Recipe


1 pound Green Cabbage, shredded
2 Carrots, shredded
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 cup Canola based Mayonnaise
2 tsp Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

Salmon Burger:
4 − 4oz. Salmon Filets
2 Tbsp. Talkeetna Salmon Seasoning or other Salmon Rub
4 Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Tartar Sauce, Brand of your Choosing


Toss shredded cabbage and carrots together with salt. Place in colander and let rest in colander over a deep bowl. Refrigerate for one hour to allow cabbage to wilt and release excess moisture.
Rinse cabbage and carrots well with water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in large bowl.
In small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, rice vinegar, pepper and onions. Pour mayonnaise mixture of the cabbage - fold together. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps for up to two days.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Pat salmon steaks with paper towels.Sprinkle salmon filets with salmon seasoning. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon filets onto foil. Place on the grill, cover and allow to cook until medium-rare. About 9 minutes.
Remove from grill and tent with foil. Rest for 5 minutes.
Toast burger buns, spread your favorite tartar sauce over the buns. Place one filet per bun and top with prepared coleslaw. Promptly devour!!

Coleslaw adapted from America's Test Kitchen Creamy Coleslaw. Burgers are Country Cleaver Original.

Healthy Wild Salmon Burgers with Skinny Coleslaw -


16 Responses to “Copper River Salmon Burgers & Healthified Coleslaw”

  1. #
    2 Tramps — July 3, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve got Copper River salmon in the fridge right now. Thanks for an inspiring idea. We will grill it outside tomorrow for the 4th and serve it on our own homemade buns.

  2. #
    Cassie — July 3, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    KC has some summer for you dear, come on over! It’s 100+ here and will be for the next handful of days…I need some 60 degrees, I am coming your way! the salmon looks fabulous!

  3. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — July 3, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    I lovvveeee salmon burgers! And I agree, salmon should be kept simple!

  4. #
    Kathryn — July 3, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    Are you sure you’re not in London rather than Seattle?!

  5. #
    Amy — July 3, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Nom! Looks beautiful. Our summer down here in SD has been great to my plants, but the damn snails have literally eaten every since one of my pea plants. I don’t know where they come from, but I’m about to sit out on the patio with a rock and get some garden justice…
    Salmon burgers sound delish, gotta make them soon!

  6. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — July 3, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    I’ll trade you that burger for some of our heat in Denver? This burger looks an 11/10! Need to make ASAP!

  7. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — July 3, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    Your salmon looks perfect – I love eating salmon with toppings as a burger! I’ve grown to really enjoy coleslaw! Your recipe for the slaw looks great, though I’m not huge on mayo, so I’d probably leave it out…may add just a tad of greek yogurt to keep it slightly creamy. This recipe is brilliant and just great for bbq season!

  8. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — July 3, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    girl, this looks phenomenal! i love a good salmon filet with the right seasonings..that coleslaw looks super refreshing too to have on the side!!

  9. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — July 3, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    That looks great! I just know Mr. Nutmeg Nanny would go nuts over that burger!

  10. #
    rebecca — July 4, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    this burger looks amazing and hope the weather gets better for you

  11. #
    sally @ sally's baking addiction — July 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I LOVE the combination of salmon and coleslaw! I’m saving this – always looking for new healthy recipes in place of burgers!

  12. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — July 8, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    What a great sandwich! Love your running to save your plants. That is just awesome! But what in the Hell is your neighbor doing up smoking at 4:30 am?!


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