RECIPES: Recipe Details

Rate This Burger 
No votes yet

Smoked Whitefish Burgers with Cherry Maple Glaze and Dressed Field Greens

This is a great burger for Michigan, which is famous in the northern parts of the state for its whitefish. Almost all restaurants there offer whitefish in one form or another - broiled fillets, baskets of fried whitefish, smoked whitefish chowders or dips.
Another crop Michigan is famous for is cherries, especially tart ones. 70% of all tart cherry production is located here.

Both smoked whitefish and cherries can be found in roadside stands throughout the northern part of the state, along maple syrup.

For this burger, I combined smoked whitefish with a tart cherry juice and maple glaze (Michigan produced 100, 000 gallons of it this year). I added a field greens salad dressed with the same glaze and with dried cherries and walnuts added to repeat the flavor accents. When paired with Sutter Home's Cabernet Sauvignon, the cherry flavor is further enhanced.


6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 tablespoons minced celery
4 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons minced onion
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless smoked whitefish, flaked
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 teaspoons dill
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning (or other seafood seasoning)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
6 crusty rolls, split

1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cherry juice
6 tablespoons dijon mustard

1/2 cup glaze (from above)
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups field greens or spring mix
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

Oil for grill


Preheat a gas grill to medium high temperature.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large grill-safe skillet over medium heat. Add celery, bell pepper, and onion, and sauté on grill until softened, about 5 minutes. Place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add whitefish, , egg, breadcrumbs, dill, Old Bay Seasoning, pepper, and mayonnaise. Mix lightly. Form into four patties. Refrigerate, and let sit for 15 minutes to blend flavors.

Place maple syrup, cherry juice and mustard in a small grill-safe saucepan. Place on grill, and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes, or until reduced and thickened. Reserve 1/2 cup glaze and chill it.

Grease grill with oil, and place whitefish burgers on it. Cook for 3–4 minutes per side, or until burgers are golden brown. Spoon remaining glaze equally over top of whitefish patties. Cook an additional two minutes to set glaze. Spread the remaining butter on the split buns, and toast them until golden.

Whisk reserved glaze with cider vinegar. Toss with salad ingredients until coated.

To assemble, place whitefish burgers on the toasted bun bottoms. Add the dressed field greens salad. Add top bun, and serve immediately.


I paired this burger with Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, to capitalize on the cherry flavor in both the wine and the burger.