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.

Cook the fish and squeeze all the moisture out with a towel.

Toss the fish with lemon zest, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, red pepper flakes, and old bay.

To make the burgers, pack the mixture into a measuring cup to shape it.

Then roll each cake in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

Fry until crisp and golden.

Flounder Burgers with Habanero Aioli


For the flounder burgers:

  • 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

For the 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To make the aioli: 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.
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