Ginger Is A Must-Have Ingredient For Any Style Of Seafood Burgers

If one thing is true about cooking today it is that there is a burger out there for everyone, whether you're a carnivore with a taste for all things beef, or black bean loving vegetarian. Those who love fish are in particular luck, as there is a whole world of flavorful seafood burgers out there. It is a veritable rabbit hole of different flavors and ingredients. But there is one ingredient across the seafood burger spectrum that is a true must-have: ginger.

Closely related to cardamom and turmeric, ginger is a rhizome, or underground stem, of the tropical Zingiber officianale. It's known for being extremely sharp when raw, but sweeter and more mild when cooked or dried. It's an incredibly versatile ingredient that has long been a partner with seafood. 

One of the reasons it pairs so well with seafood is that ginger can enhance flavors and neutralize bad odors and tastes. As an old New York Times article once put it: "ginger makes fish taste less fishy" — which is a plus, especially when it comes to making seafood burgers, where so many other flavors are at play. And while you certainly want the fish to be the star of the show, ginger can help amplify the entire burger, provided it is used in beneficial, supporting ways.

Ways to incorporate ginger into seafood burgers

Before you get started, you needn't worry about the variety of fish that you use to make your burger. Ginger goes with virtually all fish. Tuna and salmon are obvious burger meat choices thanks to their availability, but you could make seafood burgers with sea bass, red snapper, cod, halibut, crab, and shrimp. All do well with a dash of ginger.

You could go about the incorporation one of two ways. First, you can mix the ginger directly into the burger mix. This is best done with powdered ginger. This way you have an accurate measurement of what goes in and it can mix in evenly with the other spices incorporated throughout the fish. However, you could grate fresh ginger directly into the mixture, which provides that excellent, fresh bite. Ginger also pairs nicely with other seafood-friendly ingredients like scallions and lemongrass. 

For condiments, pickled ginger is a great option. They have a sweetness and just a mild sharp tang that works well when layered across the top of a cooked burger as you would a regular pickle. You can also add ginger to whatever sauce you're planning on serving with the burger. This could be a ginger and garlic mayonnaise, a slaw, or some kind of thick, spreadable ginger soy sauce. However you add in the ginger, it is a wonderful must-have accompaniment to any seafood burger.