Swai Burgers with Watermelon Salsa

I love grilling season and I love burgers.  I also love to get my hands on any possible food substance to grill, including the non-traditional fish burgers. That being said, we didn’t grill this dinner, because after grilling like 6 days in a row, my husband was a bit burnt out, and I didn’t look closely enough at the recipe until right before making, and it says to cook in a skillet.  You might recall the BBQ Salmon Burgers I made last month, which were also incredibly delicious.  This recipe was actually a last minute addition to this week’s Meal Plan.  We had one more package of Swai fillets to use up, from when I purchased them on sale (with the other package, we made Healthy Fish Sticks), so I was going to make one of the tilapia recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  But then my husband remembered the huge watermelon he purchased to use on the 4th of July, but forgot, and sliced it up a couple of days ago, which almost literally stocked our fridge full of sliced watermelon, that we had to use up quickly.  My husband loves watermelon, but to me it’s only so-so.  So I found another recipe I had been waiting to try, Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa, by one of my favourite food bloggers, How Sweet It Is (only I used swai instead of tilapia).  It was a great opportunity to try something new, for which I was excited!

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When it came to grinding the fish in the food processor, I definitely learned my lesson from when I made the salmon burgers.  The salmon fillets literally turned to a paste, despite my half-hearted attempts to avoid that.  Despite that, it still turned out well, but this time, I cut the swai fillets into large pieces and set them in the processor.  I pulsed them on “ice crush” for just 1-2 seconds at a time, and continuously opened the lid to take the un-ground pieces at the top to put them closer to the blade (to grind them, as well as keep the fish on the bottom from turning to paste).  It turned out so well, this time, nicely and loosely ground.  I threw in the other burger ingredients and mixed (yes, the picture looks kind of gross, but trust me, it didn’t taste gross!).  Also, I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by the watermelon salsa.  I don’t know if “salsa” is really the right word, and partially because I cut the watermelon and onion into larger chunks than I was supposed to.  I was worried that I wouldn’t like the flavour combo, or that it would be too sweet, but it wasn’t at all!  The red onion created a slight kick, the watermelon created a slight sweetness, the salt and cilantro created a more salsa-esque feel, and the lime juice created a nice tart finish.  It was so good, I could barely keep myself from gobbling it up on its own!

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The nice thing, also, is that since this created 4 fish patties, it was enough for leftovers for both my husband and I’s work lunches the next day.  Also, swai is super healthy, it is only 2 Weight Watchers points per serving (the other points come from the bun and panko breadcrumbs).  I hope you make these soon – tonight even!


WW point value per burger: 7 (excluding the bun, only 3!)


Swai Burgers with Watermelon Salsa

Makes 4 burgers

-3 average-sized swai fillets (the original recipe called for tilapia, and enough to make 6 patties, you can click over to that link for the original recipe)
-2/3cu panko breadcrumbs
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-2tbsp dijon mustard
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-a few grinds of fresh sea salt
-a few grinds of fresh pepper
-1/2tsp dried basil
-1tsp smoked paprika (this is one of the best spices ever, if you don’t own it, then you should go buy it immediately!)
-1tsp onion powder
-1 avocado, sliced (I omitted, because my avocado sadly wasn’t ripe enough)
-1cu cubed watermelon, chopped
-1/4 red onion, chopped
-1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (I omitted this, because I’ve learned the hard way about hot peppers entering my husband’s mouth)
-1/2cu cilantro, chopped
-the juice of 1 lime (um…pretty sure I just used lime juice from one of those lime-shaped containers, since I typically have both lime and lemon juice in the fridge)
-4 whole wheat buns (or just two, if you plan to take the leftovers to work for lunches without buns)

-Add fish to a food processor and pulse until chopped (see my notes above).
-Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined (I used a spatula, then decided to just dive in and finish with my hands…normally I don’t have a problem doing that, but the fish just seemed weird to touch, haha).
-Then form fish into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking).
-Heat a skillet oven medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil (you can add more during the frying process if needed), then cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes (mine took about 6-7mins per side to be fully cooked and have the golden brown look, but it could also be because I used a different fish).
-While burgers are cooking, combine watermelon, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice with a pinch of salt (I did this step first and let it chill in the fridge).
-Once burgers are ready, serve on toasted buns with avocado slices and salsa.


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