Summer isn’t just the season for light bites and salads, you know. This smoked blackened salmon sliders recipe should definitely be added to your must-make list! These summer BBQ salmon burgers feature pickled red onions and wasabi mayo for maximum flavour. They can be made in a pellet grill or Traeger and it’s one of the best smoked salmon recipe ideas for the months ahead. Or, better still, right now!
What You Need for Sensational Salmon Sliders
These smoked blackened salmon sliders involve a few different ingredients. However they’re really easy to put together and I promise you the flavour is totally worth it!
I like to use Pacific salmon filets. This is because they’re not endangered and they are tasty. They are also typically wild-caught rather than farmed, making them healthier as well as richer in flavour. If you prefer Atlantic salmon filets that is totally up to you. All varieties of salmon are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
I seasoned the salmon with soy sauce, paprika, onion powder, basil, white and black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, oregano, and chilli powder. You can vary the quantities of these ingredients (eg more chilli powder or only one kind of pepper) as you like. This combination of herbs, spices and seasonings will stick to the fish and blacken on the grill.
These summer BBQ salmon burgers take roughly 15 minutes to cook. Since these are made in a pellet grill or Traeger, the cooking time can vary, so bear that in mind. The exact amount of heat as well as the thickness of your fish determines the cooking time. As long as the fish is 145 degrees F in the center (and will flake) it is cooked. It doesn’t need to ‘flake easily’ as a lot of recipes state. It’s juicier if you stop cooking when it flakes slightly!
How to Prepare the Best Wasabi Mayo
Wasabi, as I’m sure you know, is a Japanese ingredient with a horseradish-like taste. Wasabi complements fish really well and the creaminess of this wasabi mayo contrasts with the blackened fish.
Most wasabi is simply green-coloured horseradish because authentic wasabi is super-expensive and hard to find. Different brands taste slightly different so just use your favourite.
Combine the wasabi sauce and mayo with lemon, garlic and dill. This creamy wasabi mayo offers zesty, herby hints and goes perfectly with the smoked blackened salmon sliders.
Perfectly Pickled Red Onions
Onions add another component to this BBQ smoked salmon recipe. While the summer BBQ salmon burgers are made in a pellet grill or Traeger, the pickled red onions are made on the stove.
Mix red onions with garlic, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper to make your pickled red onions. It’s best to make the wasabi mayo sauce and the pickled red onions ahead and keep them refrigerated. That way, you can focus on grilling the smoked blackened salmon sliders.
How to Serve the Smoked Blackened Salmon Sliders
Once everything is ready, you can assemble these summer BBQ salmon burgers. Add your wasabi mayo sauce to the bottom of a pretzel bun then top with arugula, the salmon and red onions, followed by the bun top. You can of course swap the arugula for any preferred type of salad leaves.
Enjoy that first wonderful bite – I know you will!
Variations for Smoked Blackened Salmon Sliders
This recipe, made in a pellet grill or Traeger, is amazing as it stands. But there are always variations to try. Although it’s a smoked salmon recipe primarily, you could always cook the salmon in a griddle on the stove if you are grill-less (or if the weather isn’t complying!)
If you do that, open the windows! Blackening salmon makes a lot of smoke! If you’re cooking it indoors, consider adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the fish seasoning.
If you are a BBQ lover, you might want to check out 190 Sizzling BBQ Instagram Captions and Puns Fresh off the Grill.
Perhaps you don’t want to make the pickled red onions, in which case you could omit this from the recipe. Otherwise you could add some sliced picked onions from a jar or even raw onion if you like that. Grilled onion would work too.
If wasabi isn’t your cup of tea, you can also omit the wasabi from the sauce mixture. It will still be creamy, lemony and garlicky and taste great with the smoked blackened salmon sliders.
If you are a fan of this smoked salmon recipe, you might also like Smoked Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Burgers, Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade or Delicious Mesquite Smoked Dry Rub Brisket.
Smoked Blackened Salmon Sliders with Wasabi Mayo and Pickled Red Onions Recipe
Smoked Blackened Salmon Sliders with Wasabi Mayo and Pickled Red Onions
- 2 Lb. Salmon I used Pacific salmon filets
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tsp. white pepper
- 1 Tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tsp. dried basil
- 1 Tsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 Tsp. chili powder
Pickled Red Onions
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 Cloves garlic halved
- 1/2 Cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Tsp. Pepper
- 1/4 Cup wasabi sauce
- 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tsp. dill
- 2 Cups lettuce I used arugula
- 8 slider buns I used Pretzel buns
- Prepare pickled red onions. Thinly slice red onions and cut garlic cloves in half. Place into a mason jar. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring mixture to a simmer, then remove from heat. Pour over the sliced onions and set in the fridge while the Salmon is cooking.
- Prepare wasabi aioli. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree for 10 seconds. Place covered into the fridge until ready to serve.
- Add pellets to the auger. Preheat the smoker to 325 degrees for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
- Combine olive oil and soy sauce. Brush salmon with mixture. In a small bowl, combine paprika, onion powder, white pepper, black pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and chili powder. Rub seasoning onto the salmon filets to coat. (Only season the top, leave the skin side plain.
- Place salmon filets skin side down onto the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke for 15 minutes, or until the internal temp has reached 145* and the salmon flakes easily.
- Arrange salmon sliders. Add a spoonful of wasabi mayo to the bottom bun, top with arugula, salmon, and pickled onions.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
This recipe is so good for the summer and the spicy blackened fish, creamy wasabi mayo and piquant pickled onion contrast so well. You could serve this with a basic salad or maybe throw some corn on the cob on the grill as a side dish.
I love these smoked blackened salmon sliders. You can make the sauce and onions ahead and even season the fish ahead, then add you have to do is grill it!
If you are looking for other salmon recipes, you might also like this Orange BBQ Salmon with Foil Packet Garlic Soy Vegetables or this Salmon and Fresh Vegetables with a Creamy White Wine Sauce.