Liren Baker is a New York native who embraced life in California when she moved to San Francisco in 2000. With a background in marketing research and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology, she found her passion for food too irresistible. Immersing herself in the Bay Area’s vibrant culinary culture, Liren is the food photographer, writer and creator of the food blog, Kitchen Confidante, launched in 2010, where she shares seasonal recipes that are inspired by her life in California, the flavors of her heritage, and her travels. Liren was honored to receive The IACP Legacy of Julia Child Award in 2012 for her piece: Homework with Julia. Kitchen Confidante was also featured as one of the 10 Best Food Blogs of 2013 by PBS Food.

Featured Recipe

Thai Style Salmon Burger

Salmon burgers:

o   1 1/2 lbs Alaskan salmon skinned and deboned

o   3 scallions both green and white parts finely chopped

o   1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

o   1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

o   2 teaspoons red curry paste

o   2 teaspoons sriracha more or less to taste

o   1 teaspoon kosher salt

o   1/2 cup rice flour

o   1-2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

Sriracha aioli:

o   1/4 cup mayonnaise

o   2 teaspoons Sriracha more or less to taste

o   Kosher salt to taste

o   Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pineapple salsa (optional):

o   1 cup pineapple fine diced

o   3 tablespoons red onion finely diced

o   1 tablespoon scallion finely chopped

o   1 tablespoon serrano pepper finely diced (substitute with jalapeno if you want less spice)

o   1/4 cup cilantro freshly chopped

o   1 tablespoon lime juice

o   1/4 teaspoon red curry paste

o   1/4 teaspoon sesame oil


Make the salmon burgers:

1.       Slice the salmon into 1-inch chunks; it doesn’t have to be perfect since you’ll be finetuning it in the food processor. Take a quarter of the salmon and place it in the food processor. Pulse the salmon until smooth. Add the remaining salmon to the food processor and pulse 3-5 times, taking care to keep the texture of the salmon, you want it to look like coarse ground beef, about 1/4 inch pieces, and not too smooth. Transfer the salmon to a bowl.

2.       In a small bowl, mix together the scallions, cilantro, mayonnaise, red curry paste, sriracha, and salt. Add to the salmon and mix until well combined.

3.       Divide the mixture into four equal parts (about 150 g each) and form into patties about 3/4 in thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Make the sriracha aioli:

1.       Stir together the mayonnaise, Sriracha and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the pineapple salsa (if making)

2.       In a large bowl, stir together the pineapple, onion, scallion, serrano (or jalapeno) pepper, cilantro, lime juice, red curry paste, and sesame oil. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cook the salmon burgers

1.       Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Lightly dust the salmon burger with rice flour and tap off the excess. Place in the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side.

2.       Serve the burgers immediately on buns with sriracha aioli, fresh greens, and pineapple salsa (if using).

Recipe credit: Liren Baker of Kitchen Confidante