Everyone knows how good fish is for both the brain and body. I could cite tons of studies or just point out that without lots of fatty salmon, I doubt that Native Alaskans could have survived both the depressing lack of sunlight and rigorous physical challenges that accompany winter in the far northwest of our continent. Like the natives we stock up on our Omega-3’s in the summer when the wild salmon start running up river and the price of salmon runs down at the grocery. Because it’s still costly and only around for a brief season, we use every bit of leftover salmon. (Coincidently also the name of a grunge band).
Crabcakes are a great way to take a small amount of an expensive ingredient-crab-and transform it into a big taste. So why not Salmon Cakes? Big taste means that small portions are satisfying. We serve 2 per person and add a big salad on the side. With small portions we can indulge in a recipe that includes a bit of cream and even drizzle a teaspoon of melted butter or garlic mayonnaise on top.
The flavor savor in the recipe below is panko, japanese bread crumbs. They give bulk and structure without getting heavy and gummy. Also note the small amount of canola in the pan, these are pan seared NOT deep fried. Finally I REALLY recommend at least 30 minutes in the fridge or freezer to firm them up. It is sad when they fall apart between the plate and the pan.
Recipe (adapted from Rays Boathouse)
2 Tbs chopped shallot
2 Tbs chopped red bell pepper (sweet)
2 Tbs chopped parsley
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbs sherry
2 Tbs cream
Dash of Tabasco
Pinch of salt
Grind or two of pepper
Pinch of celery salt (for reformed New Englanders)
1/2 pound cooked salmon or crabmeat
1/2 cup panko + more for breading cakes
Mix first 11 ingredients into a bowl then mix in 1/2 cup of panko.
Gently fold in flaked salmon or crab.
Form into flat patties about 2-3 inches in diameter.
Coat patties with additional panko by gently placing in flat bowl with panko and pressing in on each side.
Place in fridge for several hours or in freezer for 30 minutes.
Pan sear on each side over high heat keeping pan slick with a small amount of canola oil.