Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asian Salmon Patties

Everyone loves a good crab cake, right? How about a zesty salmon cake? Usually looking at recipes, I can pretty much tell how the meal will turn out. With this one, I wasn't as confident. I couldn't wrap my head around all the ingredients and how they would come together. Lucky for me and Wes, this dish turned out ten times better than I had imagined. Here's the recipe:

Asian Salmon Patties

1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 Tb fresh ginger, peeled & grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper - I probably used about 1/2 tsp.
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tb. lime juice
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 thinly sliced scallions - I omitted these

When buying the salmon fillets, see if the store will take the skins off for you. It's a lot easier than doing it yourself. If you decide to skin the fish yourself, take a sharp knife, not serrated, and start wiggling the knife back and forth between the flesh and skin. It takes a while, but it can be done. I also chopped the salmon in larger chunks. If you wanted a finer texture in your cakes, you could probably do a rough chop in the food processor, adding a little fish at a time. Don't grind it too fine otherwise you'll end up with paste.

In a large bowl, combine salmon, shallots, ginger, egg, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper. Form mixture into 1 inch thick patties, packing each firmly. Transfer to a plate. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. These patties can be kept frozen for about 2 months. Just thaw before cooking.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon patties; cooking until browned on both sides and opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

To make Sesame Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice and sesame oil. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with salmon cakes.

Look at the golden crunch on the outside. Mmmm... I served french fries, but feel free to go fancier!

These cakes had such a nice zing and ton of flavor to them. I think Wes described it like a scorpion's tail: there's a sting at the end. Maybe Wes should be writing this blog instead of me... You taste every single ingredient in these cakes. You taste the ginger and the onion-yness of the shallots. Then there was that heat at the end from the red pepper flakes. There was no fooling Wes. Even though I chopped the shallots fine, he could still feel the texture and taste the onion flavor of the shallots.

I love the sesame mayonnaise with this. You really taste the lime juice in it, but then there's a hint of the nuttiness from the sesame oil. It's wonderful. I even dipped my fries in the mayonnaise.

I love, love this dish. It's great as a main course or make the patties smaller and serve as appetizers. It'll definitely impress your dinner guests. The hardest part would be skinning the fish and then chopping it up. I liked the chunkier chop because it gives it more density and rustic feel. But go for a finer chop if you don't like big chunks of fish. Even if you over cook this dish a little, it hides it with everything that's going on.

Give it a try! Happy cooking!

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