Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crispy Salmon Cakes with Broccoli Slaw

These crispy salmon cakes are a great way to transform salmon into something new without losing the great flavor.  The salmon is ground and mixed with veggies and seasonings, and then coated in panko bread crumbs before shallow fried in peanut oil.  The fresh ginger and garlic add some extra zest to the cakes, and they go great with the tangy and creamy broccoli dill slaw on the side.  This definitely struck me as more of a summer dish, and we can't wait to try it out with other types of fish later this year.  You could even use these as a cheaper but equally tasty substitute for crab cakes.

1.5 lbs boneless skinless salmon filet (we got ours with the skin on and then I carefully cut it off before using the fish)
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 large red onion, finely diced
2 T minced chives or green onion
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 Tcup mayonnaise
3 T cup non-fat yogurt
1 egg
1 T ginger garlic paste (recipe below)
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
1 t salt
dash (or more) cayenne pepper
1 t fish sauce
1 t soy sauce
2 cups (approx) panko bread crumbs
1 cup peanut oil

For the Slaw: (adapted from Aarti's recipe)
1 bag of broccoli slaw mix (in the produce section with the regular bags of slaw)
1 medium shallot, minced
2 T mayonnaise
1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 T ginger garlic paste (recipe below)
1/4 t salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 T sunflower seeds
handful of dried cranberries (optional)

Ginger Garlic Paste:
Combine 6 garlic cloves with a three inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced, into a small food processor.  Add 2 T olive oil and blend until a paste has formed.  Use for seasoning this recipe and save the remaining in the fridge for future recipes.
Make the slaw first so the flavors have time to combine together.  You could even do it the day before if you have time.  In a bowl combine the mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, dill, ginger garlic paste, salt, and pepper.  Then mix it with the bag of slaw.  Before serving, add the sunflower seeds and cranberries, if using.

For the salmon cakes, cut your filet into a few smaller pieces and place them in a large food processor.  Pulse on and off for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as necessary.  The salmon should be well blended but not completely smooth.

In a bowl, combine the onion, chives, bell pepper, ginger garlic paste, and lemon juice, and mix in salmon.

In a small bowl, combine the egg, mayo, yogurt, spices, fish sauce and soy sauce.  Pour into the salmon mixture and blend until combined. 
Before forming the cakes, I recommend chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  The mixture will be pretty wet so it was a little hard to keep them together to get into the pan.   Form the patties with your hands, using about half a cup for each one.  Coat them in the panko bread crumbs.  Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup peanut oil.  (You will need to add a bit more in between batches).  Fry the cakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels before serving.

We served the cakes over rice, with the slaw on the side.  I wasn't sure how these would turn out since I made the recipe up but they were seriously delicious.  Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside with lots of flavor coming from all of the spices and aromatics.  We'll definitely be making them again!

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