I love a simply prepared salmon fillet, slow-roasted or gently pan-seared with a little olive oil, sprinkled with herbs and lemon juice.
Still, we’ve all been there. We buy a fillet – fresh or frozen – only to discover it’s not quite as fresh as it appeared at the grocery or fish market. That’s where fishcakes can come to the rescue. With added spices and a binder, they can save the day flavor-wise and be a thrifty way to make your fish go a little further, too.
This patty from Betty Crocker’s Simply Delicious Diabetic Cookbook is one I’ll make again. The mild salmon is combined with fresh ginger, spring onions and soy sauce and served with an aioli heated with a whisper of wasabi powder. Taste and add more if you want a livelier kick.
The six-ingredient fishcake could be made with other fish as well, such as cod, snapper or sea bass.
The first time around, I overmixed the fish mixture and my patties were a bit rubbery. The key to making these is to be gentle as you mix the seasoning and fish together.
Cut the salmon into big chunks, then drop it in the bowl of the food processor with the grated fresh ginger and sliced spring onions and pulse it just until the ingredients are chopped and combined. It is best if small pieces of fish are visible. Then gently blend that mixture by hand with panko and soy sauce just until combined and form into patties.
One note: these fishcakes, which do not call for eggs, are soft, so they are not suitable for grilling.
The cookbook, which includes more than 160 recipes designed for people with diabetes, suggests cooking the cakes on one side in an ovenproof frying pan and then finishing them in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes, but I found them easy to sear, flip and finish on the stove.
Try the patties, as the cookbook recommends, atop lettuce leaves with sliced avocado and a homemade aioli, or eat them on a toasted brioche roll smeared with that aioli. We also liked them with a vinegar, soy and spring onion dipping sauce.
Soy ginger salmon fishcakes
total time: 35 minutes
Storage notes: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Where to buy: Wasabi powder is available at well-stocked supermarkets as well as Asian or international supermarkets.
make-ahead: The aioli can be made up to 3 days in advance.
For the salmon fishcakes:
450g skinless salmon fillet, cut into 7½cm chunks
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
40g plain panko breadcrumbs
4 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
Leaves of red leaf or Bibb lettuce, for serving
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced, for serving
Lemon wedges for serving
For the aioli:
125g plain low fat yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp honey, plus more as needed
½ tsp wasabi powder or prepared horseradish
¼ tsp fine salt, plus more as needed
In the bowl of a food processor, place the salmon, ginger and spring onions, and pulse just until the ingredients are chopped; do not overprocess. It’s OK if small chunks are visible. In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon mixture, breadcrumbs and soy sauce just until combined. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, about 1½cm thick.
In a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the patties and cook until browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip to brown the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Make the aioli: while the patties cook, in a small bowl, stir together the yoghurt, garlic, honey, wasabi powder or prepared horseradish and salt. Taste, and add more honey and/or salt, as needed.
place a few lettuce leaves on each plate; top each with a salmon patty. Add the avocado slices and a dollop of aioli to each patty. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
Nutrition information per serving (1 fishcake, 2 tbsp aioli and 2 slices of avocado) | calories: 315; total fat: 15g; saturated fat: 3g; cholesterol: 64mg; sodium: 418mg; carbohydrates: 16g; dietary fiber: 3g; sugar: 5g; protein: 27g.
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not be a substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.