I grilled some wild Sockeye salmon a couple of nights ago and had a few cooked pieces left over. I was going to just toss it in a green salad and be done with it, when I thought, why not try something different? When I checked my ‘fridge and pantry, I had all the necessary ingredients to make salmon cakes.
Traditionally, crab cakes or salmon cakes are served with a remoulade. According to my copy of The New Food Lover’s Companion, a remoulade is a mayonnaise based sauce with “mustard, capers, gherkins, herbs and anchovies”. I’ve also seen it with the addition of ketchup, resembling 1000 island dressing. I wanted something lighter and with a bit of zip, so I came up with a spicy yogurt sauce influenced by the more traditional remoulade.
Spicy Yogurt Remoulade
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
1 tsp capers, minced
4 each cornichon* pickles, minced (about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp. chili-garlic paste
2 tsp parsley, chopped
2 tsp mint, chopped
Combine all ingredients together. Yields about 1/2 cup sauce.
*Cornichon pickles are made from tiny gherkin cucumbers and are often served with cheese fondue or a charcuterie plate. You can substitute dill pickles.
8 oz cooked salmon, flaked into small pieces (you can use canned if you don’t have fresh)
1/2 cup onion, small dice (about 1/2 yellow onion)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, small dice
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko* Bread Crumbs (1/2 cup for cakes, 1/2 cup for breading)
salt and pepper
1 tsp plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dice the onion and bell pepper. Saute in 1 tsp olive oil until soft. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix together the salmon, sauteed onion and red bell pepper, parsley and dijon. Mix in the beaten egg and 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs. The egg and bread crumbs should act as a binding agent. Divide the mixture into 4 parts, pressing each into a 1″ thick round cake. Press the cakes into the remaining 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs on both sides.
Heat a large saute pan, but be careful not to get the pan too hot or the cakes will burn on the outside. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and using a spatula, put the salmon cakes in the pan. Brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over the cakes and place the pan in the oven, about 7 minutes to finish cooking. I like to finish them in the oven so that they do not burn on the outside before they are cooked and hot in the middle.
Makes 4 ea, 4oz Salmon Cakes. Serve with Spicy Yogurt Remoulade
*Panko Bread Crumbs are a very light and flaky Japanese style bread crumb. You can use regular bread crumbs if you want.