Sunday, October 13, 2013

Easy Thai Salmon Cakes

The salmon we get is so good that I usually do a fairly simple preparation, not wanting to cover up the great taste of this wild salmon.  But I was interested in trying to make salmon cakes, which I haven't done before, and I noticed a recipe in a Thai cookbook that used red curry paste, something I had recently bought a small jar of for a particular recipe.  These were excellent--I'll definitely make them again.  The original recipe calls for using either canned or fresh salmon.

adapted from Quick and  Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott 
serves 4

about 14 oz. salmon, cooked  (see instructions below for steaming the fish)
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, whisked
1 T. red curry paste
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
spray olive oil

1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. sour cream (lite is fine)
1/2 lemon, juiced (or a Tbsp. or so of bottled, frozen lemon juice)
sliced tomatoes (optional)

To steam the salmon
Place an inch of water in the bottom of a large pot, set a steamer basket on top, then add the salmon.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer the fish about 5 minutes, or until it is opaque and flakes with a fork.  (NB:  I hadn't tried this utterly simple preparation before.  The fish was delicious just like this.)

Sour cream sauce (Yes, I borrowed this sauce from the tacos I made last week.)
Mix together the cilantro, sour cream, and lemon juice.  Chill in the refrigerator while making the patties.

To prepare the cakes
Remove the skin from the salmon, and any bones, and then flake it with a fork.  Add the mashed potatoes, onion, and cilantro.  In a small bowl, whisk up the 2 eggs.  In another small bowl, mix up the red curry paste, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and about half of the egg mixture.  Add to the salmon mixture and combine everything well.  Add more of the egg if you need it to make the salmon mixture hang together.  Shape into 8 patties and set aside.

Spray a pan with olive oil.  (I used a Foreman grill.)  When the pan is hot, add however many salmon patties will fit in the pan and cook about three minutes, turn carefully, and cook another 3 minutes; the patties will be golden brown.  (If you use something like a Foreman grill, 3 minutes total is fine).  Transfer these to a serving platter and cook the remaining patties; serve hot or warm.  Extra patties can be refrigerated.  They were just as good the second day, heated up a bit in the microwave.

I served the salmon cakes with the sour cream sauce on freshly made pita bread, but a bun would be fine too--or they would be delicious without any bread at all.  The second day I thought to put on a slice of garden tomatoes, which made a nice addition.

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