Sep 102012

I’ve been wanting to try making salmon cakes for a while, and when I saw a recipe from my very favorite restaurant at Duke, Foster’s Market, I had to try it.  They turned out perfectly and both the cakes and the relish were delish, but I felt like the whole process took just a little too many ingredients, a little to expensive to make, and a little too much work, even for me!  But, they were really tasty and a great last hurrah for summer corn, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Nutritional Highlights:  Even though these were a little high maintenance, they were definitely a healthy and creative way to use one of the healthiest fishes out there–salmon.  The salmon has the omega-3 fatty acids that most of us don’t get enough of.   In addition to the salmon, both the cakes and relish have lots of healthy veggies and herbs.  While these aren’t deep fried, they’re still pan fried so that does add a bit of extra fat but it’s also how you achieve an amazing crispy crust so to me it’s worth it!  Pan fry using a healthy oil like olive or grape seed oil to make sure it’s all healthy fat.

Salmon Cakes with Crunchy Corn Relish
adapted from Foster’s Market

For the corn relish (can make ahead): 

Makes about 3 cups relish
  • Kernels from 4 ears fresh corn (2 cups fresh or frozen corn)
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, julienned fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds (coriander is a strong flavor so make sure you like them before adding)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 7 scallions, trimmed and cut into thinly sliced rounds
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips (chiffonade)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the corn, onion, wine, vinegar, ginger, thyme, garlic, coriander, and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook about 10 minutes, until the seasonings are incorporated. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, scallions, and basil in a large bowl and stir to mix.
3. Add the corn mixture to the pepper mixture and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. 

For the salmon cakes:

  • 2 pounds cooked salmon (poached or grilled)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo or low fat mayo
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil for pan frying

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
2. Carefully break up the salmon with a fork into large chunks in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the bread crumbs, the mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, onion, scallions, jalapeño, basil, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and stir just until mixed. Do not overmix; the salmon pieces should be bite-sized chunks, not fine flakes.
3. Form the mixture into twelve 2½-inch cakes about 1½-inches thick. Coat both sides of the cakes lightly with the remaining bread crumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs.
4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, non-stick skillet. Cook 6 to 8 salmon cakes at a time, about 3 minutes per side, turning only once, until light golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain. Transfer the cooked, drained cakes to a baking dish and place in the oven to keep warm while the remaining cakes cook. Serve immediately with Crunchy Corn Relish.


See what I mean? TONS of ingredients and tons of work, so I probably won’t be in a rush to make these again.  But, Salmon cakes in general are a great idea so I’ll be in the market for a simple yet tasty recipe!

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