I recently moved to Colorado from Washington DC, and I’ve have been missing some of the really fresh seafood that's available on the East Coast. Fresh crabs are something that I hugely miss (especially ones from the Maryland area).
Crab cakes were always my favorite, and while you can make them with canned crab, they just don't have the intense flavor of ones made with fresh picked crab.
In an attempt to be resourceful, I thought I'd try out a similar appetizer that uses something I have readily available in my area: fresh salmon!
There are a lot of recipes for salmon cakes
out there that involve canned salmon, and you can definitely use that for this recipe if you want. For a change though, I used fresh salmon, which I diced and mixed with some good veggies and spices. The fresh salmon makes the finished product very tasty.
You'll need about a pound of fresh salmon for this recipe, or one large can of salmon. You just can't beat the fresh stuff in my opinion, though!
If you've never prepared salmon before, make sure to take out the pin bones from the meat. If you're lucky, your butcher will do this for you, but if you have to do it yourself, just run your fingers down the middle of the fillets and you'll feel some bones pricking up. Use a pair of tweezers to pluck them out.
Then take a nice sharp knife and carefully cut the skin off the fillets. Take the salmon and chop it into cubes.
Add this to a bowl along with all your other chopped ingredients and you're well on your way to making the patties.
Stir this all together and then add in just enough bread crumbs to pull the mixture together. Try not to over-mix it. The mixture should be nice and light, but hold its shape.
Once these are stirred in, let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the bread crumbs can absorb some of the liquid.
Meanwhile, you can do an optional step, but one that I never pass up. Make fresh salmon chips with the salmon skin that you sliced off!
Take the skin and chop it into medium-sized strips.
Then heat up the oil that you'll need anyway to fry the salmon patties. Once it's hot, add the skin (skin side up) to the hot oil. Cook it for about 4 minutes per side until the pieces are crispy and browned.
You might think this is totally weird, but trust me, crispy salmon skin is one of the best treats. If I had a restaurant, I'd serve these as an appetizer.
Ok. Sorry for the diversion. Back to the real meal. Once your mixture is ready, form it into 8 even patties. Again, try not to pack them too tightly, just press on them enough so they keep their shape.
Then add them to the hot oil in your skillet. Keep the heat at about medium-high. They should take about 3-4 minutes to brown nicely on each side. Try not to overcook them or they'll get a bit dry.
Once they're done on both sides, remove them and let them drain on a paper towel for a minute or two.
These are best served nice and hot. For the yogurt sauce, I just mixed some chives with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. It worked great with the patties.
If for some reason you have leftovers, you can reheat them in a 350-degree oven and they are still great.
Salmon isn't cheap these days, but the flavors are worth the extra cost in my opinion. Like I said though, you can definitely use canned salmon without a problem.Nick likes to swim upstream on his blog Macheesmo and on his Tablespoon.com Profile.