Pan-Fried Fresh Salmon Cakes

posted by Mimi Hiller 12-08-99 5:14 PM

Pan-Fried Fresh Salmon Cakes
Makes 8 cakes (serves 4)

A big wedge of lemon is the simplest accompaniment to salmon cakes, but if you decide to go with dipping sauce, make it before preparing the cakes so the sauce flavors have time to meld. If possible, use panko (Japanese bread crumbs).

1-1/4 pounds salmon fillet
1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm, crusts removed and white part chopped very fine (about 5 tablespoons)
2 Tbl. mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely grated onion
2 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 Tbl. juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs, preferably panko

Locate and remove any pin bones from salmon flesh. Using sharp knife, cut flesh off skin, then discard skin. Chop salmon flesh into 1/4 to 1/3-inch pieces and mix with chopped bread, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, salt, and lemon juice in medium bowl.

Scoop a generous 1/4-cup portion salmon mixture from bowl and use hands to form into a patty measuring roughly 2-1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick; place on parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining salmon mixture until you have 8 patties. Place patties in freezer until surface moisture has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread flour in pie plate or shallow baking dish. Beat eggs with 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil and 1-1/2 teaspoons water in second pie plate or shallow baking dish, and spread bread crumbs in a third.

Dip chilled salmon patties in flour to cover; shake off excess. Transfer to beaten egg and, using slotted spatula, turn to coat; let excess drip off. Transfer to bread crumbs; shake pan to coat patties completely. Return now-breaded patties to baking sheet.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 3 minutes; add salmon patties and cook until medium golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes over and continue cooking until medium golden brown on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer cakes to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil on surface, if desired, about 30 seconds, and then serve immediately, with the creamy lemon herb dipping sauce, if you like.

Creamy Lemon Herb Dipping Sauce
Makes generous 1/2 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-1/2 Tbl. juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbl. minced fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbl. minced fresh thyme leaves
1 large scallion, white and green part, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in small bowl; season to taste with ground black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until flavors blend, at least 30 minutes.

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