My fave grocery store, SunFlower Market, recently got taken over by the awesome Sprouts chain and had a huge sale, including an amazing deal on frozen Alaskan salmon fillets for a song. Normally, I would consider preparing salmon in anything other than close to naked to be a travesty to the rich, delicious fish. However, since these were frozen fillets, I thought it would be a good time to experiment a bit with some salmon cake recipes I’d been eyeing in the book Mighty Spice (given to me by my bro-in-law-to-be, Mark! Thanks, Marky!)
The book is full of indulgently flavorful recipes that take you across many different cultures through beautiful photos. The recipes within are great way to help you experiment with new flavor combos and step outside the garlic salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes box. Bring on the exotic spices I can’t pronounce! Highly recommend it!
In any case, there is a recipe called “Indian Fish Cakes with Cilantro Coconut Chutney,” and I took a whirl at it with some slight modifications. The salmon cakes turned out excellently, but the lingering flavor discovery I made came when I chose to cook up some chinese broccoli (gai lan) and wanted to give a little indian twist to the greens to tie them to the fish. Normally, I just sautee some minced garlic in oil and toss the greens in.
But during a game time call, I sprinted into the pantry, raised chopsticks in hand, and spotted a forlorn half bag of coriander seeds peeking out from my el random spice leftovers box. Ah ha! That should bring in some Indian flavors to my east Asian greens! So I tossed a handful of coriander seeds in while the garlic was cooking up, added a few dashes of garam masala, and generous squeeze of lemon. The resulting flavor bonanza really breathed new life into one of my stand by healthy side dishes! The toasted coriander seeds have this awesome licorice-y bite that provoked the involuntary butt-wiggle — always a clear indicator of deliciousness!
So on to the recipe. This is an excellent way to try something new with healthy fish. Please, dear god, don’t do this to that fresh pacific salmon fillet you just picked up from the fish monger. (You can try this recipe instead to do justice to the good stuff!) But for those frozen fillets you’ve got, definitely give this dish a try!
- 4 4oz Defrosted Salmon fillets
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 2 TB garam masala
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 green chili, seeded
- 3 TB olive oil
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Place all ingredients in a food processor & pulse until a paste forms
- Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 min to firm up
- Using an ice cream scooper, scoop up some salmon mixture and form a meatball
- Roll the meatball in panko crumbs to lightly coat and set aside
- Heat up about 1 TB olive oil in a pan on med-high heat
- Once you can feel a lot of heat with your hand about 3 inches above the pan, add a salmon meatball to the pan and use a spatula to flatten it out.
- Keep the heat about medium and cook about 2 min. Flip to other side and cook another 2 min.
- Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel while you finish cooking the rest of the salmon.
- Serve with cilantro, mint chutney & light slaw (recipes below!)
Light Coconut Cilantro Chutney
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk (You can usually find this stuff from Thai Kitchen at your local grocery in the Asian section)
- Small handful of cilantro
- 1/4 cup mint
- dash salt, dash garam masala
- Place everything in a food processor & blend til it turns saucey
- Place in the fridge to chill out til ready to serve
- Make this at least 30 min before serving the entree
- ~ 2 cups cabbage sliced thin
- 1 red onion sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 TB honey
- 1 TB celery seeds
- Slice up everything an place in a big bowl
- Mix together vinegar, oil, honey, and celery seeds and pour over other ingredients
- Let it chill out for at least 30 min before serving