I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Salmon cake

I love crab cake but it is not easy to buy crab meat around here so I've decided to make salmon cake. I came across the recipe from "America's Test Kitchen" cookbook a while ago and I decided to give this a try. 

The full recipe can be found in this blog salmon cake and as usual I took the liberty to adjust the ingredients based on the availability of my resources. 

(yield 4 medium size salmon cakes)
3 tablespoon + 3/4 cup of bread crumbs 
2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (I didn't use parsley as instructed because it is expensive here)
a couple tablespoons of lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
salt, pepper
1 1/4 pound skinless salmon fillet

1. I didn't find any bread crumbs in the store so I decided to make my own bread crumbs. I happened to have left overs whole wheat bread in my refrigerator. I toasted two slices of bread lightly, and pulverized it in a food processor. The crumbs weren't crunchy so I roasted it on a frying pan until it turns crunchy.

2. Cut the salmon into small cubes and pulverize this.

3. Combine the bread crumbs (3 tablespoons), cilantro, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper in a bowl and mix it with the salmon. 

4. Form the salmon into a patty (either with your hand or with a small storage container), then cover both sides of the patty with bread crumbs.

5. Heat some oil in a non-stick skillet and cook the salmon until golden brown. 2-3 minutes each side is enough. 

There are easier ways to cook a piece of salmon ie: pan-fry or steam. These dishes take zero time to prepare. Salmon cake requires a little more effort but the result is one delicious dish. It really does not take that much time, that is if you buy ready-made bread crumbs. If you don't have a food processor to minced the salmon, no worries, I think you will do just fine by chopping the fish into small pieces. 

The breadcrumbs add crunch, the lemon juice adds punch, and it is good for brunch (I have to use this word so that the sentence rhymes).  The rest of the ingredients add complexity to complement the real star - Salmon.  So make sure you start with the best piece of fish you can find. 

I only have one issue with this dish. The patty fell apart easily in the skillet when I flipped it. It does not form a solid "puck" like in some pictures. I don't know what is the secret to make everything binds. It does not bother me that I am not serving guests but if I do, I would like to figure out how to solve this issue.