Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salmon cakes with wasabi mayonnaise - a delicious twist on crab cakes


As I flipped through my latest cookbook, Williams-Sonoma’s New Flavors for Appetizers, I saw a recipe for salmon cakes. I said to myself as I looked at the beautiful photograph, these look just like crab cakes except they’re pink inside.  

They are a perfect alternative to pricy lump crab cakes. Made with cooked salmon, they are a snap to put together. We served them for light dinner on a bed of baby lettuce mix, but their original purpose, as you can guess by the name of the cookbook, was for appetizers.


Believe me, these cakes in no way resemble your mother’s salmon croquettes from your childhood that she made with canned salmon and deep fried. I gently pan sautéed them in a few tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Although grapeseed oil is expensive, it doesn’t contain any transfats and has a neutral taste which doesn’t interfere with or overpower the delicate flavor of seafood. It’s also nice because it can be heated to a high temperature without burning. Feel free to substitute another transfat-free neutral tasting oil, such as canola or safflower oil, if you wish.

When you make the cakes, don’t be tempted to mix them in the food processor. It will quickly make mush of them. It’s also important that you let the cakes rest in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes so they become firm, otherwise they fall apart while you’re cooking them. I’ve also included a recipe for our favorite way to cook salmon that turns out perfectly every time.

The simple mayonnaise sauce with zesty wasabi is tempered by the sweet honey and tart lime, giving it an Asian flair. It would also be excellent with crab cakes.


Asian style salmon cakes with wasabi mayonnaise
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers
Makes 6 cakes – 3 to 6 servings

½ pound cooked wild salmon, skin removed (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon good quality mayonnaise or my homemade, link here
All purpose flour
1 egg, beaten to blend with a dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce
Grapeseed oil, or any transfat-free neutral tasting oil
Baby lettuce mix

Wasabi mayonnaise:
1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise, either homemade, link here, or Hellmans
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (the tube variety)
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Place the cooked salmon in a large bowl and flake with a fork. Add the onion, ½ cup of Panko bread crumbs, a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and about a tablespoon of mayonnaise and mix gently until it comes together. Add more mayonnaise if needed to bind the cakes. Now remember that I don’t recommending using a food processor, because the mixture will turn to mush.

Using your hands form into six equal cakes. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the cakes to become firm. It’s important to chill the cakes or they will fall apart when you sauté them.

In the meantime, whish together the ingredients for the wasabi mayonnaise and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the cakes.

When the cakes have chilled sufficiently, remove them from the refrigerator. Place the flour, beaten egg and remaining Panko crumbs in three separate bowls. One at a time dip the cakes in the flour, then the egg mixture and finally the crumbs, shaking off any excess in each step.

Heat two to three tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a 14” non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Carefully add the cakes to the skillet and shallow fry until golden brown on the first side, then turn and brown the other side, taking care not to let them burn. It should take about four to five minutes total cooking time. Remove cakes to a plate.

To serve, arrange a handful of baby lettuce on each plate and top with a crab cake. Dribble each cake with some of the wasabi mayonnaise and serve right away.

Cook's notes: If you find you need more mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together as one reader suggested, please add accordingly. Also be sure to refrigerate the cakes prior to cooking to help them stay together when you sauté them.



Simple Broiled Salmon
Serves 2

Wild salmon fillet, ¾ pound, preferable with the skin left intact
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, or any transfat-free neutral tasting oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
A few crushed pink peppercorns give it a nice twist (optional)
A squeeze of fresh lime juice

Put salmon in a dish; rub with oil, salt & pepper generously and let sit at room temperature for ten to fifteen minutes. Preheat the broiler.

Arrange fish, skin side down, on an unheated sheet pan lined with heavy duty foil for easy clean-up. Place the fish under the broiler about three inches from the source of heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes or just until it is cooked through. It’s not necessary to turn the fish. If it starts to get too crispy on the top, change from broil to bake and bake at 400 degrees until done. Take care not to overcook or it will dry out. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife. Squeeze with a little fresh lime juice. If not serving right away, let it cool and refrigerate, covered. It can be kept for a day or two in the refrigerator in a covered container.

64 comments:

  1. Sam, the crab cake looks really mouthwatering! And so is the salmon dish. Yummm.... Just look at those seasoning on top. lol. How lovely to share your cookbook recipes with us. Thank you and have a nice day.
    Kristy

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  2. Gorgeous photos, Sam. You've reminded me how much we like salmon cakes, especially when they are so much easier on the wallet than crab.

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  3. Your salmon cakes look yummy and I'll bet the wasabi mayo gives them a nice little kick! I look forward to trying these.

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  4. I will have to try these! They look delicious. Thanks.

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  5. Salmon is a favourite around here Sam:D

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  6. I've always loved salmon cakes! Those looks so good. Great with wasabi mayonnaise.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. I really love fish cakes and this one really sounds fantastic; a must try. Love that Wasabi mayo included. Will try this one soon.
    Rita

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  8. We do love salmon in our house. My daughter used to request it when she was younger all the time, that was when I could only use Goya's Mojo Marinade on it. She's expanding her tastes now. Great tips here, I like how there are so many different flavors that go well with salmon. The wasabi mayo is perfect to add as you like it!

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  9. Sam, great photos and a lovely recipe. I was wondering what provided that lovely crisp outside to the cakes. Panko. Love panko!! Have not tried grapeseed oil, but now I am tempted.

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  10. Salmon is one of my favorite things in the whole world...next to the jumbo lump crab cake! Thanks for this recipe, if the salmon looks nice at the market today... I may make these cakes tonight! Delicious!

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  11. What time was dinner? I think I missed it again and I do love crab cakes and salmon! The wasabi mayo sounds great.

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  12. Good Morning Sam Sweetie...
    Oh my gosh will the family ever love this. Sometimes what others think are great appetizers are really a nice light supper for us. DH will love you for this.

    You had me at crab cakes. I love it. Thank you for the salmon recipe also, it looks so tantilizing for sure.

    Hope you have a beautiful day sweet friend. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

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  13. Good Morning Sam,
    These salmon cakes look delicious! I will definately try them. I make a similar with sliced green onions.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  14. Sam - The original salmon and the cakes both look delicious. As a kid, our salmon cakes indeed came from a can and I always liked them, even with some bones still in them. I've seen the light and prefer them with the fresh fish now and next time we cook salmon, I'll make extra for cakes from your recipe. I can't remember if I've ever had wasabi anything.

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  15. They look delicious. Crab cakes are a lot of trouble and not Don's favorite so I rarely do them. I might try these out on him. The salmon is definitely something I will try soon. We do love wasabi.

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  16. Oh that wasabi mayo sounds wonderful with your salmon cakes. I think these make a perfect starter or a light lunch, just the way I like to eat, thanks for sharing:)

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  17. Lovely recipe. The wasabi mayo certainly adds a nice flavor punch.

    Well done!

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  18. Sam!

    The cakes are worth dying for. I love the concept of wasabi in mayonnaise! Brilliant. And bookmarked

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  19. Oh, they do look yummy! I'm going to try them. BTW: How did you know about those awful salmon croquettes (she called them salmon patties) my mother used to make?

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  20. The salmon cakes look absolutely delicious. So does the broiled samon. I have printed out both recipes to try. And thanks for the tidbit about grapeseed oil, too. :)

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  21. Looks delicious, Sam. Love kicking it up a notch with the wasabi.

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  22. Beautiful Food! Something for me to aspire to!

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  23. Great photos! This recipe sounds awesome...lovin that wasabi mayo.

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  24. Your salmon cakes look wonderful! Very moist and full of flavor...and I love their gorgeously crispy coating!

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  25. Love the twist on flavors, the budget-friendly salmon, and, as always, your excellent preparation tips!

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  26. Wow, that looks amazing. The salmon cakes and the broiled salmon are just stunning.

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  27. These sound terrific! The panko and the wasabi mayo definitely lift them up.

    (I've actually made decentish salmon cakes with (whisper) canned salmon. But these must be sublime!)

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  28. I love the taste of wasabi and I bet your sauce tastes so good on those lucious salmon cakes, Sam!

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  29. Well, Sam...speaking of taking amazing photos...those salmon cakes can be eaten right off the screen...just superb!

    Other than having to go easy on the wasabi in the sauce...this recipe is fantastic ;o)

    Have a wonderful week,
    Claudia

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  30. Sam, thanks so much for making a great salmon cake recipe; i'm allergic to shellfish, so i can never even taste a crab cake! the wasabi mayo is great idea too! will certainly make these!

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  31. Sam, What beautiful salmon cakes. I have some wasabi that I need to use too. Great recipe and I am loving all of your photos. We need to talk cameras when I see you.

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  32. Sam, I've done salmon cakes (NOT my mother's) and they were good. Your's sound better than good and the sauce definitely is a must do. We usually have leftover salmon after enjoying it on it's own. Now I'll be receiving kudos from my husband on how to use those leftovers.

    You must have a lot of cookbooks. It does my culinary heart good to hear you say you have a new one. I recently purchased four new ones! I always have one right beside whatever else I'm reading.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  33. I've always been attracted to salmon cake recipes, but I've never actually tried to make them. You've given me a much needed "nudge!"

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  34. Sam,
    I've always loved salmon cakes and these really sound delicious. I would love to try this recipe. I'm sure it would be a big hit to take to a covered-dish dinner.

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  35. Sam,
    Crab cakes and salmon both are mouthwatering but the wasabi mayo is one thing I can't wait to try!

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  36. Sam, the salmon cakes look wonderful! and definitely on my list of things to try. We happen to have about 25 lbs of frozen Alaska red and silver salmon a friend recently shipped us from his catch. Aren't friends extra special. ;)

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  37. Um, yum, Sam! These look delicious. I do believe I will pick up some salmon when I'm shopping tomorrow.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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  38. Oh my. That salmon photo looks so juicy and delicious, Sam! Love the idea...salmon cakes instead of crab.
    Easy enough to make and I love the wasabi in the sauce!

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  39. Hi Sam~ I'm so pleased to have found your site and this lovely recipe using wasabi mayonaise. I love your photos on the sidebar of Provence ~ that is one of my favourite areas of France.
    Have a lovely week-end.
    ~Dianne~

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  40. Oh Sam - I'd have these for dinner also. Just scrumptious. Reminding me to pick up salmon. I also love the mayo - nice spice to the creamy.

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  41. the salmon cake is my favorite alternative - I have tried other fish but none compare to salmon....I love the extra little sprinkle of seasoning on top of the sauce.

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  42. Sam, those salmon cakes look and sounds absolutely delicious! I happen to have all of those ingredients at home so I am looking forward to trying this one soon!

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  43. Oh, Sam! That looks absolutelly divine. Salmon is one of my favorite foods. The addition of grapeseed oil is interesting, and I'm glad to know about its healty properties.

    I wanted to drop by and thank you for the prayers and well wishes for Fred. He is so much better, and I hope to be blogging again soon. While I am longer playing nurse, my to-do list is so high it will take a week or more to whittle away at it. But I hope to be back soon. I've missed all of you SO much and look forward to blogging with you again soon.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  44. Oh la la Sam cela à l’air vraiment bon! Verily, this looks mighty good. But I do not know the wasabi paste – is that Japanese? Is it spicy? In what other recipes can you use it?

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  45. Funny, I was at Larry's yesterday getting some smoking woods and we were talking about some ideas for salmon. Both of these are good ones, I especially like the wasabi mayo.

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  46. Oh Sam,

    you make it so easy to have a large reservoir of great recipes at hand! No more bookmarking under "Recipes" - simply open your blog, and voila'!

    Thank you and a wonderful week to you,
    Merisi

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  47. The salmon cakes sound terrific especially with the wasabi mayo, yum!

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  48. Sam, those crab cakes made my mouth water! Can't wait to meet you at Penny's on the 16th!

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  49. Sam, love that wasabi honey mayo ...it can go on just about anything!

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  50. Hello, I have been looking through your beautiful blog and enjoying your delicious food. I definitely would love to try some of your dishes.
    Hugs,
    Terri

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  51. YUM! We made salmon cakes once. Loved them. These look delish!

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  52. I love the look of these.....I love salmon so will have to give them a try....soon! Thanks for sharing.

    See you in Asheville -

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  53. What a nice blog you have here. :) Your salmon cakes look delicious. I love any fishcakes but those with Asian twist I like best. :)

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  54. I love salmon cakes - but being Irish I have to make them with potato. I mix the salmon with mashed potato, spring onions, lemon juice, lemon zest, chives and salt & pepper. Apart from this it is the same as yours.

    The Asian twist sounds good - but I do love potatoes...

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  55. Your broiled salmon & your salad with home made salmon cakes withy that divine wasabi mayonaise look truly appetizing!


    MMMMMMMM,..lovely & fab presented food!

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  56. Never had salmon cakes before. Going to give them a try! :)

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  57. I tried them exactly as Williams Sonoma directed using a nice wild coho fillet we caught. I needed to double the amount of mayo to get them to stick together. I should have added a bit more. They were very delicate throughout the dipping process. The end result was 'good'. I wouldn't say 'amazing'. I did like the panko and the wasabi sauce was also very good. I think I'll try a few other recipes before giving this a 'thumbs up'.

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  58. Sharon, I tried to reach you by email, but you have a no-reply address. I hope you see this. Cakes such as these can be delicate to put together and sometimes you have to use more or less of the binding ingredient, based on the amount of other ingredients and their size. It could be that my salmon flakes were smaller than yours. It’s hard to describe the size of flakes. In the case of larger salmon flakes, you would need more mayonnaise to keep the cakes from falling apart. Refrigerating them helps them bind also, so be sure not to skip that step. I'm glad you liked the panko and the wasabi sauce. I hope you'll give the cakes another try.
    Sam

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    1. I also made a note in the recipe that if you need more mayonnaise to bind the cakes, by all means do so. And also it is important to refrigerate them prior to cooking. Thanks again for your input. I really appreciate it.
      Sam

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  59. I NEVER comment on websites, but I have to tell you that my entire family loves this recipe! As with any recipe, I tweak it to work for me. I didn't know people followed recipes verbatim; this is cooking, not baking! So, thank you for the inspiration! This has become one of my husbands favorite meals.

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  60. I NEVER comment on websites, but I have to tell you that my entire family loves this recipe! As with any recipe, I tweak it to work for me. I didn't realize any followed recipes verbatim; this is cooking, not baking! So, thank you for the inspiration. This has become on of our favorite recipes!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam