Monday 23 October 2017

Recipe: super salmon fishcakes

These sumptuous salmon fishcakes are tasty, cheap and packed full of nutrients, says Susan Jane White

Susan Jane White

Wild salmon is the Rob Kearney of the ocean: indecently tasty and hard to catch -- and not bad for the heart or the circulation, either.

This supersonic fish is hailed for its cargo of omega-3, vitamin D and niacin. But, before I get too misty-eyed about the benefits of eating this fish, let's stress that not all salmon 'products' are created equally.

Smoked, tinned, farmed or wild -- each variety of salmon has a different nutritional purchase.

Here's the skinny: while smoked salmon might be the tastiest and most popular, its tinned counterpart offers a lot more calcium without the smoky nitrates. Nitrates are under the watchful eye of food scientists, given their possible correlation to an increased risk of certain cancers.

But, then, we're also told to temper our love of tinned food, with questions hanging over the chemicals used in some cans. It's just something to be aware of, should you be gobbling down industrial quantities of the stuff.

Then there's the ubiquitous farmed or caged salmon -- most of which are fed with dodgy colourings and antibiotics. Farmers in the US, for instance, choose how pink or red they want their salmon to be from a colour wheel called the SalmoFan.

However, unlike its wilder cousin, farmed salmon is a fraction of the price and available fresh all year round. Two important factors for prudent parents.

So what does the savvy shopper do? They look out for organically farmed Irish salmon or Marine Stewardship Council endorsements, eat moderate amounts of the smoked stuff, and drop into their nearest four-letter German supermarket to stock up on frozen wild-salmon cutlets.

These fishcakes are definitely better and cheaper than any fancy ones.

And you can easily personalise this basic recipe by introducing a favourite spice -- try some crushed cumin seeds, caraway and fenugreek, coriander or pummelled black onion seed. Let your taste buds vote.

Salmon Fishcakes with Curried Coconut Yoghurt
Makes 8 fishcakes.

For the fishcakes, you will need:

1½ cups lightly mashed potato

2 spring onions, chopped

1 fillet cooked salmon, flaked

1 fresh chilli, sliced

1 fat garlic clove, minced

1 small egg, beaten

Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon

Good hunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Generous seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil or coconut oil, for frying

For the curried yoghurt, you will need:

Small tub of natural or coconut yoghurt

1 tablespoon sweet curry powder

In a bowl, use a fork to mix the lightly mashed potato, the chopped spring onions, the flaked salmon, the sliced chilli, the minced garlic, the beaten egg, the lemon zest, the minced fresh ginger, and the salt and freshly ground black pepper together. Heat the frying pan with a blob of olive oil or coconut oil, whichever you're using. When your pan is hot, drop a dessertspoonful of the fishcake mixture into the pan, pat it with a fish slice and turn down the heat a little to prevent it from burning. Cook it on both sides until it is lightly coloured. Repeat this process with the remainder of the mixture, cooking a few at a time.

Meanwhile, mix together the natural or coconut yoghurt, whichever you're using, and the sweet curry powder. Afterwards, serve the fishcakes cold, or at room temperature, with a dollop of the spicy yoghurt mixture. These fishcakes like to misbehave when they're hot, so it's important that they're given some time to rest.

Chill overnight if packing for a sneaky breakfast on the bus to work.

  • Taken from 'The Extra Virgin Kitchen' cookbook by Susan Jane White, published by Gill & Macmillan, priced €26.99, and available from February 14

Irish Independent

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