I mentioned before that my toddler son’s acceptance of fish has become more limited to sole and salmon, but these are two pretty great options. I have used a recipe for salmon cakes from Nigel Slater for a number of years, which we all enjoy, but more recently I have been playing around with other flavors in there. These mildly-Thai salmon cakes are what has emerged as my first version, and we are all big fans. They have a hint of citrus from the lime, a freshness from the cilantro/coriander and the coconut milk gives a nice smoothness. I didn’t want the flavors to overpower the salmon and they certainly don’t but work well to make something really tasty, so much so they seemed perfect to share as part of the first Fish Friday Foodies (see more below).
While these are a little more work than simple cooking a salmon fillet or even making blended-up salmon cakes, these are still easy to make and the chunky texture is really nice. They feel that bit more meaty, if that’s the right description, than a blended salmon cake, and the flavoring come through much more than you would get by marinading a whole piece of salmon. Plus, they cook a lot quicker – I guess the slight gaps and egg mixture between the chunks convey the heat better than salmon alone.
If you want to limit time before you eat, you can dice the salmon ahead of time and then just add the other ingredients and form the salmon cakes as the pan heats up. I also sometimes make up the salmon cakes a couple hours ahead of time – just be aware that they may ooze some liquid if you do this, so just discard anything that comes out as you pick them up to cook them.
These salmon cakes can be eaten both as an appetizer, dipped in your favorite sauce such as sweet chili, or as a main. When we have enjoyed them as a main meal I usually make green rice to go with them. This is simply some broccoli, and sometimes also spinach, cooked up and blended then mixed with cooked rice. A little cilantro and coconut milk give it a delicious flavor and texture. It’s a great way to sneak in some vegetables and is also both tasty and pretty for serving.
These are such tasty little salmon cakes that we all instantly loved and enjoy each time we have them. With the gentle seasoning, there are some fantastic additional flavors to enjoy but you don’t lose the salmon flavor itself. They are a regular on our table and I hope you’ll try them and add them to yours.
Mildly-Thai salmon cakes
- 1 lb salmon 450g
- 1/2 lime juice and zest ie from 1/2 lime
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp coconut milk or 1tbsp coconut cream mixed with 1tbsp hot water
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp cilantro coriander, chopped
- oil for frying
For the green rice
- 1 cup rice suggest basmati
- 2 cups water 480ml
- 3 oz broccoli 85g
- 1 oz spinach 30g
- 1 handful cilantro coriander, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp coconut milk approx, or a little more
- Peel the skin off the salmon and finely dice the salmon flesh - I usually cut off thinish slices (around 1/4in/ 1/2cm) and cut each of these in strips as needed and then cut to make the dice.
- Put the salmon in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Take spoonfuls of the salmon mixture and form into flattened balls, put on a plate or in a dish once formed. If possible, chill for around 30mins before cooking, but they are also not bad cooked sooner.
- When ready to cook, heat the oil in a skillet/frying pan. Gently put a few salmon cakes in the pan and cook a few minutes (approx 5) until you can see them starting to cook from the outside and browning underneath. Turn and cook another couple minutes then serve - the second side will need less time.
- If serving with green rice - while the salmon cakes are cooking, put the rice and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the water has gone and rice is cooked, around 10minutes (if not using basmati, cook according to packet). Cook the broccoli separately by boiling in water for a few minutes, until tender to a knifepoint. Add the spinach as the broccoli is just about done for 30 seconds or so until wilted then drain. Either finely chop the broccoli, spinach and cilantro or pulse all in a small food processor/blender until relatively fine.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the cooked rice along with the coconut milk and serve with the salmon cakes. Note this makes more rice than is probably needed for the salmon cakes but is easier to make in these quantities.