It’s becoming clear to me that I have a bit of a thing about salmon… So far I’ve stir-fried it, steamed it, girdled it, put it in a parcel and made a salad out of it. I’m sure I’ve put it in a pie or quiche at some point as well.
This time it’s the turn of a family favourite – the humble fish cake.
At school a fish cake consisted of potato, salt, parsley (if you were lucky and had a fleck of green in yours) and some sort of fish. All of it mashed together to form the consistency of wallpaper paste and coated by some worryingly orange ‘bread’crumbs. At a restaurant. Fish cake is a whole different story – well two stories actually – ‘All’ or ‘Nothing’. For a restaurant a fish cake is a cheap thing to make, I’m talking in terms of labour and ingredients; the best cuts of fish don’t have to be used and let’s face it, a potato or two ain’t going to break the bank. This is why you will often find fishcakes in various shapes or forma on ‘Offer’ menus. So there is nothing worse than going out and being presented with a fish cake that has more potato than fish, it’s not a common thing but it is annoying when it happens.
The other day I decided to try to make the perfect salmon fish cake. That is to say, not to expensive and not too unhealthy. I had a scout around the Internet and I’d go so far as to say 80% of the recipes call for you to fry the cakes, hmmm, not healthy.
So give this a go and see what you think.
Serves 4 (making 2 sizable cakes each)
4 salmon fillets
4 medium potatoes
1 medium garlic clove
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp Harissa paste
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
For the coating:
1 medium egg
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
- Peel and quarter the potatoes. Pop them in a pan and boil until they are cooked, stick a knife into one and if it goes in easily the potatoes are cooked. It should take around 10 minutes
- While the potatoes are boiling place the salmon in a shallow microwave proof dish, put about half a cm of water in the bottom and grind a bit of black pepper on top, cover (leaving an air hole) and microwave on a low heat for 4 – 5 minutes
- Once cooked put the salmon into a mixing bowl with the drained potatoes, the Harissa, lemon juice and coriander.
- Very finely chop the onion and mince the garlic and add those to the salmon mix as well.
- Have a taste to see if you think it needs more Harissa or coriander
- In a separate bowl break an egg and give it a quick mix with a fork and in another bowl pour the breadcrumbs in
- Line a baking tin with foil; very shiny side up
- Shape the salmon mix into patties (I hate that word but it’s the ideal word)
- Place the cake into the egg mix, fully coat it and then with a spatchula place it into the breadcrumbs and thoroughly coat it
- Then place the cake onto the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the cakes, you should get 8 sizable cakes
- Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes
- Serve with tender stem brocoli and the gorgeous courgette and tomato side that I made the other day CLICK HERE to view it
The best thing about this for me was that the outside was lovely and crispy without tasting as though they had every ounce of goodness fried away! And they were juicy and best of all the whole proccess took 45 minutes from getting into the kitchen to sitting down to eat. So healthy and quick – what more do you need.
PS if you don’t have breadcrumbs, whizz up some 3 day old white bread. You can buy them in a supermarket or if you’re central London buy the really posh Japanese ones that Mr Ramsey swears by!