I'm on the fence as to whether or not that is an appetizing photo. You might just have to trust me that these salmon cakes (salmon burgers?) are delicious. Delicious and quick and heathy to boot. At dinner time, checking off two out of those three is usually a win. All three is a freakin home run.
This recipe is my (highly) modified version of this salmon burger recipe. A good friend of mine made it for me, kindly converted it to be gluten free, and it was amazing! I've made it many times since and have come up with a few more changes.
The first change I made was to swap out store bought mayonnaise for the homemade stuff. Wait! Don't go! Homemade mayo is not too fancy for you or too complicated for you. Just remember when you [insert thing you did and thought was going to be super hard] and it turned out to be pretty simple. Okay, insert making your own mayo. This stuff is lovely. I'm guessing you wouldn't really enjoy eating a spoonful of mayo out of the jar. The homemade stuff will have you licking the bowl!
Add some smoked paprika and it gets even better.
I had never bought a can of salmon before, tuna, yes, but never salmon. Wow they shove the whole fish in there: bones, skin, fat, I wouldn't be surprised to see a rogue eyeball one day. After you get over the initial eww, turns out it is a lovely and cheap way to enjoy salmon. The can I bought up there is "wild alaska salmon," which I think is fancy ad talk to trick you into believing it's wild caught. Since then I've found the same large size can at Whole Foods that really is wild caught. At 2.99, it's two dollars cheaper too.
sweet potato salmon cakes
for the salmon cakes:
- 1 14oz can of salmon
- 1 small sweet potato, cooked (in the oven or microwave), cooled, and mashed.
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons homemade mayo (recipe below)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- small handful of parsley, minced
- zest of one lemon*, and juice of half that lemon
for the smokey mayo:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- about 1/2 cup oil (light olive oil is very nice. I used a mix of macadamia nut oil and olive oil because that is what I had. Please don't use canola oil, it's really no good.)
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of smoked paprika
- salt to taste
to make the smokey mayo:
Combine egg yolk and mustard in a small bowl (the french do it in a tea cup, or so I've heard). Whisk until blended. Add a tiny bit of oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, and whisk whisk whisk. Keep adding drops of oil and whisking until the mixture looks emulsified (i.e. not weird and oily). Gradually add remaining oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick. If you keep whisking, it's hard to go wrong, but the internet is there if you do. Add the lemon juice and salt, whisk. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the salmon cakes. Stir the paprika into the rest. Voila!
to make the salmon cakes:
Drain the can of salmon. You can, in theory, eat all the salmon bones, but I remove the larger backbones. I suggest dumping the salmon in a small bowl and removing the bones. Then combine all the ingredients (including the salmon) in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Shape into small patties. They will be a little wet (if you don't like this, use a larger sweet potato). Melt some butter in a non stick pan (cast iron, teflon, or my new favorite blue steel). I'd say about 5 minutes a side, maybe less. Serve with your lovely homemade mayonnaise.
*it's easiest to zest the whole lemon, then cut it in half. I speak from experience, people. Then you can use one half for the mayo and the other for the salmon cakes.