I’m always on the lookout for good recipes made of pantry items. I believe these can be our best of friends in the kitchen if we know how to use them properly. My best friend, as in canned-food-not-a-real-human-being (I do have real ones thank you for your kind worries), is tuna. It is so versatile I always have a stash at home to keep me happy. But that is pretty much how far I go when it comes to tinned fish. Salmon, sardines and mackerel can’t be that bad can it? I’m sure they’re another’s best buddy.
I thought it was time to experiment and I’ve got to be honest, I was a bit scared. This felt like a blind date where you have no idea what your partner will look or smell like or if you will get on.
Standing in front of the display shelves I decided to concentrate on what felt more familiar, the fish I’ve probably eaten the most of in my life, Salmon. As a Canadian I need a companion that can endure the cold northern months and could build a fire in minutes. It’s in our blood, the survival instinct I guess. So the wild Alaskan sounded adequate, being a date and all.
I came back home with 2 different brands, supermarket vs superior, curious about what their differences could be. You’ll be able to judge it for yourself based on the photos, the supermarket brand always being on the left side and the posher one on the right, and you’ll notice it straight from the start; the colour is incomparable.
Canned salmon is no pretty stuff. I was expecting something clean and ready to use, like tuna. But the whole darn of salmon has been squeezed in, needing you to do some work. A pinker flesh definitely helps focusing on the end result and not seeing it as your cat’s dinner. If you can get pass the grey floppy skin, the tiny bones and cold gelatin, you will be left with some lovely flesh, perfect for making crunchy fish cakes.
The outcome was a great surprise! After seeing what they look like in the morning, er… I mean in the can, I was expecting to be disappointed, but these cakes were absolutely lovely, not far off the ones made from fresh fish. I even struggled finding a difference in taste between the 2 brands. They are perfectly crunchy outside and nicely moist inside. All of that in minutes with no mashed potatoes to cool down, no resting in the fridge, no disintegrating in the pan. If only the companies could spend a bit more time prepping before canning, I would buy these in a heart beat.
- 1 can Salmon
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped Spring Onions
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped Parsley (optional)
- 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Zest of 1/2 Lemon
- 1 small egg
- 1/2 cup Bread crumbs
- Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- Open the can of fish, pour out the liquid and pick the bones and skin out. Transfer the flesh to a bowl and flake it with a fork.
- Add the chopped spring onions, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and lemon zest and work lightly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix in the egg followed by the breadcrumbs and form 1 large or 2 small patties.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat, add some olive oil and fry for 5 minutes on each side
- While the cakes cook make the sauce by whisking all ingredients together and keep aside.
- Enjoy with a fresh salad of pea-shoots lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Can’t be bothered with picking the bones out of the salmon? Tuna would make a great substitute to this recipe.
- No parsley? Don’t worry, this adds colour more than anything else in this recipe. Maybe you could add dried parsley if you have some.