Once upon a time I had some leftover salmon. And some ginger. Oh yeah, cilantro, too. Green onion was also there. They invited lime juice over and got together to have a party.
It was a good party, and fun was had by all. Well, at least it was fun for us because we were doing the eating. I’m not sure how the food felt about it. Many of the ingredients (essentially everything but the salmon) were leftover from making an Asian style soup that I absolutely love. I didn’t have space to store more of the soup, but I also didn’t want to let the remnants go to waste.
A lightbulb moment occurred and turned into a whole new family favorite meal. It’s one that comes together easily, can be adjusted in size, leftovers can be readily stored in the freezer for later use, and you could actually mix the ingredients and freeze them and finish the preparation later.
We like to eat them as part of a meal alongside Greek style greens, but they are also perfectly sized for being served as mezé (appetizers). A squeeze of fresh lime juice or a dollop of tzatziki (Greek cucumber and yogurt sauce) will help bring out even more flavor.
Ginger & Cilantro Salmon Cakes Recipe
- 1 lb. cooked salmon, skin and bones removed (fresh cooked preferred, but canned will work)
- 1/2 cup semi-packed, finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup loosely packed snipped green onion
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 scrambled egg
- salt to taste
- olive oil for frying
Place all the ingredients from salmon to the lime juice into a large bowl and thoroughly mix together. You will need to break up any chunks of fish flesh so that the cakes will hold together well. Since the fish is cooked you can sample it at this point to check what amount of salt you want to add or adjust any of the other seasonings. Add the flour and the egg and mix again well. I find it easiest to just use my hands for this part.
For the best results, you will want to put the mixture aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour if not longer. This will give all the ingredients a chance to let their flavors be released. You can even put the mixture in a container in the freezer for later use, just make sure to allow it to defrost completely. But, you could also make them right away!
Take an amount of the mixture and make a ball about the size of a golf ball. Slightly flatten it, which makes it easier to cook the inside before the outside burns. You may want to cook a single one first as a taste test to see if you wish to adjust your seasonings more before rolling all the mixture. Depending on your ingredients, you may also need to adjust the moisture content of your mixture. If your test cake comes out a little dry, just add a little more lime juice. If it’s too wet, add just a little more flour. Keep in mind that you will also likely want to be serving these with additional lime juice or a condiment like tzatziki.
In a medium sauce pot, put enough olive oil to fill it about an inch from the bottom. Heat the oil until a small chunk of the fish mixture dropped in sizzles right away. You will need to keep the heat at a medium high setting but adjust as needed so that the cakes will cook quickly but without burning on the outside while the inside is still cool.
Once you have checked that the mixture is to your liking, put 4 to 5 of the cakes into the pot at a time, turning them every so often to ensure they cook evenly on both sides. See the video in my other salmon cake recipe for some tips.
Once the salmon cakes are cooked through and dark golden brown on the outside, scoop them out of the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a dish lined with a paper towel to absorb extra oil. Allow to cool slightly then serve with additional lime juice or tzatziki for an added flavor kick. Enjoy!