I’ve eaten so much seafood in the past few weeks, but can’t complain…it was sooo good. Come to think of it, I used to eat much more red meat than seafood, but it’s the opposite now. I love how seafood dishes can be light and satisfying, unless it’s a bowl of steaming hot chowder served in a sourdough bowl at Pier 39 in San Francisco, or a big scoop of fish pie topped with crusty Parmesan potato! Then you’ve got there both satisfying and something to doze off afterwards.
My recent trip to Alaska showed me how simple fish can be – especially salmon. I’ll blog about that trip soon. In the meantime, I made these great salmon fish cakes with only two main ingredients – salmon and potato. The rest of the flavor comes from fresh herbs, which you can switch up to whatever you have in your garden at this time of the year. I seriously doubt these salmon cakes could be spoiled by any formula of herbs, I say, the more the better! Salmon is such an easy fish to cook. Bake, broil, grill, steam, wrap it in pastry, or even eat it raw. The choices are endless, and so are the types of salmon. Now is a good time to find Coho and Sockeye, which are in season from July through December, and I’ve noticed that the prices have become more friendly than they were a couple of months ago. King Salmon (Chinook) are preferred by many as the best, but the other four – Sockeye, Pink, Coho and Chum – are all just as good in their own unique ways. Copper River Salmon can be either King, Sockeye or Coho, and is usually more expensive than the others. After spending time in Alaska, I can see why. The state and its waters are pristine, free from pollution and full of fat, healthy fish. Atlantic commercial salmon are usually farmed, and that’s a whole other story for another day.
Salmon doesn’t need much to make it tasty – simple seasoning and fresh herbs, or a dab of sauce, and it’s ready. It also cooks fast and will keep cooking after you take it away from its heat source. Don’t overcook it; I like to give it a gentle poke with my finger, and if it feels firm, then it’s probably overdone. Try for a spongy feel to it and then let it rest for five minutes. These salmon cakes would be great for brunch or even dinner, and with the soft poached egg on top, I know my kids will lick the plate clean.
Salmon Fish Cakes
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes quartered
- 1 pound salmon fillet skinned and bones removed
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh oregano chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- Salt and pepper
- 6-8 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large bag prepared spinach
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 7 eggs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender, drain and cool.
- Chop the salmon into small pieces.
- Once the potatoes are cool, put them in a large bowl and mash them with the back of a fork.
- Add the chopped salmon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Using the flour to rub on your hands, divide the mixture into four ounce balls.
- Form each ball into a patty shape and gently flatten. Transfer to a baking tray and refrigerate for one hour.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan or skillet until hot. Cook the fish cakes 4-5 minutes each side and they become nice and golden.
- Put the spinach in a pan with a drop of water and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Poach the eggs in a pot of simmering water with the vinegar for 3-4 minutes and still remain soft.
- Place a spoonful of spinach on each plate and top with a hot fish cake. Finally lay an egg on top of the fish cake and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Drizzle some of the olive oil around each fish cake and garnish with more fresh herbs if desired.