Being fortunate to live on the west coast, we eat a lot of pacific salmon. We also benefit from the wisdom of chef Vikram Vij who seems to present an endless supply of innovative ideas for local products. This is his recipe with some very minor modifications. I love my mother’s Pan Fried Salmon Cakes with Dill Sauce that I posted some time ago, but these are equally as good and are easier to make, once you have the ingredients on hand. I make them with garam masala, rather than the cumin alternative, as the spice mixture imparts a more complex flavor profile, but either would be good. If you don’t have or can’t find ajwain seeds, you can substitute a little oregano for a somewhat similar flavour.
I usually serve them on fresh greens with a light dressing and some mango chutney, but small sized ones also make an excellent appy that can be made ahead and reheated in the oven on a cookie sheet. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 pound fresh wild salmon
1/2 pound boiled and mashed russet potato or a little more (I like it coarsely mashed to provide a little more texture to the cake)
1/4 pound boiled or microwaved then coarsely mashed yam
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely sliced spring onions or chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
1 tablespoon salt (or less to taste)
1/2 cup canola oil for pan frying
Mango chutney to garnish
Lightly pound coriander seeds in a mortar or on a plate with a heavy spoon. (You just want to break the seeds in half.) Set aside.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. If you are using fresh salmon, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Immerse salmon and cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and allow the salmon to cool. Peel off the skin.
Thoroughly combine all ingredients except the oil in a large mixing bowl. With your hands, form round cakes about two and a half inches in diameter and three-quarters to one inch thick. Set them on a baking tray.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a shallow nonstick frying pan on high heat. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium so the cakes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Place two cakes in the pan and cook for two to three minutes. Turn the cakes over and cook for another two to three minutes. The cakes should be brown and crispy on both sides. Repeat, using one tablespoon of the oil for each two cakes, until all the cakes are cooked.
Serve the cakes as they are done, or keep warm on a plate in the oven. Serves 6