When Selim asked me to make dinner with some salmon tonight, I wanted to try something a little different than our usual. Our usual involves adding spices to a salmon fillet and broiling it. Selim is the master of this process. I am not.
So I googled “different way to make salmon.” Seriously. This is how sophisticated and worldly I am. After browsing around for a bit, a salmon cake recipe caught my eye. I grew up eating crab cakes like it was my job, but I don’t think I’ve ever had salmon cakes. I wanted to bake them instead of fry them in a nod to being a bit healthier. After Pinterest-ing for awhile, I found a recipe on the Baked by an Introvert blog that approximated what I was envisioning for tonight.
I’m really happy about how my version turned out. The salmon cakes are moist on the inside and just barely crisping up on the outside. Slicing them open with the edge of your fork releases a gratifying poof of steam. I love the flavor. If you’re one of those people who orders their Thai or Indian food at level 10, you probably won’t find this very spicy. But for the rest of us, it’s a nice, slowly-building spiciness.
I also made a cilantro lime aioli to top these guys, but am not super happy with it, so won’t share tonight. I think with just a few tweaks it’ll be perfect. A cool topping like that complements these salmon cakes perfectly though!
Spicy Salmon Cakes
(Inspired by the Oven Baked Salmon Cakes on Baked by an Introvert blog)
- 1lb or less salmon fillet (ours was 0.85lb)
- 1/2 of a small onion, finely diced
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup of cracker crumbs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 turns black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp hot sauce (we prefer Frank’s)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, slide the salmon fillet into the water. Decrease heat to low and cover for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine onion, pepper, crumbs, and spices in a large bowl.
- Remove salmon from water. Set out and allow to cool.
- Pat the salmon dry of any excess moisture. Coarsely break apart and add to the bowl. Stir to combine with other ingredients.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Combine well.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- With your hands, scoop up a full handful of the salmon mixture. Form into a ball between your hands. Place on the cookie sheet, and press down lightly with the heel of your hand to create the patty.
- Repeat step 8 for each patty.
- Bake for a total of 30 minutes. Flip halfway through, so each side cooks for 15 minutes.
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