Asian Salmon Cakes with Ginger Tartar Sauce

Asian Salmon Cakes are fantastic as an appetizer when serving other Asian food or as a main dish. This recipe is flexible and very forgiving. Quality of the ingredients, especially the salmon, is critical.

The recipe calls for Chinese garlic. If you are not familiar with Chinese garlic, it looks a lot like chives and has a much milder scent and flavor than more common garlic. You may use extra scallions in place of the Chinese garlic, if it is not available.

For the mustard, Trader Joe's Sake-Wasabi mustard works well but, any kind of mustard will work.

Asian Salmon Cakes with Ginger Tartar Sauce

Ginger Tartar Sauce:

2/3 cup mayonnaise (or mayonnaise substitute)
1 Tablespoon Chinese garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
2 teaspoons mustard

Asian Salmon Cakes:

1 1/2 lbs of wild Alaskan salmon fillets
2 whole scallions, minced
1 Tablespoon Chinese garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or mayonnaise substitute)
1 Tablespoon hoi sin sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup of brown rice (or other) flour

Vegetable oil for cooking
Lime wedges

For Ginger Tartar Sauce:

- Mix ingredients and allow to stand at room temperature while you prepare the salmon cakes.

For Asian Salmon Cakes:

- De-bone and poach the salmon fillets: place in a skillet and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat). Simmer until salmon is opaque with a slight rosy color in the center (use a knife to check). Do not overcook. Drain and set aside to cool.

- Mix scallions, ginger, mayonnaise, hoi sin sauce, soy sauce, mustard, egg, and pepper.

- Remove skin from salmon. Flake salmon by hand, carefully removing any bones. This should produce about 3 1/2 cups. Add to mixture from previous step and mix.

- Add about 1/3 cup of the flour and let stand five minutes.

- Form the mixture into patties about four inches wide and half an inch thick. If mixture is too moist to form into patties, add additional flour as necessary.

- Put the remaining flour in a small plate or bowl. Carefully lay each patty in the flour, turning to coat both sides with a thin layer of flour.

- Put enough oil to cover the bottom in a medium skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties and cook approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

- Serve hot with lime wedges and tartar sauce.

Makes approximately 8 patties.

Andrew Crawford