A good salmon cake delivers rich flavor, tender texture

 

America's Test Kitchen

 

 

A good salmon cake delivers rich flavor and tender texture; the best veers away from flavor-muting binders at all costs. 

 

We used a food processor to chop salmon into a mix of both fine and larger pieces for a varied and not overly dense texture. A single slice of bread provided just enough binding, and a combination of shallot, parsley, mustard, and capers complemented the salmon; a bit of mayonnaise ensured our patties would stay moist. 

 

Broiling the patties made them easy to flip and kept them from overcooking. We arranged them on one end of a baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for a broiler-friendly vegetable-asparagus to cook simultaneously. A quick lemon and parsley sauce added a touch of class. 

 

Be sure to use raw salmon here; do not substitute cooked or canned salmon. Don't overprocess the salmon, or the cakes will have a pasty texture. Lay the salmon cakes close together on the baking sheet so that the asparagus has a little extra space for browning 

 

 

 

HERBED SALMON CAKES WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON-HERB SAUCE 

 

Servings: 4 

 

Start to finish: 45 minutes 

 

 

 

Lemon-herb sauce: 

 

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

 

1 scallion, minced 

 

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley 

 

Salt and pepper 

 

 

 

Salmon cakes and asparagus: 

 

1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces 

 

1 pound skinless salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces 

 

1 shallot, minced 

 

2 tablespoons mayonnaise 

 

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 

 

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 

 

2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and minced 

 

Salt and pepper 

 

1 pound asparagus, trimmed 

 

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 

 

 

 

  • For the lemon-herb sauce: Combine all ingredients in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving. 

     

  • For the salmon cakes and asparagus: Adjust oven rack 3 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Pulse bread in food processor to coarse crumbs, about 4 pulses, then transfer to large bowl; you should have about 3/4 cup crumbs. Working in 2 batches, pulse salmon in food processor until coarsely ground, about 4 pulses; transfer to bowl with bread crumbs and toss to combine. 

     

  • Whisk shallot, mayonnaise, parsley, mustard, capers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in small bowl, then gently fold into salmon mixture until well combined. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions and gently pack into 1-inch-thick patties. 

     

  • Place salmon cakes on 1 side of rimmed baking sheet. Toss asparagus with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and spread in single layer on empty side of sheet. Broil until cakes are lightly browned on both sides, barely translucent at center, and register 120 F to 125 F (for medium-rare), and asparagus is lightly browned and tender, 8 to 12 minutes, flipping cakes and turning asparagus halfway through broiling. 

     

  • Remove sheet from oven, transfer salmon and asparagus to platter, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon-herb sauce. 

     

    Nutrition information per serving of salmon cake: 374 calories; 208 calories from fat; 23 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 71 mg cholesterol; 634 mg sodium; 15 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 27 g protein.

     

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