This (modified) recipe comes courtesy of BBC Good Food, a fantastic resource for recipe ideas. I served these crunchy and delicious cakes with a simple escarole salad and yogurt sauce. BBC’s recipe called for a fancy-pants salad: tomato, avocado, and watercress with a lemon and Dijon mustard dressing. In any case, the salad and its dressing signify nothing with fish cakes this good. Garnish as you like.
2 large salmon steaks
500 grams potato
125 grams of broccoli florets (about 1 cup)
oil for frying (BBC used sunflower oil; I used olive)
1 cup circa bread crumbs
1 egg (optional)
1 bunch fresh dill
salt & pepper
1 250-gram container of whole yogurt (about 1 very full cup)
Juice the lemons and roughly chop the dill. Set both aside. Prepare the salad of your choice and arrange on a serving plate. Add about 1/3 of your dill and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the yogurt. Salt to taste, stir well, and store in the fridge.
Cut the potatoes in half and bring them to a boil in salted water. Boil for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft but not mushy. About 5 or 6 minutes into the cooking time, add the broccoli pieces to the potatoes. You’ll want the broccoli to cook about 3 or 4 minutes. Then strain everything and let cool.
Poach the salmon steaks until they are pale in color throughout when you flake them open. Remove from the water and set aside while you return to the potatoes.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Roughly mash them into a large bowl together with the broccoli. Some chunks of broccoli are nice, but tried to get most of the potato mashed up well. Back to the salmon.
If some areas of the salmon steaks are still a bit raw, close to the bone for instance, no worries since you’ll soon be frying them. Flake the fish into the bowl of potato and broccoli, being careful to remove all the bones and skin as you proceed. At this point I suggest adding one egg to the mixture, which was not included in BBC’s recipe. To me the egg was absolutely essential to shaping cakes that would keep their form, but feel free to try without. Mix everything together thoroughly with a fork. Add the lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper, and mix a bit more.
Using your hands, give the salmon mixture another good blending. Start forming your cakes. If you’ve not done this before, a good technique is to form a ball shape, about the size of a lime, then gently compress it to a medallion-like shape. Use your fingers to repair any breaks on the edges by pressing back into the form. Set each cake on the plate of bread crumbs. Proceed until you have finished all the mixture. Coat the cakes thoroughly with bread crumbs.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. When it’s super hot, gently place the cakes in to fry (use a spatula). Fry about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the cakes once only. Check the bottoms often by lifting gently with your spatula before turning them. They are ready to turn when golden, and tangibly firmer from the crunchy outer crust forming. Fry another 4 to 5 minutes on the second side. Transfer to a paper towel-covered plate or tray and lightly salt. Serve with the salad and yogurt sauce.