Go for the gold in fixing salmon patties


August 30, 2006|By Bill Daley | Bill Daley,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Barbara Tropp, the late San Francisco restaurateur and author, dubbed these "gold coin" cakes in her China Moon Cookbook because of their round shape and golden color. These salmon patties are treasures, rich with minced ginger, garlic, green onions and chili sauce.

Over the years, I've adapted the recipe to my taste, adding little cubes of sweet bell pepper, dropping the minced cilantro, using saltine crackers instead of bread for binder and - always - serving them with a simple aioli sauce made with prepared mayonnaise.

Bill Daley writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Menu suggestion

"Gold coin" salmon cakes, green salad, berries


Substitute crab meat or lobster for salmon.

Shaping and refrigerating the cakes until they're ready to cook makes for the best frying with the least amount of oil.

`Gold Coin' Salmon Cakes

Serves 4 -- Preparation and chilling: 25 minutes; cooking: 7 minutes per batch

3 cloves garlic

1 piece (1-inch long) ginger root, peeled

8 to 10 saltine crackers

1 pound salmon, cut into chunks

4 green onions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored, ribbed, diced

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons each: Asian chili sauce, soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup vegetable oil

quick aioli (optional, see note)

Mince the garlic and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Add crackers; pulse until roughly crushed. Add salmon; pulse until the salmon is coarsely ground.

Transfer salmon mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in green onions, bell pepper, egg, rice vinegar, chili sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper; combine well. Place in freezer, covered, 10 minutes or until ready to cook. Pack a 1/3 -cup measure, custard cup or ramekin with salmon mixture. Unmold onto a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap.

Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in oil; heat. Cook salmon, in batches if necessary, until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn; cook until cooked through and golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels; keep warm. Serve with quick aioli, if desired.

Note: To make a quick aioli, mix 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise with 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or olive oil.

Adapted from a recipe by Barbara Tropp in "China Moon Cookbook"

Per serving (2 cakes): 309 calories, 17 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 124 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrate, 29 grams protein, 612 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber

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