I grew up with a version of these salmon cakes, and it always brings back fond memories. If you do not have cilantro, parsley is a good substitute. We like dried better than fresh because it adds flavor without really shouting its presence. These pair very well with a handful of baby arugula drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil finished with a pinch of kosher salt. It is a beautiful, tasty salad requiring little effort. I always think of it as “Marcella’s Salad” because she introduced it to us in Florence, Italy, while Mark and I were taking a cooking class. A simple arugula salad is a perfect way to round out almost any main dish.
Salmon Cakes Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||In a 3-quart bowl, whisk all together until eggs are loose and frothy.||Finely diced onion adds nice texture as well as great flavor, whereas roughly diced onion interferes with the cake’s ability to stay together during shaping. Breaking up the egg now prevents lumps in finished cakes. Lemon juice adds brightness. Cayenne adds a zippy undertone and a hint of color.|
||In a food processor, pulse bread until fine (~1 minute). It should yield ~2 cups bread crumbs. With a silicone spatula, mix into the egg mixture. Add salmon; lightly and thoroughly mix with your fingertips until l salmon is completely broken up and there is no dry bread.||Bread crumbs attract and retain moisture. Fresh crumbs create light, moist cakes. A light hand keeps the mixture light.|
||In a 12-inch tri-ply everyday pan over medium heat, circulate the butter to coat the base. When it foams and starts to brown (~2 minutes), form 4 salmon balls with a 2 ½-inch ice cream scoop, pressing each against the bowl to pack and level. Release directly into pan 1 inch apart. Promptly flatten each to ¾ inch with a spatula; cook until browned and firmed (~4 minutes each side). Repeat for remaining cakes.||Preheating discourages sticking and promotes food searing (rapid browning).|
Additional Testing Notes: Worcestershire sauce muddied the flavor instead of brightening it. We tried dill and basil as options and did not care for either.