Why yes, this is a giant side of fresh salmon! And yes, I am about to chop half of it up and use it to make my yummy fresh salmon burgers (salmon cakes, really) with Fresno chiles, mint, and red onion and devour it over salad for a filling, healthy, protein-packed, and ultra-delicious mermaid lunch.
I first fell in love with fishcakes when I spent a college summer living in London, and though very little about this recipe is reminiscent of the cozy pub dinners I enjoyed there, I still feel the same comfort tucking into this richly flavorful — and juicy! — fish medallion.
Pops of capers and fresh herbs keep your taste buds guessing, while a bit of heat from the chiles is tempered nicely by the richness of the salmon. I love getting my fish big format like this and then I’ll save the rest to make my Sticky Chili Glazed Airfryer Salmon or simply pan seared filets with extra crispy, salty skin that my kids love! Or just portion out and save in my freezer for a quick dinner down the road.
But for now — fishcakes, baby!
Prep time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes refrigeration
Cook time: 20 minutes
7 tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil, divided (1 tablespoon only for baked method)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 Fresno chile, seeded and finely chopped
½ medium red onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-pound skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (1 1/4 -pounds skin-on salmon fillet before the skin is removed)
½ cup plus 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped capers, drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Avocado oil cooking spray (for baking method only)
•Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add the bell pepper, Fresno chile, and onion and allow to cook until vegetables have softened but don’t brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow to cool.
•Meanwhile, chop the salmon into small pieces, about 1/4 -inch, and place into a large bowl. Add the ½ cup breadcrumbs, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, egg, parsley, mint, and cooled vegetables. Mix until well combined and season again with salt and pepper.
•Form into six patties using a ½ cup measure, each being about 1-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or large plate, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes (or longer) to set.
For the Pan-Fried Cakes:
•Wipe out the same large cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet with paper towels. Set a plate lined with paper towels next to the stove. Place the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs in a large bowl or baking dish.
•Heat the skillet with 1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil over medium heat. Dredge three of the cakes in breadcrumbs and place into the hot oil. Allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, adding another tablespoon or so of oil if the pan is dry, until golden and cooked through (the salmon will be opaque). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining three salmon cakes. Serve immediately.
For the Baked Cakes:
•Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and allow to toast for 4 to 5 minutes in the oven until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
•Line the same baking sheet with parchment paper. When the breadcrumbs are cooled, dredge the chilled salmon cakes on both sides with the breadcrumbs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the cakes with olive oil spray.
•Bake for 15 minutes until golden and cooked through, the fish should be opaque when flaked with a fork. Serve immediately.
Tip: Once cooled, store leftover cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. Warm in a 250ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes and broil at the end for a crispy top if desired (watch carefully!).