Salmon cakes with lemon yogurt sauce

This is an oldie but a goodie at our house. 


Such an oldie that I first blogged it back in 2011, before I was even a full-time farmer. And because I wrote the post and I still make it the same way, I'm plagiarizing it. I had actually retyped it nicely but I'm still learning this new platform and just accidentally deleted it. Yay! I did take new pictures for you though and still have those. You so lucky.


I like to pair some kind of salad with these cakes because the acidity provides a nice balance to fried foods (think squeezing a lemon over your calamari). It's funny to look back at the old post and see what I thought arugula was; those wimpy, mostly flavorless little slips of leaves in the vented plastic carton. I supposed it was peppery, as arugula is described, but oh man. You have no idea how hot real arugula is! I love tearing off bits of leaves and watching people try it at the Farmers Market. 


As Mr. Bittman would say, it is absolutely essential to employ an adorable vessel to serve the yogurt sauce.


Serves 2, adapted from the tragically defunct Gourmet, August 2008

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 egg white

1/4 tsp ground coriander

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 a bunch of scallions (maybe 4 nice thick ones), whites and greens thinly sliced and separated

zest of 1 lemon 

1/2 cup of bread crumbs, I like panko

2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (around 2/3 lb)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

juice of 1/2 the lemon you zested

green parts of the scallions you sliced

whatever salad fixin's need to be used in your house (in mine it was arugula and an avocado) with a nice sharp dressing of choice

In a large bowl, combine the mayo, Dijon, egg white, coriander, cayenne, sliced whites of the scallions, and lemon zest. Cut the salmon first into 1 inch cubes, then carefully run your knife through several times (comme ci) until there are chunks of all different sizes, taking care to make sure there's a half cup or so that has been thoroughly minced. It'll help bind the cakes. Add the salmon and bread crumbs to the mayo mixture with a good pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Form into four nice big patties, placing them on a clean plate as you go, and slip them into the fridge. These are pretty wet patties, letting them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or so really helps them stay together when they cook. 

Stir together the yogurt, juice of half of the lemon you zested, green parts of the scallions, and a pinch of kosher salt. Let it mellow on the counter. 

Toss together your little salads. 

When you're ready to eat, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. I got lucky this year, City Mama stuffed my stocking with all kinds of bottles from Grapevine Olive Oil Company, and among them was a lemon-infused one. Fry the cakes for just 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and delicious. Slather with yogurt sauce!