This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Loblaws Companies Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.
I often like to joke that salt cod runs through my veins, but the reality is that I actually don’t make fish at home all that often. Not because I dislike it (quite the opposite, in fact), but rather because I always seem to forget to swing by the fish counter when I’m doing my grocery shopping.
These tasty little fresh salmon cakes have me changing my tune, though. They’re made with fresh sockeye salmon, one of my favourite options for fresh, sustainable fish.
Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is usually farmed and available pretty much year-round, fresh sockeye is caught wild and is available for a limited time only – usually between May and mid-September – and is very much worth the hassle of hunting it down.
Hence why I found myself braving storm clouds and Pride Week crowds to bike out to the only grocery store open downtown on Canada Day to pick up some fresh sockeye salmon. Thankfully, I managed to arrive at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws just in time to score the last two sockeye fillets left at the fish counter. (I may or may not have elbowed a couple of people out of my way in my rush to make them mine. All’s fair in love and war and fish shopping.)
Thankfully, it’s actually pretty easy to pick up fresh sockeye. I just like to live on the edge, I guess.
I still love Atlantic salmon and that rich buttery thing it has going on, but sockeye has a leaner, meatier texture that makes it perfect for recipes like salmon burgers or kebabs. Not to mention that its intense coral-pink colour looks amazing, no matter how you choose to prepare it.
After going to such lengths to get some sockeye, I wanted to make something that would let their delicate flavour and beautiful colour shine, which is exactly what these simple fresh salmon patties are designed to do.
First, I started by going old school, and chopped the fillets by hand to keep some of that lovely meaty texture. Then I went with very minimal seasoning, just a little salt and pepper, plus fresh lime for a pop of citrus flavour. The only other adornment is the lovely pale green dollops of aioli flavoured with the trifecta of fresh tarragon, parsley and chives that is better known as Green Goddess.
I chose to go with small two-bite patties that could be served on a bed of tender lettuce for a simple, fresh hot-weather lunch. However, they’re pretty dang amazing made into full-sized patties and nestled into challah buns for a gourmet salmon burger.
One thing’s for sure, though… one bite and you’ll be (wait for it…) hooked. Ba-dum-ching.
Tip your waitress. I’ll be here all week. And try the salmon!
Share the Love Contest:
To sweeten the deal, you might just win your next grocery shop at Loblaws (estimated value $250). To enter, follow @LoblawsON on Instagram, then share a photo of your favourite sockeye salmon recipes with the hashtags #WeLoveFood and #ShareTheFoodLove. (Pro tip: Don’t forget to make sure your account is set to public so that the team at Loblaws can see it!)
- 1 lb sockeye salmon filet
- ½ cup panko crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp lime zest
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped chives
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp anchovy paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 leaves Boston or red leaf lettuce
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, remove the skin from the salmon and discard. Finely chop the salmon - you're aiming to preserve some of the texture of the fish (as opposed to using the food processor, which I find tends to reduce the fish to a paste), but chop it finely enough to hold together if you gently form it into a ball.
- In a large bowl, stir together the salmon with panko, egg, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until everything is well combined.
- Shape the mixture into 8 equal-sized patties. Arrange on a baking sheet and chill for half an hour to help them set up.
- While the patties are chilling, prepare the aioli. Using a food processor, pulse the parsley, chives, tarragon and garlic until finely chopped. Add the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and anchovy paste. Process for a minute or two, or until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour into a small mason jar and chill until ready to use.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the patties for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Arrange a leaf or two of lettuce on each plate, and top with two patties. Spoon a generous amount of aioli on top, and serve with lime wedges on the side. (The leftover aioli is delicious as a sandwich spread, or as a creamy dip for fresh vegetables.)