A good salmon cake delivers rich flavor and tender texture; the best veers away from flavor- muting binders at all costs.
We used a food processor to roughly chop salmon for a varied and not overly dense texture (don’t overprocess the salmon, or the cakes will have a pasty texture). A single slice of bread provided just enough binding and a bit of mayonnaise ensured our patties would stay moist.
Broiling the patties made them easy to flip and kept them from overcooking. We arranged them on one end of a baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for a broiler-friendly vegetable — asparagus — to cook simultaneously. A quick lemon and parsley sauce added a touch of class.
Be sure to use raw salmon here; do not substitute cooked or canned salmon.
HERBED SALMON CAKES WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON-HERB SAUCE
By America’s Test Kitchen
- 1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound skinless salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- >> Lemon-Herb Sauce:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 scallion, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
>> To make sauce: Combine ingredients in bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Adjust oven rack 3 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
Pulse bread in food processor to make coarse crumbs, about 4 pulses; you should have about 3/4 cup. Transfer to bowl.
Working in 2 batches, pulse salmon in food processor until coarsely ground, about 4 pulses; add to breadcrumbs; toss to combine.
Whisk shallot, mayonnaise, parsley, mustard, capers, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in bowl, then gently fold into salmon mixture.
Divide salmon mixture into 4 portions and gently pack into 1-inch-thick patties.
Place salmon cakes on 1 side of rimmed baking sheet. Toss asparagus with oil, remaining salt and pepper; spread in single layer on empty side of sheet. Broil 8 to 12 minutes, until cakes are lightly browned on both sides and asparagus is lightly browned and tender, turning both halfway.
Transfer salmon and asparagus to platter; let rest 5 minutes. Serve with lemon-herb sauce. Serves 4
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 374 calories, 23 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 71 mg cholesterol; 634 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g protein.