We enjoy traveling to New England and particularly love Maine. We fly into Portland and spend time in the city, but our destination is always the quaint coastal towns. Portland is an up and coming food city with great restaurants, bakeries, and shops. So much great food to try. One of my travel pleasures is to capture food memories by creating a new discovered dish when I return home.
At one of the Portland restaurants, we discovered Asian salmon cakes. They were unlike any seafood cake we have had previously, usually being crab cakes. The salmon cakes were tender and moist with a crisp exterior, served with a miso mayo. Often times the restaurant will share their recipe, but this time the restaurant was not comfortable doing so. This would become my next research task when I returned home: how to recreate the salmon cakes.
It took a few tries with some fails, but I finally created a salmon cake recipe that matched what we had at the restaurant. Maybe even better. Making the salmon cakes does require a few steps, but it is worth the effort. I like to serve the salmon cakes with pickled savoy cabbage. Pickled Vegetables
Downeast Salmon Cakes with Miso Mayo
1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon finely diced serrano or jalapeno pepper
2 green onion scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1-pound poached salmon
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more for dredging
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
2 limes for serving
Poach the salmon: Cut the salmon into 2-inch pieces. Set aside. Add cold water to a saucepan, enough to cover the salmon when it is added to the pan. Place the saucepan onto the stovetop over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, add in 1 teaspoon of salt. Add in the salmon pieces, then turn off the heat covering the pan. Set a timer for 2 minutes to poach the salmon; drain the salmon into a sieve discarding the water. Allow the salmon to cool.
Working with a large bowl, combine the finely diced peppers, scallions, ginger, cilantro, egg, salt and coconut milk. Fold in the cooled poached salmon, breaking up into small pieces, and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. Scoop the salmon mixture into 1/3-cup mounds. Place the cakes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly flattening the cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the vegetable oil for frying in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Gently coat each salmon cake in panko to coat the sides, top and bottom. When the oil is hot, carefully place each cake into the oil, cooking for 2-3 minutes on side one, and 2 minutes on the second side. Remove from the pan, placing onto paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve with lime wedges and miso mayo.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir to combine well.