I have always found pan frying to be the trickiest step in cooking fish cakes. If the oil isn’t hot enough then the cakes turn out greasy, and if the oil is too hot you risk burning the cakes. Fish cakes are a delicate thing; flip them one too many times and they will break apart.
The inlaws are visiting this weekend and I mentioned the above to Vikkie, as I was planning the menu. He suggested that I try baking them and I scoffed at him. I was testing this recipe today, and burnt my first batch. I decided to baked the rest and they turned out awesome!
Baked Masala Salmon Cakes
adopted from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine
1 lb salmon
1/2 lb potato
1/4 lb yam
1/2 of small onion
1 medium jalapeno pepper
3 big cloves of garlic
bunch of fresh coriander
3 tbs flour
1 1/2 tbs garam masala
1 tbs coriander seeds
1/2 tbs ajwain seeds
salt to taste
vegetable oil for baking
2 lemons for serving
Start with boiling the potato and yam as that takes the longest. If your potato and yam are very big, cut them into halves to decrease boling time. Finely chop the: onion, garlic, jalapeno and coriander. Add them to a large bowl. Once the potato and yam are cooked set them aside to cool and dry.
Immerse the salmon in the potato water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside to cool. Peel the potato and yam, and mash them together. Once the salmon has cooled down, peel off the skin and flake the fish. Lightly pound the coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Save yourself some grief and beat the egg separately. Add all ingredients to the large bowl and mix to combine.
Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF. Place parchment paper on a baking tray and brush lightly with oil. Make round cakes and lay them on the baking tray. Place the tray in the oven. After 12 – 15 minutes flip the cakes over and take them out in another 5 minutes. Serve with chutney and a wedge of lemon.
This recipe makes about 24 – 30 cakes.
My verdict: Baking saves time because you can clean the kitchen while your food bakes. It’s also a healthier choice since you need a lot less oil. I hate to say it but my brother had an awesome idea.