Monday, January 21, 2008

More tofu, I say! And more salmon!

Cooking Light strikes again in the TDL household. Tonight's success story involves both tofu AND salmon, this time of the canned variety. This is the result of shopping grocery store flyers - I saw that the good kind of canned salmon was on sale, so I did a quick search for recipes involving it, and came up with these salmon "burgers" breaded in panko - since I still had some from a few weeks ago, it seemed like kismet. The recipe uses soft tofu to bind the "burgers" (more like croquettes, really, or fish cakes) which I thought was rather brilliant. Problem was, it only called for a small amount of said soft tofu, and I knew I'd have to buy an entire package. So now we have roasted red pepper and silken tofu dip in the fridge (drained and blended with peppers and a little fresh lemon juice) ready to be spread on crackers or veggie sticks.

But the burgers. Were. Wonderful! The recipe calls for wasabi paste, but I don't really like wasabi in anything other than sushi rolls, so I subbed in a splash of soy sauce and it was just fine. The mixture was a little damp, so I added some of the panko to the fish paste and that helped, as did refrigerating the cakes a bit before cooking them. I fried them in a spray of canola oil in my Calphalon pan, and they turned out nice and crisp on the outside with a warm, soft interior. I didn't make the pesto that is meant to go with it, nor did we use buns for these. Instead, we dipped them in a little cocktail sauce and had some mashed sweet potatoes and frozen corn alongside. It wasn't the prettiest meal (hence no photo) but it was easy and tasty and generally healthful.

I will say that this was my first experience with canned salmon, and I don't know if I'll bother again - the skin/bone removal took ages and was gross, so I might just buy a cheap tail section of salmon filet and quickly poach it, then mash it down and carry on from there. The recipe cane be found here. If you like fish, give it a shot, even if you don't like tofu - honestly, you cannot taste it. It disappears into the fish and becomes smooth and undetectable. Very clever.


Anonymous said...

Don't the skin and bone just mash into canned salmon?

Alison said...

Yes, in theory, but that's assuming one enjoys eating slightly gritty salmon with bits of skin in it. I simply prefer not to.

Anonymous said...

I've been making salmon croquettes for my family for ages-cheap and easy-plus the ingredients are always in the house. It's messy, which is why I hate it, but for a quick meal, there's nothing easier. Tonight I tried this version, with a few tiny variations of my own-both wasabi sauce and soy sauce, wheat germ/whole wheat matzo meal instead of panko (which I didn't have) and minced garlic, along with some lemon juice. Everybody loved it-much preferred to the old, boring version. As they also loved your marinated salmon recipe. Thanks for passing them on. I'm going to be trying a lot more of your recommendations.

By the way, know any substitutes for fish sauce?

Alison said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying the recipes! Your additions to the salmon burger sound great - I think some lemon would really perk it up, especially.

When I don't want to use fish sauce I just use light soy sauce, honestly - gives the same salty tang without the fishiness. I find that the other aromatics usually cover the difference, if you know what I mean.