We weren’t a religious family, but our mother, Olive, would always make salmon patties (sometimes with tuna) for our evening meal on Good Friday. It was her excuse to make them – we loved them so much. While I had good recollection of the ingredients and how they were made, I had to resort to my sister, Jan, to fine tune the recipe – she makes them every year still.
Basically the recipe consists of mashed potato combined with the salmon and a few flavourings, formed into patties then shallow fried.
Don’t’ use too much potato as the salmon flavour will be somewhat diluted. You could experiment a little with the ingredients, for example, some dill rather than parsley, but be careful they don’t overwhelm what is a fairly delicate flavour. For frying, you can omit the flour or breadcrumbs if you wish. We find vinegar is the best condiment, enhancing the flavours of both the potato and salmon.
The photos at the end are of the various stages.
Ingredients (for two people)
1 x 220g pink or red salmon (or tuna)
2 medium sebago potatoes (or equivalent white variety)
knob of butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) 1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/3 cup milk (or 50% milk and water)
1 cup breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for fying
quality vinegar, lemon, lime, tartare sauce, capers for serving
Drain the salmon and remove bones (and the grey matter if you wish). Mash coarsely.
Peel and boil or steam the potatoes. Drain and dry out somewhat. Mash and add some butter and combine so that the potatoes are moistened, but not soft and runny. (Do not add milk or cream.)
Coarsely mash the salmon and add to the potato with the onion, salt and pepper (and parsley or dill) and combine but don’t overwork. Season more if needed.
Combine the egg and milk and beat to combine.
Put the flour, egg-milk and breadcrumbs in separate plates, bowls or saucers.
Shape the salmon and potato mixture into patties in a size similar to a hamburger – makes four to six patties. Roll in the flour, then the egg and milk, then the breadcrumbs. Place on a floured dish or baking paper until needed.
To cook, add oil to a frying pan to about 2 mm depth. Heat the oil, test with a small amount of potato or flour to see that it sizzles. Fry the patties for about eight to ten minutes in total. Press down carefully with a spatula a little to flatten. turning once carefully. They should be golden on each side. Add more oil if needed.
Serve hot. Serve with some quality vinegar or lemon or lime to squeeze over the top. Top with capers or serve with some tartare sauce if you wish. Accompany with a green salad.
Difficulty: 3/5 (Moderately difficult). It is in fact quite easy, but care must be taken so that the mixture holds together during handling and frying.