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A&E >  Food

Top soy ginger salmon patties with wasabi aioli for a little kick

By Ann Maloney Washington Post

I love a simply prepared salmon fillet, slow-roasted or gently pan-seared with a little olive oil and sprinkled with herbs and lemon juice. Still, we’ve all been there. We buy a fillet – fresh or frozen – only to discover that it’s not quite as fresh as it appeared at the grocery store or fish market.

That’s where fish patties can come to the rescue. With added spices and a binder, they can save the day flavorwise and be a thrifty way to make your fish go a little further, too. I’ll make this patty from Betty Crocker’s “Simply Delicious Diabetic Cookbook” again.

The mild salmon is combined with fresh ginger, scallions and soy sauce and served with an aioli heated with a whisper of wasabi powder. Taste and add more if you want a livelier kick. The six-ingredient patty could be made with other fish, as well, such as cod, snapper or sea bass.

The first time around, I overmixed the fish mixture, and my patties were a bit rubbery. The key to making these is to be gentle as you mix the seasoning and fish together. Cut the salmon into big chunks, then drop it in the bowl of the food processor with the grated fresh ginger and sliced scallions.

Pulse it just until the ingredients are chopped and combined. It is best if small pieces of fish are visible. Then gently blend that mixture by hand with panko and soy sauce just until combined and form into patties. One note: These patties, which do not call for eggs, are soft, so they are not suitable for grilling.

The cookbook, which includes more than 160 recipes designed for people with diabetes, suggests cooking the patties on one side in an ovenproof skillet and then finishing them in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, but I found them easy to sear, flip and finish on the stove.

Try the patties, as the cookbook recommends, atop lettuce leaves with sliced avocado and a homemade aioli, or eat them on a toasted brioche roll smeared with that aioli. We also liked them with a vinegar, soy and scallion dipping sauce.

Soy Ginger Salmon Patties

For the salmon patties:

1 pound skinless salmon filet, cut into 3-inch chunks

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

4 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup plain panko breadcrumbs

4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

Leaves of red leaf or Bibb lettuce, for serving

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced, for serving

Lemon wedges, for serving

For the aioli:

½ cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 teaspoon honey, plus more as needed

½ teaspoon wasabi powder or prepared horseradish

¼ teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed

In the bowl of a food processor, place the salmon, ginger and scallions, and pulse just until the ingredients are chopped; do not overprocess. It’s OK if small chunks are visible. In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon mixture, breadcrumbs and soy sauce just until combined. Shape the mixture into four patties about ½-inch thick.

In a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the patties and cook until browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip to brown the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Make the aioli: While the patties cook, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, garlic, honey, wasabi powder or prepared horseradish and salt. Taste, and add more honey and/or salt, as needed.

Place a few lettuce leaves on each plate; top each with a salmon patty. Add the avocado slices and a dollop of aioli to each patty. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Yield: 4 servings

Make ahead: The aioli can be made up to three days in advance.

Storage notes: Refrigerate for up to three days.

Where to buy: Wasabi powder is available at well-stocked supermarkets, as well as Asian or international supermarkets.

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