Q-Treats: Salmon Patties

First, you’ll need the following tasty, tasty items:

  • 4 slices wheat bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 small chopped onion
  • Seasoning (this can be your favorite mixed seasoning; I tend to go for Greek)
  • Olive oil
  • Flavorless oil (vegetable, corn or peanut oil is good)

You’ll also need the following hardware:

  • Another, smaller non-stick pan
  • A plastic spatula
  • A plate with some folded paper towel on it
  • A good chef’s knife
  • A mixing bowl
  • A cutting board

This first recipe is something I like to do every now and again for myself. It’s fairly simple to make. The only real labor other than mixing the ingredients together is chopping up some onion and tearing up some bread. Granted, it takes a little more time than throwing that Hot Pocket in the nuke, but it’s tastier and is better for you. So, what are you waiting for? Set that controller down, walk away from the keyboard, head to the kitchen and let’s start cooking.

Okay. To get going, we start by putting the skillet on the stove and filling it a third of an inch high with the oil. I know a lot of people’s instincts might lead them to turn the burner on high. Do not do this. Set the burner to medium-low.

The reason for this is that if the oil is cooking at high when you put the patties in, they’ll brown on the outside way before the middle gets hot. In the end, all you’d be left with is crispy goo. What you want is for the patties to take as long to brown as they do to heat. Then you’re looking at yum. Yes, I said that intentionally.

Next we’ll need to chop the onion. Now, a lot of people have difficulty with this for several reasons. One, onions make some people cry; two, those layers are hard to control. Well, there are solutions to both of these problems.

First, let’s deal with the crying issue. If you’re one of the people who has this problem, all you have to do is lay your cutting board across the sink and run water over it. Once you have the peel off the onion, you can keep it under the running water and that will fend off the crying fits.

Second, how to keep the onion under control while you cut. Well, let’s look at the way to cut the onion. First, chop off the end of the onion that doesn’t have the hair-like root still attached to it – you’ll want this part left to help keep the layers together –so it has a flat bottom. Next, set the onion on its end and cut it in half starting in the middle of the root area.

Once this is done, set the other half of the onion aside and peel the outer layers off the half you’re working with, continuing to keep the root in place. Cut the onion half through the middle from bottom to top, stopping before you reach the root and then lay it on its flat side.

Here, you simply cut strips into it from the root end down. (Remember to leave the root in place still.) Once this is done, you should have a bunch of onion strips, otherwise known as julienned, held together by the root end. From here all you have to do is turn the onion 90 degrees and cut the strips into small squares. (Remember to keep your fingers out of the way during all this cutting. You’re not going to be able to comment on the latest Digg article if you lose your digits in the process.) Viola! Chopped onion.

Now just sauté the onion in the smaller pan with some olive oil until they become translucent and take them from the pan to the plate with the paper towel on it to drain off the excess oil.

While you’re sautéing and draining the onion, take the four pieces of bread and tear them into small chunks, throwing them into the mixing bowl. Also, open the cans of salmon and drain them before dumping them into the bowl as well. Go ahead and add the onions now, too, if they’ve drained enough.

At this point, you will want to add some seasoning to your mix. I know a lot of recipes tell the person using them exactly how much of the seasoning to put in, but I’m not going to. The truth is, I never measure what I put into what I’m cooking unless I know for a fact it will kill the end product if I don’t. Just put in the amount that tastes good to you. Remember to not be afraid to taste your food while cooking.

I will say, however, that now is the best time to add the seasoning because, if you’re like most people, you’re not going to want to test-taste until it’s cooked once you add the eggs, which you will do… now.

Okay kids, now it’s time to get messy. Take your hands and mix everything together, squishing the eggs into the rest of the mixtures as you go. Once you’ve finished this, don’t worry about washing your hands yet. You still need to shape the mix into patties. This is really easy: Just quarter the mixture off and round/pat the quarters out into patty shapes. You should be able to get four decent-sized patties out of the mixture unless you’re like me and gave part of your fish to your cats before beginning the process. (You can wash your hands now if you like.)

Now, simply take these patties and, using your spatula, gently place them in the oil. Don’t let them touch. They’ll take longer if you crowd them.

And, just let them cook. Check to see how the bottoms are browning; when they’re a nice golden brown, simply flip them over – gently again – and let the other side cook. Remember, the oil needs to be medium/low. If the patties seem to be browning too quickly, turn the burner down. If they still cook too fast, put them on a pan and slide them into an oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about five minutes to finish off. Do not nuke them; it will only make them soggy.

Don’t worry if the oil heat is an issue the first time around. Every stove is different and cooking with oil takes a little practice. But once you get it down, there will be an unlimited number of things you can make!

Once the patties have finished cooking, set them to the side on the plate with a paper towel on it. Let them drain for a few minutes before serving.

In the meantime, just prep your plate. Grab some dipping sauces, garnishes, whatever you like. I actually serve mine with a honey mustard mixture. Basically I take two parts honey mustard and mix it with one part sour cream. Extremely tasty.

Well… There you have it. Amish Otaku’s first cooking how-to. I hope you enjoyed reading it and hope you enjoy making the dish. But, before I go, I want to encourage you elite geeks to experiment with your dishes. For instance, to add some extra flavor to this dish, I’ve been known to add fresh chiffon cut basil (or basil leaves cut into strips) into the mixture. It gives the patties a little something extra.

So go ahead, give these things a whirl and let me know what you think. As for me, I think I’ll just say “Oishii!” and get back to saving some Little Sisters.