We are living in a time when going grocery shopping poses risk and money is tight. Most people are feeding themselves with what exists inside their pantries already. With enough creativity, however, those pantry staples can make delicious meals. For many Alaskans, spring means you might also still have salmon in the freezer. If you do, now is the time to eat it up.
Over the weekend, my partner and I decided to pull two fillets from the freezer and chop them up to make salmon patties. We were inspired by a recipe from Kenai’s own Maya Wilson and her “Alaska From Scratch” cookbook. We followed the general guidelines for her recipe, but we doubled it and added our own spin. We knew we wanted to make salmon patties, but we didn’t have any of the fixings to make a proper burger. My boyfriend decided to use Sriracha and mayo to make a spicy faux aioli, which he drizzled onto a tortilla. He added some greens to the tortilla and then the patty, and rolled the whole thing into a wrap.
I wasn’t feeling that. I boiled some water to cook a single serving of rice noodles we’ve had in our pantry for awhile now. I put them in a bowl and tossed them with toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. I added some of the greens we had and some cilantro that’s on its way to going bad to the bowl. I broke up my salmon patty and added it to the bowl.
If you’re looking to make pantry meals as yummy as possible, get adventurous with the spices you have on hand, take an inventory of everything in your freezer and fridge and play around with it. This salmon patty recipe should make about four patties and is yours to mess with. We used this base, and added garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onions and other spices. You can use the things you like and the things you have access to — like cumin, green onions and chopped up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, the kind that come in little can — for a Mexican-style patty? Or dill and lemon juice? Really good mustard? Whatever you want. It’s your salmon patty party.
Basic salmon patties
One salmon fillet, chopped into small cubes
3⁄4 cup of breadcrumbs or panko
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon of salt
1. Place the chopped salmon, the breadcrumbs, egg whites and salt in a mixing bowl. Wash your hands and use them to combine everything together. On a cookie sheet, parchment paper or other clean surface, take a glob of the mixture and form it into a patty until all the mixture is gone and all the patties are ready to cook.
2. In a skillet, heat on medium/high enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, place two patties into the skillet.