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Very Herby Salmon Patties

This is one of those magic recipes that can be rustled up when you think you have almost nothing in the house and comes out fit for a dinner party. A can of salmon in the pantry and some herbs in the garden and you’re most of the way there.  It is also a great everyday healthy dinner – fast, cheap and featuring the superfood salmon.

I’ve stopped buying canned tuna altogether. Several species of tuna are critically endangered and likely to become extinct, and although skipjack, the species most often canned, is not itself listed as endangered it is being fished beyond a sustainable level and the methods used to catch it catch more vulnerable species as well.  And anyway, it’s not much of an omega3 or 6 source, certainly not enough to go on the superfoods list.

I’ve switched to canned pink salmon, or red salmon if I’m feeling like splurging. It’s got a lot of food miles on it, but canning is a more energy efficient way of preserving and transporting food than freezing. I look for the Marine Stewardship Council tick which indicates it comes from a sustainable fishery. These fish aren’t farmed but caught from the wild using nets. John West Alaskan pink and red salmon and Aldi’s Ocean Rise pink and red salmon both have the tick.

Although canned salmon doesn’t have quite the omega 3 levels that fresh salmon does, it is still one of the best sources there is. And since salmon is not native to our waters, the choice for me is either canned or farmed. Tasmanian salmon farming is greener than that in some other parts of the world, but still a worry, from both a health and an environmental point of view.

The recipe:

Drain a can of salmon and mash with a fork with one or two eggs (one for a small can, two for a large one), a lot of chopped herbs, and just enough whole meal plain flour to make a mix that can be moulded into patties.

“A lot of herbs” means much more than you would think – you could fill the salmon can with chopped herbs and it wouldn’t be too much. And the ratio of each doesn’t seem to matter. Choose from dill, coriander, parsley, chives, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, lemon basil, mint, vietnamese mint, lemon verbena, melissa: I use whatever I have currently in the garden.

Mould into patties and fry in a little olive oil over a medium flame until set and golden. They go well with a green salad or plain steamed vegetables, and some sweet chili sauce on the side.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Johanna Hamlyn January 25, 2010, 1:36 pm

    Can you please explain why Tasmanian salmon is not as green as John West and Aldi products. I like to support Australian industries where I can.

  • Linda January 25, 2010, 2:33 pm

    Hi Johanna, there are no wild Atlantic salmon in Australian waters. There are a couple of fish farms in Tasmania that produce exotic salmon, and all the fresh salmon you see in the supermarket or fish shop is almost certainly from there – the only other fresh salmon you could get would be very expensive air-freighted. (The Australian wild fish called Australian salmon are a completely different species, more like tailor and not related at all). The fish farms in Tasmania don’t produce canned salmon for the supermarket. Tassal just last year launched a “premium” canned salmon, but I don’t know where you could buy it. So, if you want salmon, basically, you can get fresh Australian farmed salmon, or canned imported wild-caught salmon. The canned salmon I reckon is ethical fish consumption, even though it has a lot of food miles, because it comes from a sustainable fishery. The Tasmanian farmed salmon is more controversial: there are many critics (David Suzuki amongst them), who claim this kind of fish farming is just like battery chooks, and an environmental, animal rights, and health disaster. Here’s a taste of the debate: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2009/s2766962.htm

  • Tricia January 25, 2010, 5:20 pm

    I’ve been dissapointed that I couldn’t find Marine Stewardship Council Salmon….but then the other day I found it (in Aldi of all places!). I love salmon so am looking forward to trying this recipe thanks.

  • Michael Woodrow February 1, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Looks right for us us to switch to Aldi red salmon. Suits me fine Aldi is a great place to shop and I prefer the taste of Salmon to Tuna anyway. More Omege 3 too. I happily have a lot of canned fish in my diet but he very herby salmon patties might mask out the fishy after taste I am some times left with.

  • Anonymous June 27, 2016, 6:33 pm

    So, Linda, you are one of the seven people who still believe a word Suzuki spouts?
    Made the patties yesterday, with a few mods.
    The Aldi fish is quite good.

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