Breadcrumb Trail or Trial?If you cook a reasonable amount, you will run into the need for breadcrumbs. And that isn't much of a problem for most people.
Well, I'm not most people.
Gluten-free breadcrumbs aren't available everywhere. When I do find them, I certainly don't waste them on making a trail! But I certainly will give them a trial!
Normally, I just make some fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs from some sort of gluten-free bread product I have on hand: sliced bread, hamburger bun, bagel. These are fresh breadcrumbs.
But that isn't good enough when the recipe calls for panko. Panko is a Japanese variety of dried breadcrumbs and is lighter and cripser in texture than fresh breadcrumbs.
It is hard to make your own gluten-free panko substitute from fresh gluten-free bread products. They just aren't light enough, assuming you do get them dry enough.
So imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon these in one of my local health food stores!
But what to make with them?
It just so happened that we had fresh salmon on hand.
Instead of coating the salmon with panko as one usually might do, we decided to mix it into the salmon and make fresh salmon cakes. Canned salmon can also be used, and that makes a good alternative in a pinch. But if you have fresh salmon, these cakes rock!
Fresh Salmon Cakes
2 cups fresh salmon, cut into quarter inch chunks
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
optional: 1/4 tsp dried dill or 1/4 tsp chili powder
Mix all ingredients together well. We usually start with the panko and then add the eggs, letting the two sit together for a bit and get to know each other. You might think that defeats the purpose of the light and crispy panko, but not so. These cakes are lighter because of the panko.
If using canned salmon, form into cakes. When using fresh salmon, these don't really pack together into cakes very well. You need to spoon it into the moderately hot pan, making cakes as you go.
Sauté cakes in butter until brown, about 5 or 6 minutes. The salmon around the edges will start to look cooked. Then you know it is time to turn them over.
Here, the top three cakes are ready to be turned and the bottom three cakes have already been turned. You want to aim for lightly browned.
These are not supposed to be blackened. Blackened salmon will have to wait for another post.
After turning, cook for about 4 to 5 minutes more.
That's it! These are ready to serve hot, right out of the pan. Of course, if you overdid it a bit with the butter in your pan, you can rest them briefly on a paper towel before serving them.
These are a great, quick and delicious meal! You can serve these cakes with tartar sauce (my boy's choice), or lemon juice (my choice), or just as they are (my husband's and daughter's choice).
The gluten-free panko works well and tastes good. Don't confuse panko with just any breadcrumbs. Fried foods will be lighter and crispier with panko. Give it a try!