Corn and Salmon Cakes

This recipe has been a favourite of ours for a long time. It is based on one in the Rebar Cookbook, which offers recipes from the restaurant of the same name in Victoria. The restaurant (and cookbook) feature mostly vegetarian dishes, with a few seafood options. The focus tends to be on local, seasonal and healthy food, although no mention of Rebar is complete without a shout out to their amazing chocolate cake. Bar none, it is the best, most intensely chocolatey cake I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat, which is why we made it as our wedding cake. Perhaps that recipe will be the subject of another post (although it’s not really in keeping with my emerging theme of healthy everyday food!).

A few years ago we decided to try to eat vegetarian a few nights every week. I was a vegetarian for many years, while Mr. Chumsley is very much a meat-and-two-veg kind of guy, so it was up to me to try to find recipes that he would like. While this recipe is NOT  vegetarian, it uses a fairly small amount of salmon for flavour, rather than as the focus of the dish.  We enjoy these cakes with a dollop of mayo, a big green salad and some crusty bread.

The original recipe calls for wild rice. While delicious, it is expensive. One option is to buy it in bulk at Whole Foods. I also discovered today that “Pirate Joe’s”, a local shop that stocks Trader Joe’s goods, sell a fairly large bag for about $7. (We’re not entirely sure how legitimate Pirate Joe’s is, but we are delighted to be able to buy dark chocolate peanut butter cups without driving to Bellingham!) In the recipe below I’ve suggested a using a black rice blend that has much the same texture as wild rice, but at a fraction of the cost.

The original recipe also calls for hot smoked salmon, the kind that looks like a fillet (as opposed to cold smoked, which is the kind you’d get on a bagel with cream cheese). We usually use hot smoked, but the most recent time we had some salmon candy in the freezer, thanks to our membership in Skipper Otto’s community-supported fishery, and it was extra delicious!

Corn and Salmon Cakes

  • 2 cups frozen corn (or fresh, cut off the cob, although frozen works just fine)
  • 1 cup cooked black or wild rice (cook 1/3 of a cup to make 1 cup cooked)
  • 1 cup crumbled hot smoked or candied salmon
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, white and pale green parts only, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil

If you are cooking rice for this recipe, remember that it takes about 35 – 45 minutes to cook wild or black rice.

If using frozen corn, measure out the 2 cups and leave to thaw slightly while assembling the rest of the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 200F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place baking sheet in the oven.

In a large bowl, combine corn, rice, salmon, green onions.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and whisk in the milk and butter. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the vegetable oil, and blend to make a smooth batter. Add to the corn mixture and mix well.

Heat the vegetable oil in a well-seasoned cast iron  (my preference) or non-stick pan over medium heat. Drop about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan per pancake, and nudge as needed to even each one out. Cook until golden and then flip and cook the other side. Place cooked cakes on the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven (this is a trick that enables everyone to eat hot pancakes at the same time). Repeat until all batter is cooked, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

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