I first served these fish cakes to my daughter when she was about 18 months old. I was surprised that she liked them and have been serving them to her ever since. She almost always eats 2-3 little ones and prefers to dip them in ketchup, while we adults like them topped with mayonnaise and relish. They are a budget-friendly way to get a dose of the good fats in salmon into little ones. Both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell well-priced canned wild salmon that’s significantly less expensive than buying it fresh or frozen. Plus, you can stash a can in your pantry and whip out a dinner in no time at all.
After a full year of these being a reliable dinner option with my little one, last night she removed both of hers from her plate without even a nibble. She ate just her cauliflower and then an hour later, ate a bowl of leftover pasta with peanuts on the side. Which is just to say that toddlers are fickle and my family is not perfect!
Wild Salmon Cakes
Makes approximately 12 3-inch cakes
1 14.5 oz can wild salmon*
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup cornmeal, divided
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Combine salmon, eggs, mustard, 1/4-cup cornmeal, pepper, cheese, and chili pepper, if using, in a medium bowl. Mash together until well combined with a fork.
2. Spread the remaining 1/4-cup cornmeal onto a plate. Form into 2-tablespoon sized balls, then flatten into discs. Press each cake into cornmeal on both sides and place on lined baking sheet.
3. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with relish, ketchup, or mayonnaise.
*If you can, buy the kind with bones and crush them up well as you stir the batter together—you won’t notice them once you do. The bones add calcium.
Use flour instead of cornmeal.
Add 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh.
Add 1/4 cup minced fresh kale to the mix.