Thai inspired Salmon Cakes with Homemade Chili Mayo

So I thought christmas is just around the corner and I have warned you, I am a huge fan of christmas. That’s why many of the following posts will be about all sorts of christmas-y kinds of food, and I can guarantee you a lot of recipes to the sweeter side. I’ll try to make them as healthy, wholesome and filled with good ingredients as possible, but still, I wanted to make a very anti- christmas, savory and healthy post this time, just to justify and maybe make up for my future blog behaviour..
I changed the direction of my kitchen a bit, and moved my mind to Thailand. I have a thing for thai food, and I am so lucky that I have attended a cooking school in the northern part of Thailand, where I learned to cook authentic thai food from a lovely man called Sammy who has his own organic farm, it was simply amazing!
When you are cooking a dish with a culture, country or a destination in mind, you need to be aware of the ingredients used in the specific kitchen. You do not add apple vinegar to a classic mediterranean dressing, or fish sauce in a classic nordic soup. You must be aware of the different elements and taste boosters they use in order to combine the perfect authentic flavours.
When I decided on throwing these salmon cakes in the thai direction, I also decided on which ingredients to use. I added soy and fish sauce to get a salty taste and umami, lime to get a sour twist, spring onions instead of classic onions and panko crumbs and sesame seeds instead of bread crumbs. Just small changes to bring forth the authentic flavours.

These small salmon cakes a meant as a snack, a side dish or a part of a lunch or main meal. You can eat a crispy cabbage salad on the side, or wrap them in salad leaves and make a yoghurt dressing to drizzle with. It’s very easy to incorporate them into a lot of tasty main dishes. In my snack version I have made a hot and sweet chili mayo to dip them in. It is a nice combination and the cakes actually needs something sweet on the side in order to be perfectly balanced.
I have made these with parsley (and yes I know thats not very thai-ish) but I hate fresh coriander, sorry I still have to learn that one, and so I have substituted it with parsley, but I can only recommend to use coriander if you like it, it will be a better and more classic fit. Further more I used two types of salmon, smoked salmon and fresh salmon. This is in order to get more variation in texture and flavour. I did bake the fresh salmon 5 min before adding it to the mix, but I would guess that it actually gets even better if you just chop it without baking it first, it only requires a salmon filet without skin.
I also choose to bake the cakes instead of frying or even deep frying them which would be the most obvious way to cook them in thailand, but I think they then become to fatty and unhealthy. I just drizzled them with a little oil before baking them, and then accepted that they do end up just a little less moist than the deep frying version.
The cakes are very delicious, I have had them approved by several delicate and competent taste buds today, so now I feel confident enough to share them with all of you. Hopefully you like them, and btw they are very easy to make and best when served warm and crisp straight from the oven.

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Thai salmon
cakes (Inspired by The Food Club)

Makes 16 cakes

225 g   fresh salmon filet
100 g smoked salmon
1 egg
3 spring onions, chopped finely
1,5 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp soy
2 Tbsp sesame seed
3 Tbsp panko crumbs/coconut flour
½ bunch of parsley/fresh coriander
4 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1 lime + zest from 1/2 lime
+ 1 cup (2,5 dl) panko crumbs and 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
oil to drizzle

1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F/200   °C
2. In a food processor or mini chopper add both kinds of salmon and puls a few times until roughly chopped. Add the mix to a bowl.
3. In the same food processor/chopper add garlic and parsley/coriander and puls a few times, and add to the salmon mix.    Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together.
4. In a bowl combine panko crumbs and sesame seeds. Use your hands to make small balls and roll them in the panko mix and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil (preferable sesame oil) and bake for 20 min or until golden and crisp.

Hot & sweet  chili-mayo
2 egg yolk
1 cup flavour less oil (rapeseed, sunflower, grape seed, sesame)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp hot chili powder
(TIP: you can also choose to buy an organic lovely mayo and just add the chili to it)

1. In a bowl add egg yolk and use a mixer to whisk it. Very slowly pour a little oil into the mixture while whisking.  Continue adding the oil, whisking thoroughly between each addition, until the sauce emulsifies and thickens after a few minutes. Stop adding the oil when the mayonnaise has reached the desired consistency (you may not need to use all the oil).
2. Add sweet chili sauce and chill powder to the mayo. Adjust the taste with more or less chili, vinegar and maybe a little salt, it is up to you! You can even add fish sauce, chopped coriander or something else if you desire…play around!

Serve the salmon cakes with chili-mayo and juicy lime boats. As a snack, with a salad or some lovely bread… Enjoy!