Salmon cakes for four, from less than a pound of fish


When people are concerned about dietary fat and heart disease, registered dietitians recommend eating fish at least two times a week. Fish has been credited with providing a number of health benefits, including helping to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and lowering blood pressure.

But buying a couple pounds of salmon steaks or cod fillets every week can be very expensive.

Serving salmon cakes with orange tartar sauce is a terrific way to enjoy the benefits of fresh fish at about half the price. This low-fat recipe will feed four people on a mere 12 ounces of fresh fish.

In this recipe, freshly cooked salmon is mixed with fresh bread crumbs, egg whites and seasonings to make full-flavored pancakes or patties. They're topped off with a light tartar sauce fTC flavored with orange zest, capers and sweet pickle relish.

Salmon cakes with orange tartar sauce

Serves 4

3/4 pound fresh salmon fillet

3 slices fat-free, low-calorie whole wheat bread (40 calories per slice)

2 green onions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon whole-grain or Dijon-style mustard

4 drops hot sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil

Place the salmon in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with wax paper and cook on high (100 percent) power for 2 minutes. Turn dish and cook for 1 minute longer on high (100 percent) power. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a food processor or blender, process the bread until it forms moist crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and combine with green onions, celery, dill, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Crumble the salmon with a fork, discarding any skin and bones. Add to the crumb mixture and season with mustard. Add the egg whites and stir to moisten. Mixture should be moist enough to stick together. Form into patties or cakes about 3 inches in diameter.

Add a small amount of the canola oil to a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the cakes without crowding in one or two batches, adding as little oil as possible. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Serve warm or hot with a dollop of orange tartar sauce.

(Test kitchen notes: If the mixture seems too moist, allow it to rest 15 minutes in the refrigerator before forming into patties.)

Nutrition information per serving: calories, 172; fat, 7.6 grams; carbohydrate, 4.5 grams; cholesterol, 32 milligrams; sodium, 367 milligrams.

Orange tartar sauce

Makes 6 (1-tablespoon) servings

1/4 cup low-calorie mayonnaise

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons whole-grain or Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon capers, drained and chopped

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange rind (zest)

2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

Combine all ingredients and stir well to blend.

Sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance to allow flavors to blend. Refrigerate until serving.

Nutrition information per serving: calories, 55; fat, 5 grams; carbohydrate, 2.1 grams; cholesterol, 4 milligrams; sodium, 167 milligrams.)

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