Just when I think I’m tapped out and the creative well has gone dry, I stumble onto an interesting read or find a stack of old notebooks from years ago, brimming to the seams with ideas. Some of the ideas are pretty darn clever and some not so good – which is why a few of those recipes never happened.
It’s been an interesting and creative few weeks (along with a monster of a cold that hung on like the winter back East). I relish creative moments. I write and I write and I write. I don’t erase anything no matter how silly or gross tasting it might appear at that moment. Because when I eventually come back to it, sometimes it makes perfect sense. Creativity is a crazy process. Creativity feels like freedom to think outside a box, letting imagination change perspective at will.
So, when new culinary companies approach me about their products, it’s one more opportunity to be creative. I don’t promote too many food brands on this website but the few that I do promote must meet a few requirements. Does it identify with my food values? Would I serve it to my family? Is it something my readers would enjoy? Where and how is it made or grown or raised?
When Verlasso Salmon first contacted me about using one of my salmon recipes I was intrigued, and honestly, a little skeptical. As you know I’m not a fan of farm raised fish of any kind. Verlasso Salmon is the exception; because it’s an exceptional product.
Not only is Verlasso Salmon the first and only farm raised Atlantic salmon to receive the “good alternative” buy ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch, the flavor and texture of Verlasso Salmon is almost identical to wild salmon. I found the oil content balanced, the texture to be firm and less “mushy” than traditional farmed salmon and the taste every bit as flavorful as wild salmon.
Verlasso says “Verlasso’s driving force has been the call for a more responsible aquaculture worldwide. It guides all of our business efforts and continues to shape our approach for the long-term. We are taking the lead in establishing a new model for fish farming, one that’s always in balance with nature. It’s an evolutionary way of thinking about—and raising salmon.”
You’re probably saying to yourself “Karista, you live in the Pacific Northwest, home of wild salmon. Why are you talking about Atlantic salmon?” Because you, my readers, subscribers and followers of social media, live all over North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I feel lucky to live in the land of Pacific Northwest Salmon. I value this resource and I’d like to keep it flourishing. So when companies like Verlasso embark on such a noble cause, I want you to know about it.
For more information about Verlasso Salmon and their sustainable fish farming methods, along with additional salmon recipes, check out their website HERE.
In the meantime, I created these delicious and festive Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers for Verlasso Salmon and now I’m sharing them with you.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers
For the Salmon Cakes
1 lb Salmon
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Thai roasted red chili paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 egg, slightly whisked
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup Panko style breadcrumbs
For the Aioli:
½ - ¾ cup good quality mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 lime zested
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon wasabi paste, optional
For the Cucumbers
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
Serve with slider buns and fresh arugula leaves
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Place the salmon on a baking sheet or in a baking pan and brush with a little olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the oven and roast the salmon for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven and let it cool.
While the salmon is cooking, whisk together the ½ - ¾ cup mayonnaise with the finely chopped cilantro, lime zest and garlic. Set aside.
In a non-reactive bowl, add the sliced cucumbers and enough rice wine vinegar to cover the cucumbers. Let them sit and marinate for about 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Once the salmon has cooled, shred the salmon, removing any bones and skin, and add it to a medium size bowl. Add the green onions, grated fresh ginger, Thai roasted red chili paste, lemon juice and about ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until nicely incorporated.
Next, gently mix in the egg, mayonnaise and panko breadcrumbs until all the ingredients are nicely incorporated. Don’t over mix, just enough so the salmon will form into patties. If the salmon mix is too dry, add one additional tablespoon of mayonnaise.
Place the salmon mix in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill. This will help form the patties.
Divide the salmon mixture into 8-10 pieces and form patties.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.
When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the patties to the skillet. Let the salmon cakes cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side until dark golden brown, almost toasted in color. Adjust the heat lower if the salmon cakes get too dark too quickly.
Once the salmon cakes are done, place each salmon cake on a slider bun and serve with the cilantro lime aioli, marinated cucumbers and fresh arugula leaves. Enjoy!
Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett