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Fancy Fish Sticks

January 15, 2010

So, here’s a little recipe that’s not really so much a recipe as a method.  Salmon croquettes are a regular part of my dinner rotation and they change and evolve a little depending on what’s in my fridge.  Here’s the basics of what you need:

As you can see, I am an equal opportunity store brand shopper – bread crumbs from Big Y, mayo from Stop & Shop.  As for the salmon, you don’t need all six of those cans in the wrapper, unless you are cooking for a crowd.  I generally go with one can per person.  I got these at Costco and they are great – it’s wild Alaskan salmon, and there isn’t any icky skin and bones. 

Now, those small cans of salmon?  You may not have noticed, but they taper just a little, just like the big cans do.  I mention this because if you feel the urge to squish the lid into the can to drain it, RESIST!  If you do this, the lid will get stuck in the can, an occurence that can just ruin your whole day, and perhaps cut a finger in a really nasty and sloppy way.

Another ingredient note – here is a close up of that little green tube.  It’s WASABI!  And no, I really can’t seem to say WASABI! without shouting it.  I love WASABI! and it complements the salmon nicely.  I found it in my local mega mart in the Asian food section and I bet you can find it in yours too.

Into a bowl I dump an egg white, or sometimes a whole egg if I am feeling crazy, but it is January so it is time to be serious and healthy.  Egg white it is!  Followed by a big glob of mayo!  Oops.  Ah, well, it’s only a couple tablespoons mixed with healthy, healthy salmon. The squiggle of green is the WASABI! and then I threw a tablespoon or so of dry parsley.  A little fresh ground pepper, and then you whisk it all together.  This is also where you can change it up a little – try different herbs and spices, a little fresh chive is nice.

Unceremoniously dump the fish upon the mayo mixture and…

…mix it up and remind yourself it is *not* tuna salad.  Next up, prepare the crumbage.  I like to use a mix if I have it on hand – seasoned crumbs for the flava-flav and panko for the cruncha-crunch.  I have to point out that this Big Y panko is the funkiest looking panko I’ve ever seen.  It’s chunky instead of flaky.

More cruncha-crunch!  Woot! When the crumbs are ready, start shaping the croquettes into cute little logs, about this big:

Keep in mind that I have giant man hands, so your results may vary. But that’s cool too. You can make little logs or big logs or medium patties if you want to mix it up. I prefer the smaller logs for the greater crispy outside to tender inside ratio.

Next, take them for a roll in the crumbs. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil (I am using just the regular kind, not EVOO, so take that Rachael Ray!) in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil is good and hot, add the croquettes. Brown them on each side, which should take about 2 minutes per, 8 minutes total. But, don’t take my word for it… check them and turn only when they have reached the GBD stage. (Alton Brown code for Golden Brown and Delicious!)

Don’t despair if they fall apart a little. They taste great, whole or broken!

And look how lovely on the plate! You can have your fish sticks and your healthy-ish-ness too.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2010 3:30 am

    I hate to cook, but I love your blog! You make me think I can do this. 🙂

  2. LeighG permalink
    January 15, 2010 3:16 pm

    I wonder if you can use some other kind of fish instead of salmon. The salmon is cooked when it comes out of the can isn’t it?

    • January 16, 2010 2:52 am

      Yes, the salmon is cooked in the can. I suppose you could use crab. But then you’d definitely have to call it a croquette. Crab stick just doesn’t sound right. 😉

      I was thinking about that though – salmon grosses Renae out. Maybe you could par cook a flaky white fish and use that.

      • karma permalink
        January 16, 2010 5:17 pm

        I was wondering the same thing. So far, in the forms I have tried, salmon has not turned out to be a favorite of mine. I prefer mild white fish. Do you think raw fish could cook through enough in the pan? I’m not a huge fan of cooking fish in the house, especially this time of year, so I don’t know how likely it is I would try this anyway!

      • January 17, 2010 2:20 am

        Karma, I am not convinced that raw fish would cook through with this method unless you made them pretty small.

  3. February 13, 2010 4:21 pm

    Jen,
    I am going to try this with white fish. I belong to a CSF (community supported fishery) and last fall I got A LOT of whole cod. I can usually get at least 2 meals and a stock out of one fish and I still have cooked scraps left over.
    I will let you know how it goes!

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