An all-season Pacific Northwest/Southern Indian fusion full of tropical flavors. The ingredient list looks long, but this is an easy make-ahead dish that wows family and guests alike. Make your cakes small for a great appetizer version! This recipe pairs perfectly with Oregon Pinot Gris and other dry white wines.
1cuppanko or gluten-free panko crumbs, divided(½ cup for the salmon mixture, the rest to coat the uncooked cakes)
½ - 1tsp.salt to taste
¼cupcanola or olive oil, for cooking
1 13.5 oz. canlight coconut milk
1-2tsp.fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced (optional)
1-2tsp.fresh turmeric, peeled and minced (optional) ORFind this at an Indian or Asian grocer, and at places like Whole Foods in your area.
½tsp.ground turmeric (the dried spice)If fresh turmeric isn't available where you live.
1smallserrano chili, seeded and minced (optional)
Start with the Mango Chutney
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat. The aroma will be vinegary-pungent at first, then will turn sweet and gingery. Turn the heat down and simmer until the liquid condenses and becomes thick and syrupy, stirring frequently, approximately 30-40 minutes.
The chutney thickens as it cools, and keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Makes 2½ cups.
Now the Curried Salmon Cakes
Gently combine all ingredients EXCEPT ½ cup of the panko. Allow mixture to rest five minutes. (While you're waiting, now is a good time to start the rice!)
Place the remaining ½ cup panko onto a plate or shallow dish. Scoop up ½ cup of the salmon mixture and form into 3" cakes. Carefully coat each cake in panko crumbs. Allow the cakes to rest another five minutes. (The resting steps help the panko absorb to hold the cakes together/stick to the cakes and make them much easier to handle.)
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until just starting to shimmer. Place salmon cakes, a few at a time to avoid crowding, in the skillet and cook without moving until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip cakes and cook without moving until the second side is golden brown, about another 3 minutes. (You should have eight cakes, or enough to serve four people.)
Make the Coconut Rice
Over the sink, rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer with cold water, stirring the rice with your fingers until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a medium saucepan.
Add the coconut milk, ginger, turmeric (fresh or dried), and serrano* to the saucepan (if using.) Bring to a full boil over high heat. cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep the lid on, and set the rice aside.
Lay down a bed of rice in the center of each plate. Place two cakes on the rice. Top with generous spoonsful of warm mango chutney, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
The salmon cakes and mango chutney are perfect with Oregon Pinot Gris and other dry white wines, and sparkling whites. All components can be made ahead-- perfect for entertaining. Rewarm the salmon cakes in a hot oven for a few minutes. Warm the rice and the chutney in lidded saucepans over medium-low heat. This, of course, works well for any leftovers, too.Experiment using halibut or other white fish in place of the salmon.*I suggest a pretty wide range of quantity for the ginger, turmeric, and serrano for the rice, as well as an option for dried ground turmeric if you can't find fresh. This rice is stellar with all of these added, but you have the freedom to choose to omit, increase, or reduce the quantity to suit your taste. We like it with its full-flavor, all-in, maxxed out goodness. The rice can be made with full-fat coconut milk, but it will of course have a heavier, oilier feel. If full-fat is what you have, please use it, but to try it once with light coconut milk.