Thai-ing One On with Spiced Salmon Cakes and Cabbage Slaw

Jonesing for a healthy, flavorful vegetarian meal on the quick? These Thai-Spiced Salmon Cakes and the Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw meet those demands and more. In less than a half hour you can have a satisfying meal on the table and pat yourself on the back for making some smart choices.

They need gentle handling as the big, tender chunks of salmon can make them crumbly during shaping; if that happens, just carefully reassemble them. Although The Hubster decided to pulse the salmon a few more times than directed. Still a delicate balance act when forming the patties and getting them into the skillet intact.

Not wanting any leftovers this time around, we cut back the portions starting with only 12 ounces of salmon, and reducing the other ingredients by approximately 25%. Well let me tell you, it still made 4 large cakes! In fact, they were so big, we could only fit three of them in the skillet at one time, necessitating the fourth pattie to be cooked afterward.

A perfect accompaniment is this super-quick Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw packed with flavor thanks to lots of fresh herbs and the lime-fish sauce dressing. Don’t omit those roasted peanuts. Not only do they add a nice crunchy texture, but they provide a salty component to boot.

Thai-Spiced Salmon Cakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 large scallions, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1-1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lb. skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup plain panko
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Put the scallions, garlic, ginger, shallot, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to make a coarse paste.
  2. Add the egg, and process until blended, about 5 seconds.
  3. Put the fish and panko into the food processor bowl. Pulse in two short bursts, scrape down the bowl, and pulse once more; the salmon mixture should still be coarse. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and gently stir or fold by hand to combine, if necessary.
  4. Divide the salmon mixture into four portions, and handle lightly to form four patties, each one about 4 inches in diameter.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add enough oil to lightly coat. Cook the patties on each side until lightly browned and just cooked through, 6 minutes total, then serve.

Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw


Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 small head napa or Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, cilantro, and mint. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Toss the dressing with the vegetables and let stand for 10 minutes. Toss again, and sprinkle with the peanuts before serving.

Salmon Cake recipe by Lynne Curry, and Slaw recipe by Emma Christensen; both from Fine Cooking’s “Make It Tonight” Series.

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