The word Tikki in Indian cooking refers to a patty or cutlet, or a croquette, that can be had as an appetizer or used as filling for your burgers, wraps or salads! This quick and easy recipe for Salmon Cakes or Salmon Tikki is my healthy spin on this versatile dish, which can be had as an appetizer, entrée or a side.
I flavor wild salmon with warm Indian spices, and zest and juice of lime, and pair with carrots, corn and spinach, giving this patty a hint of sweetness. These salmon patties are not only easy and delicious to make, they are super healthy and nutritious as well. You can customize this salmon recipe with your choice of spices and vegetables.
Masking the Fishiness of Salmon
Salmon was an acquired taste for me. I found the natural taste of Salmon too "fishy" and avoided it for a long time. When I read about how rich wild caught Salmon is in Omega-3, it prompted me to come up with a recipe that would mask the "fishiness" of this super food for my taste buds.
I decided to combine it with some chopped vegetables and warm Indian spices. Typically a "tikki" stuffing has boiled potatoes (called aloo tikki). I use chopped carrots instead to keep it low carb. When the mixture is blended, the carrots disappear, adding a hint of sweetness and keeping the tikki super moist.
I also add spinach and corn to further increase the fiber and vegetable content of these fish cakes. Simply throw in everything into a food processor, with all the spices, some lime juice, olive oil, and herbs and blend well.
How to Make Salmon Patties
The salmon cake mix is very sticky. So to prevent the mix from sticking to your palms, wet your palms with water while making the patties.
I use an ice cream scoop to carve out equal portions and make consistently sized burger patties and set them aside on a tray. The proportions in the recipe below makes about 8 to 10 patties. I coat the patties lightly in semolina, cornmeal or panko breadcrumbs. This gives the patties a nice crisp exterior.
Making Low Carb Salmon Fish Cakes
If you want to go low carb on this recipe, skip the corn and the breadcrumbs. This will bring each salmon patty down to about 2 grams of carbohydrates (which comes from the carrots). You will not lose out on much flavor (although I love the sweetness of the corn in these patties), but you will definitely lose the outer crispiness of the fish cakes.
Don't forget the Cilantro Chutney
You can have these fish cutlets or cakes as an appetizer or snack. I reduce the size of the fish cake or make a cylindrical salmon croquette. I recommend using a dipping sauce like homemade cilantro chutney that really pairs well with these spice-rich salmon cakes.
What to Serve with Salmon Cakes
I often use this salmon cake recipe to make Salmon burgers, or, as a protein for my salads. They work great for grilling outdoors too. When grilling, put them on the medium-heat portion of the grill, and reduce the cook time to 2 minutes per side or so, depending on how hot your grill is.
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Indian Spiced Salmon Cakes | Salmon Tikkis
- 1 lb. Wild Salmon or Salmon Fillet or White fish Fillets, cut in 2 inch pieces
- 4 scallions sliced thin
- 2 medium carrots : peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic, blended to a paste
- Zest and Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper optional
- 1.5 teaspoons Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 cup chopped baby spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 chopped dill or cilantro orparsley
- 1/2 cup Semolina or Cornmeal or Panko Breadcrumbs (for coating) (optional)
- Skin the salmon if using wild caught Salmon. (see video and notes below for tips). Cut it into 2 inch chunks. Peel and slice carrots in 1/2 inch pieces. Chop spinach and keep aside. Peel ginger and garlic. Thaw frozen corn by microwaving it for 30 seconds.
- In a food processor, add salmon chunks, sliced carrots, lemon zest, juice, spices and ginger-garlic paste and pulse till it's chopped fine, around 20 pulses. Open lid and add chopped spinach, thawed corn, diced scallions and chopped herbs. Pulse another 10 times to mix everything well. Remove mix in a bowl. If you have time, refrigerate mix for about 10 minutes, letting the flavors blend. Skip this step if short on time.
- To make patties, wet your palms with water. This prevents the salmon mix from sticking to your palms. Using an ice cream scoop for consistent portions, make burger size patties and set aside on a tray. This mix should make 8-10 patties/tikkis. Coat the patties lightly in semolina, cornmeal or panko breadcrumbs. This gives the patties a nice crisp exterior.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat, add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and place the salmon patties. Cook them 3 minutes on first side, flip and repeat on the second side (total 6-7 minutes depending on how hot your pan or grill is).While flipping, lightly drizzle some oil around the salmon patties. This will crisp them up.
How to remove salmon skin:
- Place the fillet, skin-side down, tail end or thinner side towards you, on a chopping board. Hold the tail end with a kitchen towel to give you a firm grip and stop it from slipping.
- Using a thin sharp knife, make a cut between the flesh and skin and move the knife in the opposite direction, away from the tail end, in a saw like motion. Adjust the end closer to you and continue to cut along the length of the fillet. Remove and discard skin.