Salmon patties are a treat from my youth. Mom added a generous dollop of Worcestershire sauce to the mix, which went well with the flavor of the salmon. There are other good things in them, too: egg, vegetables (nearly always onions, at least), a little lemon or lime juice and seasonings, often a little Parmesan cheese--
The problem is that one of the other major components is a generous amount of carbohydrates. It was crushed saltines in Mom's version, Depression cooking at its finest; upscale versions use breadcrumbs. Panko is said to work well. Tasty...and not at all suited to a low-carb diet.
Yesterday, nostalgia and idle curiosity had me web-searching "low-carb salmon patties" after the end of my work day and yes, there is such a thing. In fact, there are lots of recipes. The usual replacement for the carbs is smashed pork rinds! It makes perfect sense. Some sources suggest freezing them after smashing, to mute the flavor; others just throw them in. Jalapeno or other hot peppers often replace or augment the Worcestershire or hot sauce and there are plenty of suggestions for sauces, many of them avocado-based.
It looked good and I decided to try it. Alas, our corner grocer had nothing so downscale as pork rinds. The cracker aisle turned up some low-carb "cheese straws;" a quarter-cup would have 2.25 grams of carbs, and divided four ways between patties leaves just over a half-gram each. They were made with Parmesan and aged cheddar, so there's that component as well.
A mild Poblano pepper seemed like a safe bet, though hot Fresno and cherry peppers tempted me. Maybe next time. I did yield to the temptation of a dark red onion (and cried cutting it later, too). And I forgot to get a lemon, lime or some concentrated juice.
Back home, the cheese straws proved savory and nice. Smashed a scant quarter cup of them, diced the veggies (chop them up fine. A generous tablespoon of onion and about as much of the pepper is sufficient; I may have doubled that) and added some black pepper, garlic powder, dried celery flakes, some Worcestershire, a dash of hot sauce, a little basil, and only then realized I had no tangy citrus. But I do keep a little sumac on the shelf (it's nice on melon), and it very much has a lemony flavor; with a quick shake or two of that, a well-beaten egg and twelve ounces of well-drained canned salmon, it was ready to be mixed. Stir it up well in a mixing bowl. You want a fairly sticky mixture -- I fell just short of that this time.
The patties were almost too wet to hold together. I could have drained the salmon better. A full quarter-cup of crumbs and maybe even another egg would have helped. With care, three of the four held up well enough to cook and turn intact.. I browned both sides (four minutes or more) in a little oil and served the patties with green salad. Tam liked them and so did I.
The pork rind version would be zero-carb. This version was pretty low-carb. Taste and mouthfeel were just as I remembered -- almost as good as Mom's.
11 months ago