BRAINY SALMON AND SPINACH FISH CAKES

I make these fish cakes all the time for my kids to put in their lunch box and for a snack after school. We also often have them for a light supper usually served with a green salad and tomato relish. They are wonderfully filling and fantastic brain food, loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. Choose your salmon well. Most of the salmon in supermarkets is farmed and comes with low levels of omega 3 fatty acids and there is controversy over the chemicals used in salmon farms to keep the salmon free of disease. There are always going to be good fish farms and ones that are not so good,  but unless you know the source it might be best to stick to wild salmon. If the wild salmon is too pricey then mackerel can work really well and may be easier to get hold of. We have used the seasonal veg we had in our veg box for this week and added spinach and spring onions to the fishcakes but use what you have available to you. Parsley, basil, chives, shallots, grated butternut squash or sweet potatoes mixed with the white potatoes also works really well.

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HOW TO MAKE

  1. Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks and place in a pan with plenty of cold water to cover the potatoes by at least an inch. Bring the pan to the boil and then continue on a medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the potatoes into a sieve and then transfer back in the empty pan and mash with a fork or a masher. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the spinach in a sieve and run a few mugs of boiling water over the spinach until they have wilted. Let them cool for a bit and then squeeze them between your hands to get rid of any excess water. Chop up the cooled spinach and set aside.
  3. Whisk an egg gently and set aside.
  4. Chop the spring onions very finely and add to a bowl. To the same bowl add the cooled mashed potatoes, chopped spinach and spring onions, and the whisked egg and season well. Mix them well together.
  5. Flake the salmon into the mixture and using either your hands or a large spoon mix well.
  6. Place the rice or gluten free flour on a plate and then make the fish cake patties and gently cover them with some of the flour so that they are lighlty dusted.
  7. Take a large frying pan and place 1/2 the olive oil and heat for a few minutes. Place the lightly dusted fish cakes into the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Cook the fish cakes in batches add more oil each time.
  8. Serve hot or cold with a good squeeze of lemon and a side dish of salad leaves and tomatoes.

THE SCIENCE BIT

The unique protein and amino acid composition of SALMON is often overlooked in its nutritional profile. Salmon contains short protein molecules called peptides that have been shown to be bioactive and may have important anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also provides important amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine. The unique protein and amino acid composition of salmon is often overlooked in its nutritional profile. Salmon contains short protein molecules called peptides that have been shown to be bioactive and may have important anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also provides important amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine. Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin and potassium. SPINACH is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline. Additionally, spinach is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, pantothenic acid and selenium. In addition to the nutrient richness of spinach in terms of these conventional nutrients, spinach also provides the carotenoids lutein, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin; the flavonoids spinacetin, patuletin, and jaceidin; and naturally occurring nitrates.