Prep: 30 min // Refrigerate: 30 min // Bake: 20 min
A friend of mine recently asked if I was ever going to post kids party food in my blog. As much as I enjoy cooking and creating healthy kids’ meals, my son is still young for gastronomic parties and never thought quite extensively about a party menu as such. But, here’s something I’ve been doing for him often, which can be easily turned into party finger food.
Now, we absolutely love salmon in our family; fresh, canned, smoked, any form. And I’ve got tons of salmon related recipes (from simple sandwiches up to more complex things like this salmon and asparagus tart). Salmon likes potato, dill, mustard, and cheese (especially creamy) equally. And I combined all this in this recipe not only to make our little fellas happy but satisfy our grown-up appetite as well (cos we love these cakes too!). Salmon is a good source of nutrition, protein, and omega fats important for brain and visual development. And these fishcakes have plenty of both. They will not only provide all these nutrients to adults and kids equally, but I am sure their taste will also tempt even the fussiest toddler eaters out there!
For this recipe, I’ve borrowed an idea from Annabel Karmel’s cookbooks to add sweetness and mild familiar taste to kids, so I introduced some tomato ketchup (as well as mustard)! Look out for the healthier version of your favourite brand in the supermarket, I always go for the blue label Heinz with no added salt and sugar.
For the fishcakes:
250g fresh salmon fillets
2 medium-sized potatoes (around 350-400g)
1 lemon (unwaxed), zested and juiced
3-4 fresh dill (or rosemary) sprigs
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp ketchup (and a little more)
1 tbsp mustard
100g Cheddar cheese, grated
30g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Knob of butter (around 20g)
Some plain flour
Dipping sauce for finger food party:
1 ripe avocado
150g Greek yogurt
1 lime, zest, and juice
Boil the potatoes for around 20-25 min (until fork tender)
While potatoes are boiling prepare the salmon: Preheat the oven to 180c. Fold the salmon fillets in a large piece of foil along with the butter, half the lemon zest, half the lemon juice, some pepper, and the dill sprigs. Bake for a little less than 10 min.
While salmon and potatoes are cooked, slice the onion and grate the cheeses. In absence of fine breadcrumbs, put panko breadcrumbs in a sealed bag, press them with a rolling pin to break down to fine granules. If you wish to add a bit of a golden colour to your coating, add 1/2 tsp of turmeric and shake well.
Remove the salmon from the oven and let it cool down (folded as it is) so that you can handle it with your hands. Drain the water from the potatoes.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them roughly with a fork and (optionally) pour some of the liquid from the baked salmon for added taste. Then using your hands, flake the salmon fillets, and remove skins and any bones. Don’t forget to remove and discard the dill (or rosemary) sprigs too.
Transfer the mashed potato and flaked salmon to a big bowl and stir in spring onions, ketchup, mustard, 50grams of breadcrumbs, 1 egg (lightly beaten), the grated cheddar, rest of lemon juice, and season with pepper.
Shape 6-8 balls (a little smaller than tennis ball size) and refrigerate 30mins to 1 hour to set.
5 mins before taking out of the fridge, start preparing the coating: one plate with flour, one with 2 beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumbs, rest of lemon zest, the parmesan, and some pepper.
Start forming patties, or cut in smaller balls (for party finger food) or shapes. If you don’t have fish style cookie cutter use my spoon technique shown in the photo. It's not perfect, but kind of resembles a fish :-)
Then coat first in flour, then dip in the egg and finally roll in the breadcrumbs until fully covered.
Bake straight away for 15-20 mins or freeze for future use (they should be still good in the freezer after a month).
If you’ve made balls for a kids party, you may optionally want to try my simple yogurt and avocado dip. Mash (or blitz in a food processor) the avocado with yogurt, some lime zest, and a dash of lime juice.
This cooking story ends with my son destroying (and not even trying) the fish-shaped cake. Might be a response to my bad shaping and sculpturing skills, who knows. Went full speed dipping the balls in the sauce, which was admittedly more fun.
Below are my favourite authentic products I used to cook and shoot this recipe. If you can't see the icons and links, please deactivate your ad-blocker and refresh the page :-)
Shop the Look: Eco-friendly Bamboo plates is your next step when you move from plastic plates (that babies tend to throw on the floor) to something that looks more grown-up and toddlers love. They are more durable on free falls than porcelain, and they come in lovely colours.
Kids Cutlery: We bought this 'Exzact' brand because our 2yo developed an imminent desire to constantly use our own silverware when we sat on the table for dinner. We found out these are resembling the grown-up shape and shine and they did the trick! I also have some different travel sets packed in our bags and backpacks just in case we're somewhere out and about and urgently need handy cutlery for those little hands.