I really didn’t know anyone that ate salmon growing up. It’s not a locally caught fish and like most fishing families, I didn’t pay for fish. I don’t recall eating salmon until my late teens. When I finally did, I realized what the big deal was, good salmon makes for memorable meals.
The canned seafood I ate as a kid was tuna, and although they are sold side by side, I didn’t know anyone that ate canned salmon. The only time I’ve ever opened a can of salmon was a few years ago. I don’t know how I got it but I had a 14 ounce can of pink salmon. I decided to open it up one day to see if I could make fish cakes or croquettes out of it. What I found inside was the stuff of nightmares.
It was a pile of gross skin and bones flaked with some pink meat. If I didn’t know better I would assume a seagull threw it up. Either that or the fish was shot out of some sort of air cannon, down a long hallway and into the waiting can. With a shudder, down the disposal it went as I gagged at the thought of how important a role canned salmon has played in modern food history.
Well, now I run a seafood blog and If I’m going to be taken seriously, I got to try as many types of seafood products as I can. With small cans of Rubenstein’s canned red salmon on sale I decided it was time to take a small leap and give canned salmon a real try.
This can of Rubenstein’s Fancy Blueback Red Salmon holds 3.5 oz and the only ingredients listed are: red salmon and salt. They have a little blurb about how it is an all-natural product, ready to eat right out of the can. Well, let’s see about that.
After opening the can I admit it did not look nearly as bad as my first experience, but I don’t think I would eat it right from the can. The can was mostly good looking salmon meat – the backbone section in the middle and just a little skin around the edge. I needed to clean up some of that, but in the end the weight of the contents was mostly salmon.
This hardly qualifies as a recipe, more of a desperate attempt to make lunch the day before I go shopping. I’m stranded at home without a car and so I used what I had to make a salmon patty.
I combined the salmon, minus a few skin pieces and bone, with some lemon zest and juice, black pepper, dill, 1 egg and seasoned breadcrumbs. I formed this all into one large patty, which I then fried in a pan with a little vegetable oil. A few minutes per side and it was golden and crispy looking. I drained it on a paper towel while I toasted some bread and spread with some mayo. I squeezed some lemon juice on the patty before taking that first apprehensive bite.
It didn’t taste all that bad, although I’m pretty sure I used too much breadcrumb. The lemon and herbs with the breadcrumbs made it taste more like a seafood stuffing than a fish cake. Which gives me an idea for something for the holidays perhaps. Having another small can of salmon would have probably helped in making it more like a fish cake or salmon patty.
I wouldn’t say that I’m sold on canned salmon, but Rubenstein’s seems to be a pretty good product with my very limited experience. If I do buy canned salmon again I’m glad to know there is at least one brand out there whose product looks like food instead of gurry.