Salmon Croquettes With Chili Honey, ginger and five-spice, tossed in rice crumbs, gently fried and drizzled with chili honey, are loaded with flavor!
Salmon Lovers Croquettes
Those of us who love salmon, know it is a ‘stand alone’ fish with plenty of fat and lots of flavor.
So why mix other exotic flavors with it?
Simply because it is a fish that loves the company of other flavors and yet still showcases its beautiful flavor.
What Is A Croquette?
In two words? Fried Balls!
Otherwise, it depends on where the croquette is being made.
But in short, a croquette is often leftovers, odds and ends in the fridge made into a bundle held together with a binder and fried.
Some use potatoes as a binder, while others use a béchamel sauce (butter, flour and cream), as the binder.
Where I’m from, crabs are known worldwide to come out of the waters, where I live.
Crab cakes and an appetizer size crab croquette are loaded with crab meat and a little egg as the binder.
Crab croquettes are often dipped in a ketchup/horseradish sauce.
And while every region has a fabulous seafood that makes a great croquette, octopus as well as shrimp make great croquettes.
While crab is a gentle flavored seafood, almost sweet, and salmon is a stronger, fattier seafood, they both make great croquettes.
As a dipping sauce for a salmon croquette, it just screams for the heat of a chili and the sweetness of honey.
I prefer to use egg white as the binder, keeping them light and allowing the seafood flavor to shine through.
Throughout Spain you will often find a delicious croquet made from a savory ham, and often cheese, which acts as a binder.
However, my Middle Eastern heritage is known for our Kibbeh, ground lamb and bulgar wheat, which is also made into a croquette.
Our lamb croquettes are usually served with a garlic yogurt sauce, for dipping, or a tzatziki, with cucumber and yogurt.
Chili Honey As A Dipping Sauce
Talk about a tongue teaser!
These salmon croquettes already have the zingy flavors of five-spice, ginger, lime and garlic in them.
Add the gentle sweetness of honey and a few freshly chopped pieces of chili pepper and you have it all; sweet, acid, hot and zing!
Honey Is Sweeter Than Sugar
Have you fallen in love with the concept of contrasting flavors in your mouth with foods?
See what happens when you take a bite of something that is salty, sweet, hot and acidic, all in one bite!
A mouth explosion, and totally in a good way.
Honey, for me, is the best sweetener to accomplish this because its glucose molecules are slightly less than its fructose.
Fructose is sweeter, making honey a little sweeter than sugar.
How To Make Chili Honey
If you are making chili honey for a seafood croquette, stick with a lighter flavor honey.
You won’t want a honey that is floral nor will you want one that is dark and heavy.
As for the chili, the little red chilies, that have medium heat, work the best.
Simply chop one small chili fine and allow it to linger in a cup of honey while preparing the meal.
Grow Your Own Chili For Cooking
You’d be amazed at how easy it is to grow a small pot of little chilies indoors.
In a warm sunny window, the small variety need very little attention.
They may take three months to start producing chilies, but once they do, you’ve got chilies enough to store in the freezer.
I now have so many chilies in my freezer that I simply give away the new ones I grow, but I love growing them.
How To Make Salmon Croquettes
Having a food processor or a strong blender, makes the job go fast.
- If your salmon filets are frozen, thaw them. If they have skin on, then remove it.
- Give a rough chop to the raw salmon and place it into the food processor, along with the other ingredients.
- Puree until it becomes a paste.
- Shape them into round or oblong shapes, roll in the seasoned crumbs and sauté.
- While some folks that make croquettes like to deep fry them, I don’t prefer deep fried foods.
- Simply sauté on top of the stove, to obtain a crisp outer, then pop into the oven for a short time to cook the inside.
Mystery Ingredient Inspiration
Living in a town, with the coolest library foundation, it was said “Food related books are our highest turn around in books checked out”.
The Anne Arundel County Public Library, here in Maryland, has been doing a fun program I have recently jumped in on.
‘Mystery Ingredient Challenge’!
If you sign up to join in, a bag is waiting for you at the library with a mystery ingredient, and 2 books chosen for you, having some sort of connection to the ingredient.
You may recall the last time we did this, was in November.
A butternut squash was our mystery ingredient, and so I created the very first ever (on the planet) Butternut Squash Hummus!
Five-Spice In My Salmon Croquettes
This time our mystery ingredient was 5-Spice.
Wanting to elevate the flavor of salmon to something a bit more exotic, I realized the five-spice would definitely compliment the salmon.
Having used five-spice, a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and fennel seeds, in lamb dishes, I wanted to see how salmon would stand up to the bold flavors.
The two flavors of fish and spice blend was the perfect choice!
The books, one a novel and one a Chinese seafood cookbook, were indeed inspiring.
Thus… This salmon croquette with chili honey was created by me, and now I am sharing it with you!
Let’s Talk About Salmon
There are probably as many people who don’t prefer the fishy taste of fish as there are those that love it.
It just so happens, that the fattier the fish, which salmon is, the more flavorful and nutritious it is.
Having recently learned that there are numerous species of salmon and that they love both saltwater and freshwater, tells me that there is an abundant opportunity for availability.
Nonetheless, this recipe will make a seafood lover out of those who don’t prefer it!
Fresh Salmon vs Smoked Salmon
Basically, smoked salmon is freshly caught salmon that gets salted and smoked in a technique that keeps it edible for a longer period of time.
Definitely taste, is the reason we might prefer one over the other.
I often use smoked salmon in place of bacon in many recipes, especially for those who don’t eat pork.
However, there is one thing we need to know about smoked salmon, especially if you are pregnant or have sensitive intestines.
Cold-smoked salmon is not fully cooked and can carry the potential for food borne illness.
The good news, though, you can totally swap out fresh salmon in this recipe for smoked salmon because it does end up getting cooked!
- Food processor or strong blender
- Cutting board and knife
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Cast iron pan or oven friendly frying pan
- Garlic press
- Citrus press
- Raw salmon
- Egg white
- Fresh ginger
- Chili pepper
- Cooking oil
- Rice crumbs
- Seafood seasoning
Salmon Croquettes With Chili Honey
- Food processor or blender
- Cast iron pan
- 2 cups Raw Salmon fillets about 2
- 1 Egg white
- 1 tbsp Fresh ginger grated
- 1/2 tsp Lime zest
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- 1 Garlic clove crushed
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp Five-spice
- 1 Chili pepper small
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1/2 cup Rice crumbs
- 1 tsp Seafood seasoning
- 1/8 cup Cooking oil
- Remove the skin from the salmon and rough chop the salmon.
- In a food processor place the salmon, egg white, ginger, lime juice and zest, garlic, salt and five-spice. Puree until it forms a paste.
- Add the seafood seasoning to the rice crumbs and whisk, set aside.
- Roll the salmon paste into small balls, 16 small or 8 large. Roll each ball in the seasoned rice crumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
- Finely chop the chili pepper and put in the honey to add the heat of the chili to the honey. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325
- When ready to fry the croquettes, heat the oil in a cast iron pan, or oven friendly frying pan over medium high temperature.
- Fry the balls, turning, until crisp on the outside, taking care not to over brown the delicate rice crumbs.
- Pop the pan into the oven to allow the internal temperature to complete cooking, about 10 minutes.
- Serve with a drizzle of chili honey across the tops or serve alongside as a dipping sauce.