Smoked Salmon and Rice Croquettes

I lived in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan for several years, and beyond the very entertaining, warm, and quirky people, the thing I miss the most is the smoked fish.  When I lived in the little town of Calumet I would often stop at Peterson’s smokehouse on the way home and pick up smoked lake trout–big, highly-fragrant pieces of smoked fish, dripping with oil that would soak through the paper bag in an instant.  The best stuff. O.K., I also miss: the bears, the woods, the big lake, the Portage, the Winter Carnival ice sculptures, the wildflowers…it’s a beautiful place to miss. Anyway.  In land-locked Colorado I have had some good smoked stream trout every now and then, but to get my smoked fish fix I usually have to rely on salmon.  Hot smoked salmon is a thing of unctuous beauty when properly done, and I almost always have a piece hanging out in the fridge for a fast meal.  I still had some sticky rice on hand from Annie Chun’s, so I made these delicious little rice-and-fish fritters over the weekend.  One note of warning: some of the rice pops almost like popcorn when you cook these, so use a spatter cover for safety.

To make these, I stirred together three cups of cooked sticky rice with two whole eggs, a cup of flaked, smoked salmon, a half cup of panko bread crumbs, some snipped chives, and the juice of half a lemon.  Let that chill in the fridge for about twenty minutes, then skim the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high.  Use damp hands to scoop up half-cups of the rice mix into patty shapes–it will not hold together well, but don’t panic.  Let it cook on one side (don’t mess with them at this point) until the rice starts really popping and they are well browned.  At this point they will hold their shape when you flip them over to cook the other side.  This makes eight to ten croquettes, and I like to serve them with a caper sauce or just some good-quality mayo mixed with some lemon or lime juice.  I made a little caper berry sauce for this batch:

They also make a delicious breakfast or brunch treat with some scrambled eggs on the side.  That’s a giant caper berry in the photo above–interesting little creatures.

Thanks for reading,


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3 Responses to Smoked Salmon and Rice Croquettes

  1. Cake Duchess February 16, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    This is such a great idea and looks yummy! I have leftover sticky rice and I know my family would love this:)

  2. Susi February 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    The croquettes sound delicious and what a fabulous idea for leftovers :o)

  3. Yenta Mary February 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Those look AMAZING!!! And thanks for the love letter to Michigan, too … 🙂

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