Wasabi always makes me think of wabi-sabi – the Japanese art of finding and embracing beauty in flaws and imperfection. It is a concept derived from Buddhism and based on the idea that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Wabi-sabi is the beauty in old, weathered wood; in cracked pots; in sea glass and stones worn smooth by water and ice; in well-used, much-loved, and slightly rusted cake pans; and ancient, fraying, faded quilts. It is the recognition that everything on earth is composed of atoms and everything eventually returns to the earth.
Kintsugi pots are a beautiful example of wabi-sabi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a resin mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. A Kintsugi pot might look like this…
Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi
I love the concept of wabi-sabi. Of not throwing things away just because they are imperfect and of taking the time to fix things or find new uses for them. I’m trying to incorporate more wabi-sabi in my life.
Maybe because I’ve been thinking about wabi-sabi – these wasabi salmon cakes were on my mind. I made them a while ago and didn’t take a photograph. Today I made them again. I really like them. They’re incredibly tasty, simple, economical and remarkably healthy. I don’t know how available canned wild sockeye salmon is around the world but in Canada, it’s a staple. You could use any tinned or cooked salmon but sockeye is impressive. For those of you not familiar it is a red, as opposed to a pink salmon, and is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Wasabi Salmon Cakes
To make your life easier, you’ll need a half-decent non-stick fry pan
- 1- 213 gram can sockeye salmon
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s)
- 1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-2 teaspoons of wasabi paste (I used 2 teaspoons because I love wasabi)
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup very finely chopped onion
- extra breadcrumbs
- olive oil for frying
Drain the salmon lightly. Mash it up including the bones and skin. Add the mayo and stir. Mix in all remaining ingredients. Add extra breadcrumbs one tablespoon at a time, if needed, to get a mixture that is a suitable consistency for making patties. Roll into balls and press flat. I made five salmon cakes. The smaller you make them, the easier they are to deal with. You’ll probably need 2 cakes per serving.
Pour some breadcrumbs into a flat bowl and one at a time – coat the patties with the extra crumbs.
Add a little olive oil to your non-stick pan and cook the patties over medium heat until browned. Resist the temptation to flip them about too much – they hold together better if you manage to flip them only once. Although if you can’t resist and you end up with slightly mangled salmon cakes – remember the whole principle of wabi-sabi – the beauty in imperfection. Serve like a hamburger on a bun with condiments or just dish ’em up with a salad. I used some fabulous jalapeno mayonnaise as a condiment but you could be creative here – mango chutney, curry mayonnaise, tartar sauce….