Patties made from uncooked (not canned) salmon, whether fresh or frozen, will transport you to a fine seaside restaurant. They are mild, moist, and delicious. The anchovies become the salt component for the dish. No one will guess their presence while they add richness but disappear into the mixture.
Wild salmon and anchovies are among the top providers of Omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation, lower risk of chronic disease, and improve brain function.
The same recipe can be adapted for other fresh and frozen fish, such as tuna, haddock, etc.
In a medium skillet, briefly saute the anchovies, adding additional oil if needed, and breaking the anchovies into pieces.
Add the diced celery, red pepper and additional olive oil if needed, and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the anchovies have completely fallen apart. Remove from the skillet and chill the mixture while preparing the remaining ingredients. (Wipe any solids out of the skillet and save it to cook the patties.)
Remove the skin and any pin bones from the salmon. Mince, using a knife or cleaver. Leave chunky. Do not chop into a paste or the resulting patties will be too dense.
Mix together the salmon, anchovy and vegetable mixture, lemon zest, half (1/4 cup) of the panko, and mayonnaise. Season with black pepper if desired.
Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the bread crumbs to hydrate and the mixture to thicken.
Spread the other half (1/4 cup) of the panko in a small bowl or saucer. Form the chilled mixture into 4 equal patties about 3/4" to 1" thick. Dip the two sides of each into the panko to make a thin coating.
The patties may be cooked, in the skillet, on top of the stove or in the oven. For stove top: preheat the skillet over medium heat, lightly oil the skillet, and cook the patties about 5 minutes per side. For oven: preheat the skillet in a 400F degree oven, lightly oil the skillet, and cook the patties 5 minutes per side.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges from the zested lemon.
To freeze: cook the patties and allow to cool thoroughly in the refrigerator. Wrap each pattie individually to make easier to separate. Freeze for up to three months. To prepare for eating, unwrap and thaw individually for at least 1 hour. Lightly saute, 3 minutes per side, on a buttered griddle or skillet heated to medium.