One of the most enjoyable things about writing a food blog is making friends online with like-minded people and swapping ideas. My eye was caught recently by a recipe for pickled mustard seeds posted by Nicole at The James Kitchen.
As I have an enormous jar of yellow mustard seeds reproaching me for neglect, I set to work that same night.
I loved the result: the seeds swell up, as Nicole says, like tiny tapioca pearls and they pop in your mouth in the most intriguing way. They’re sweet and sour and somehow both pungent and mellow at the same time.
They’re versatile enough to use in lots of different ways – they’d be fabulous with smoked eel – but they made a very good relish for these juicy salmon burgers.
Click on the link above for the mustard seed recipe and do check out Nicole’s blog if you haven’t already bookmarked her site, she’s a very creative cook.
Salmon Burgers with Pickled Mustard Seeds
2 skinless, boneless salmon fillets, about 200g
1 small onion or shallot, peeled and chopped
Approx 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (fresh or panko)
Handful of roughly chopped parsley (dill would be a good alternative)
1 tspn Dijon mustard
A little egg white or beaten egg, to bind (I used about 1/2 an egg white)
2 tspn capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Oil, for frying
To garnish: pickled mustard seeds and quick-pickled onions
While you can make this by hand (in which case chop the ingredients quite small) it helps to have a food processor. Put the onion in the bowl of the processor and chop finely, but don’t puree it. Add the salmon, cut into small chunks, the parsley, breadcrumbs, mustard and egg. Pulse briefly until the salmon is chopped small but not mushed.
Scrape into a bowl, add the roughly chopped capers, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Check the consistency and add more breadcrumbs if necessary. It has to hold together but the fish should predominate. Form into four round patties and place in the fridge to firm up for a couple of hours.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the patties until golden on both sides, turning carefully. You can of course serve the burgers in a bun as I did for my carb-loving husband, but I prefer them with a simple green salad.
Plate them up and serve with the pickled mustard seeds. I topped ours with some quick-pickled red onions for the added piquancy and colour contrast.