Wild Salmon Ginger Meatballs

August 12, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-5
Author Notes

I had not planned on entering another meatball…until thinking about what I would make for dinner tonight. The inspiration for these meatballs is practical in nature (rather than a food daydream); my daughter (age 5) and son (age 2) have widely different palates and coming up with a healthful weeknight dinner that makes them both happy is often a tricky task. While my daughter loves fresh fruit and vegetables of all kinds, she will not try anything too spicy or bold; my son, to my great pleasure, will eat curries and sauces that have a kick but will turn his nose up at most vegetables, cheese, and eggs (the shortlist). Two things they agree on are salmon and kale – with that in mind here are some wild, gingery salmon meatballs that we enjoyed with some angel hair pasta (brown rice-quinoa for my gluten-free hubby), steamed kale and a quick butter-crème fraiche-lemon zest sauce (with two tired, hungry little ones chomping at the bit, I now remember why dreaming up contest recipes at dinnertime is not always the best laid plan). Tender, sweet and gingery they were gobbled up by said tired and hungry little ones (and adults)...I will be making these again. Note: Since my husband is gluten intolerant I did not use any kind of binder other than an egg. Although these meatballs held together nicely, because they are so soft when uncooked, when they hit the hot pan they began to collapse under their own weight and were not quite as round as I had envisioned. Adding some breadcrumbs could help alleviate this, or perhaps cooking in the oven. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound wild sockeye salmon fillet, skinned, pin-bones removed
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • Generous Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • Squeeze of a juicy meyer lemon wedge (about 1 1/2 -2 t juice)
  1. Cut salmon into one inch long strips. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined, (without turning salmon into paste) occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Transfer meat mixture to another bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make meatballs (because the fish is so soft, I used a Tablespoon measure and it worked nicely) and arrange on a plate. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs, browning and turning as you go until done, about 3-4 minutes. Serve as desired and enjoy.
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  • brooklyncook
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • gingerroot
  • monkeymom
  • AntoniaJames

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

13 Reviews

brooklyncook November 26, 2010
This really appeals to me post-Thanksgiving... I'll let you know how it fares with my kids!
gingerroot November 27, 2010
Thanks brooklyncook! Hope your two liked these as much as my two. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm crossing my fingers for a family NYC trip in the spring!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 19, 2010
This looks absolutely wonderful!! I just saved it am making them soon. I'm a salmonaholic, so these are perfect for me.
gingerroot August 19, 2010
Thanks ChezSuzanne! Fresh ginger has made me a big salmon fan - and these are really tender and moist - you cannot beat good quality wild salmon. I hope you enjoy them! I added an edit below - the oil should not be included in the actual meatballs (although it reads that way).
gingerroot August 19, 2010
I just noticed a little typo in my recipe - when you combine all ingredients in the bowl of the food processor, it is all ingredients EXCEPT the oil. Sorry, the oil is for cooking the meatballs in. Enjoy!
monkeymom August 12, 2010
The combo with the Kale and sauce sounds so good! Would love the instructions for that.
gingerroot August 13, 2010
Hi mm! I just washed the kale leaves, steamed them till bright green and then chopped, removing the tough stem. For the sauce, it was about 2 T of butter, 4 ounces of crème fraiche, a touch of milk, some lemon zest and salt to taste. Not the most delicate sauce, but the flavors were good - and really good with the kale and meatballs. I hope you were able to find that Hawaiian vanilla you were looking for...I stopped by that egg store I had mentioned (I think the same day you were here) and was disappointed that they did not carry the mac nut oil that I had purchased there earlier this summer.
gingerroot August 12, 2010
Thanks all for your kind words! I hope you do try these - they are a tasty and healthy - and at the end of the day, made me a very happy Mom (with two satisfied little ones). : )
gingerroot August 12, 2010
Sorry..."they are tasty and healthy" is what I meant...
AntoniaJames August 12, 2010
Love it! I am really looking forward to trying this one soon. Have you tried whirring up in your food processor some quick oats to use instead of bread crumbs? I often do that to go wheatless. Not sure if that would help in the case of your husband's restrictions . . . . but it's an idea. ;o)
gingerroot August 12, 2010
Thanks for your oat suggestion, AJ! Although I have heard of "certified gluten free" oats, my husband is still leery about eating them. I will keep playing with this recipe...they were delicious as is, just not completely round.
lapadia August 12, 2010
A butter-crème fraiche-lemon zest sauce!!...YUM! I love salmon too! Love your idea!
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
Great idea! So glad you entered this. This would really appeal to all the different palettes I cook for as well!