Canned tuna is just something you sort of take for granted. It’s great for throwing together a quick tuna salad or for making a tuna casserole. But this recipe for Tuna Cakes takes tuna from a can to a whole new level.
This Tuna Cakes recipe reminds me of the Salmon Patties we used to have when I was a kid. In fact, if you substitute canned salmon for the canned tuna, I’m sure it would be just as wonderful. My mom used to smother the Salmon Patties in a white sauce — which I’m sure was simply milk thickened with a roux — with peas.
I dressed this one up a little bit because I was feeling creative. I added a watercress salad — simply watercress, tomato slices, slivered onions and black olives tossed in a little balsamic vinegar — along with some steamed yellow squash that was tossed lightly in butter.
Watercress is such a versatile little green. It’slight, cool and crunchy, with just a little taste of pepper. I love to use it underneath lighter proteins, such as fish. I don’t think it would stand up to anything heartier, such as beef or chicken, however.
I punctuated the plate with drops of red and green habenero sauce, which not only added color but spice as well. While the tuna cakes packed a little punch due to the red chili paste, fish like tuna really benefits from something spicy. Sandi suggested a wasabi sauce, which is what I will try next time.
3 small cans of White Albacore Tuna packed in water
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Red Chili Paste
2 TBS fresh Parsleyh, chopped fine (our parsley from the garden is still going strong!)
1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the olive oil. Then using your hands form into four balls of equal size. Pat down the balls into patties and place on a plate lined with wax paper. Cover with a second sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the patties will hold together better and the flavors can meld.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Put a cast iron pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the EVOO. When the oil is smoking, place the patties into the pan, being careful not to splash yourself with hot oil. Cook until the patties are browned on one side, then turn over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes per side. Then put the whole pan in the oven to finish, about 12 minutes.
I served these Tuna Patties with a honey-mustard barbeque sauce, which I made by whisking together equal parts of all three ingredients, then thinning it out with a few drops of water. I had wanted to put it into a squeeze bottle and zig-zag it across the patties, but I was getting hungry so I opted to drizzle it instead.