Recipe adapted from Simplyrecipes.com, by Karen K. of Corvallis
MONEY SAVED: About $9
During the Catholic era of my childhood, we always ate fish on Fridays. In those days, that meant fish sticks or tuna fish cakes! So I got inspired when I was perusing my Eat First pantry area and found a couple cans of tuna that were a bit past their “Best By” dates.
I also had on hand: 1) going-stale crackers (cutting down on my carbs); 2) a bunch of cilantro that I had been picking at for awhile (fortunately most of it was still good bec I stored it in a glass of water with a plastic bag-tent over it); 3) just under 1/2 of a red onion; and 4) about half a jar of organic dill (not sweet) pickle juice left after all the pickles had been consumed.
I had saved that because I found out that pickling brine (I call it juice) — particularly w/o preservatives or added sugar — is really good for you! (Kind of like an apple cider vinegar shot.) It turns out there’s a zillion ways to use pickle juice — including drinking it! I’ll never pour my pickle juice down the drain again.
I didn’t use a recipe for the pickle juice crema — I just did what I usually do when making a simple tarter sauce for fish, substituting pickle juice for dill weed and mustard.
Omnivore/kid-friendly, easy to make for lunch or dinner. Can substitute canned salmon, crab or other meat like chicken but will need to adjust cooking time accordingly.
RECIPE with leftovers* clearly identified:
- 2 cans tuna,* 5 or 6 oz (preferably sustainably harvested)
- Water, 1 TBSP (reserve liquid when draining tuna packed in water)
- Crackers* (or bread ends), crumbled, 1/2 cup
- 1 egg
- Lemon juice, 1 TBSP
- Lemon zest, 1 TSP (or so)
- Extra virgin olive oil, 2 TBSP (1 of these is for cooking the patties)
- Tabasco or other hot sauce, 1/4-1/2 TSP (to your taste)
- Red onion/green/other onion or chives or shallots: 1 TBSP (or so)
- Cilantro or parsley, chopped, 2 TBSP
- Dijon or other mustard, 2 TSP
- Salt/Fresh ground black pepper to taste*
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Drain the cans of tuna, reserving at least a tablespoon of the packing liquid. If using tuna packed in salted water, consider omitting salt as a seasoning for the patty mix.
- Mix together the tuna, tuna water or oil from the tuna can, crumbled bread/crackers, lemon zest/juice, onions, mustard,
salt/pepper, hot sauce. If using tuna packed in water, add 1 of the 2 TBSP of olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
- Mix in the egg, then use your hands or a scoop to portion the mix into 4 balls. Flatten the balls into 4 equally sized patties.
- Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a stove top frying pan on medium heat and saute patties for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Serve with lemon wedges and Picklejuice Crema.
Makes 4 medium-sized patties.
For Pickle juice Crema, whisk together:
- Used DILL pickle brine* from jar, 1-2 TBSP (depending on the size of cooked patties & your taste) Make sure there is no off-smell or mold on the surface of the liquid!
- Mayonnaise, 1/3 cup
- Sour cream or plain yogurt, 1/2 cup
OPTIONAL: Before cooking, if time allows, you can chill the patties for an hour on waxed paper in the fridge. The recipe I started with suggests this will help the patties stay together while they are cooking, but I didn’t find it was necessary.