Fishcakes in America often vary by geographical region. New England has a long tradition of fishcakes made from cod.

In the Mid-Atlantic states, crabcakes are usually found on any seafood menu. And Southern states with a French heritage often honor that tie with either brandade de morue, salt cod whipped with milk and olive oil, or creamy pillows of fish and whipped potatoes. Surely, they also see fishcakes as a winner.

To broaden fishcakes' appeal and maximize their nutritious health protection, I have created an unusual combination with Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes. What could be more stylish, and delicious, than plump patties of cooked fresh salmon and mashed yams, dredged in cornmeal.

In the United States, yams and sweet potatoes are almost interchangeable. Depending on the store, most sweet potatoes sold in this country are actually yams.

Sweet potatoes have a short season, in November and December. Yams are more widely available, even in the height of summer. (Check with the folks in the produce section of your local market about when each is available.)

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For the fish, you can use canned salmon, of course. But baked salmon and steamed potatoes produce a much more succulent fishcake. And canned salmon take more preparation time, separating the meat from the skin and bones.

For the coating, look for yellow cornmeal that is labeled stone-ground. This whole-grain version retains the germ and bran, plus better flavor.

Yellow corn gets its golden color from lutein, the phytochemical noted for protecting eyes from age-related macular degeneration. It also gives your fishcakes the warm glow of a sunny day.

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Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes

Makes 4 servings.


  • 3/4 lb. yams (or sweet potatoes), sliced
  • 3/4 lb. salmon filet, cooked (baked, steamed,or grilled) and flaked with a fork
  • 3 large whole scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lime, plus juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice


  1. Steam yams until very soft, about 20 minutes stovetop or 2 to 4 minutes in a microwave oven. (If using a microwave oven, drape a damp paper towel over the top of the yams.) Cool yams until easily handled by hand. Using your fingers, peel skin from the slices. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash yams with a fork.
  2. Mix in salmon, scallions, mustard, the zest and juice of 1/2 lime, plus salt and pepper to taste. Blend until well combined. Shape mixture into 8 cakes, using about one-third cup for each. Arrange fishcakes on a plate, cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.
  3. Spread cornmeal over a small plate. Coat a large non-stick skillet generously with cooking spray and heat until hot on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, dredge fishcakes in cornmeal, coating them all over. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Make the sauce by mixing together in a small bowl the mayonnaise, mustard, rosemary and lime juice. Serve the sauce with the salmon cakes. If desired, serve fishcakes in hamburger buns, preferably whole wheat, along with a lettuce leaf and a dollop of the sauce.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
287 calories,
10 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat),
29 g. carbohydrate,
20 g. protein,
4 g. dietary fiber,
374 mg. sodium.

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch, 2-1/2 Medium-Fat Meat


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