Whenever possible I always try to use as much of a fish or animal that I hunt or catch. Usually that involves using the offal or the bones to make stocks. While watching an episode of The Mind of a Chef, I saw April Bloomfield do something that I thought was pure genius. Using a spoon she scraped the spine section of a salmon and was able to get a good portion of ground salmon off of it. Shortly after seeing this I had gone over to Lake Michigan salmon fishing and was intent on saving all the spine sections to give this a try. The first time I tried it I had made some Salmon burgers
that turned out amazing and I have been saving the other spine sections to try a salmon meatball. I finally got around to doing that the other night and the results were as good as I imagined they would be.
Looking back on that salmon fishing trip I was thinking what a waste it was as I sat at the fishing cleaning station and saw all the spine sections from other peoples fishing being fed into a large grinder to be sold as fertilizer to local farmers. If I ever get another chance to go fishing over there again, I may have to ask all the fisherman if I can have there spine sections. I am guessing that if I were to sit there for a couple of hours I could probably collect 15-20 pounds of minced salmon and who knows what I could do with all that, I am thinking salmon hot dogs.
These meatballs were about as easy as a meal can get. I took the salmon that I scraped of the spine and pulsed it in a food processor a few times just to break up the bigger pieces of meat. After that I mixed in all the other ingredients by hand and formed it into small ping pong ball sized meatballs. When they were done cooking I tossed them with some homemade maple teryaki sauce. Not a bad meal considering all I used was fish that would have normally gotten thrown away.
1 pound of fresh salmon
1/3 cup panko style bread crumbs
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chives finely diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
Combine all the ingredients and let stand in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Form your balls and cook on medium high heat for about 1 minutes per side in a little canola oil. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet and place in a 300 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. While the meatballs finish in the oven make your teryaki sauce in the same pan you seared the meatballs in.
Maple Teryaki Sauce
3 tablespoons Mirin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons maple sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp of water.
Stir together the Mirin, soy, sake and maple sugar until well combined and pour into the hot pan you seared you meatballs in. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch and water and stir until thick. Toss you meatball in the sauce and enjoy.