Wellness Wednesday: Nikki Cooper’s Salmon and Crab Croquettes

Salmon and crab cakesWe’re inviting some of our trusted nonprofit and Star Chef partners to take over the Bon Appétit blog and share their best tips, recipes, and fun links. This week’s guest curator is Nikki Cooper, the second-generation owner of Two Jack’s Nik’s Place, a family-owned restaurant in San Francisco serving southern comfort food and fresh seafood since 1977. (Read her op-ed, On San Francisco’s Black-Owned Restaurants, COVID-19, and the First American Pandemic.) Nikki has worked with Bon Appétit chefs to share her recipes with guests and read her children’s book, Chocolate Covered Gratitude With Blessings On Top, to our clients’ children both before and during California’s shelter-at-home period. 

I absolutely love these, and I hope you enjoy them! While Dungeness crab is the best, it’s absolutely fine to substitute rock crab or other crab.

Woman in front of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali posters

Nikki Cooper inside Two Jack’s Nik’s Place

Two Jacks Nik’s Place Salmon and Crab Croquettes

Makes 4 to 6 croquettes

6 cups canola oil
About 5 ounces cooked salmon (canned works fine)
8 ounces fresh Dungeness crab meat
3 green onions, chopped fine
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 egg, beaten

Drain crabmeat and salmon (if using canned) until all excess water has been removed. Combine salmon, crab, and green onions (save a pinch for garnish) in a bowl. Season to taste with sea salt, granulated onion and black pepper. Add egg and mix thoroughly.

Add 1 cup of breadcrumbs to seafood mixture and mix. Pinch off mixture and form four to six patties approximately the size of palm. Put the remaining 2 cups of panko in a large, shallow bowl, and coat  patties.

Heat cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed deep pan until nice and hot, around 350 degrees. (A bit of panko should sizzle in the pan.)

Place each patty in oil and fry until golden brown, no more than two at a time — avoid crowding. Remove using a slotted spatula and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce or aioli if desired.