Rush Hour

Ever since the oil spill in the Gulf, seafood prices have continued to climb. For many, it means an end to fun meals featuring seafood, but it can also mean finding creative ways to make your favorite dishes with a twist. For instance, one of my all-time favorites - crab cakes - can be easily tweaked to become tuna cakes. Tuna tends to be less expensive and it's easy to have all the ingredients on hand in the pantry and in the refrigerator.

I like taking advantage of the natural affinity between tuna and Asian-style flavors by serving mine with a hoisin dipping sauce that is great drizzled over the cakes. You can add more or less chili-garlic sauce to suit your tolerance and desire for spicy food. I tend to add a little more if I'm with people that are fans and will sometimes cut the heat a little with some honey if there are kids at the table.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Tuna Cakes with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

  • 2 - (7-oz.) pouches solid white tuna in water, flaked
  • 1 1/3 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • Bibb lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices

Stir together the tuna, 1/3 cup of the breadcrumbs, and the next 6 ingredients (eggs through ground pepper) in a large bowl just until blended. Shape the tuna mixture into 8 equal patties (about 1/3 cup each). Dredge the patties in the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs.

Cook 4 patties at a time in 1 tablespoon of hot olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until they are golden. Remove from the skillet. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the other 4 patties.

In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, ginger and chili-garlic sauce. Set aside.

Place the tuna cakes on top of the lettuce leaves and tomato slices; drizzle with the hoisin dipping sauce and serve with the remainder for dipping.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes