Lower sodium tuna croquettes

Two golden brown tuna croquettes (tuna cakes) on a plate with corn and baked potatoI think I’ve already said this but I’ll say it again: I do not like fish or seafood as a general rule. It’s true. I wasn’t even much of a frozen fish stick fan when I was a kid. Some of it upsets my stomach. A lot of it throws my texture issues for a loop. And mostly, I can’t stand the smell.

However, one thing I do eat because we had it a lot as a kid and I got a taste for it is canned tuna. Specifically, I enjoy Clover Leaf’s white tuna packed in water. I’m not a fan of all the fancy ones they have out now, like the dill-flavoured ones, jalapeno, lemon and herb and all that jazz. I guess with canned tuna, I’m a bit of a purist.

As I mentioned recently, I found out that Clover Leaf produces a low sodium version of this tuna, so I was pretty pleased with the prospect of looking for it in the grocery store. The difference is 100mg less sodium per half can. Considering half a can is a good-sized sandwich, this is awesome. Instead of 340mg in a whole can, it’s only 140mg for the whole can. And honestly, I can’t taste much of a difference.

Just beware: the flaked can has more sodium than the solid can. Do what I do and read every label.

With that said, I found myself with the prospect of baked potatoes and steamed corn on the cob last night but had no planned protein. Checking the cupboards, I grabbed three of the cans of tuna and thought to myself, “Tuna croquettes!” If you are asking what a croquette is (as I was, when I first heard it), just think (in this case): fried tuna cake. Kind of like a crab cake.

Ingredients

  • 3 cans low sodium tuna
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C panko bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Table Blend seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Method

  1. In a large bowl, flake the tuna really well. Mix in the green onions, about half of the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, lemon juice and eggs.
  2. Once this is thoroughly mixed, split up evenly into 8 patties. You may have to squeeze tightly to get it all to stick okay.
  3. Place these on a plate, cover with cling wrap and set in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to set up.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a bit of oil (no more than a 1/4 inch in depth) over medium heat in a large pan. You can use olive oil, which is healthier than some oils.
  5. While the pan heats up, take the rest of the panko and coat each croquette in it, gently brushing off excess (they don’t have to be thickly coated — we’re just looking for a little texture here).
  6. Place the first four croquettes into the pan gently once the oil is heated up a bit. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then carefully turn over and fry the other side for 2-3 minutes. Each side should be a nice, golden brown colour.
  7. Remove these from the pan and set on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil.
  8. Top up the oil in the pan (if necessary) and reheat, then fry up the last four croquettes.
  9. Serve with your choice of sides!

I have heard that you can just as easily bake these and avoid the oil/frying altogether. From what I’ve read, baking them at 350F on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes until golden brown sounds about right. I’ve not tried this yet but probably will do with my next batch. The following nutritional values do not include the oil, just the croquettes themselves:

Nutritional value per croquette: 87 calories, 6g carbs, 2g fat, 13g protein, 101mg sodium, 1g sugar

These were originally based off a recipe from Food Network’s Alton Brown. I had no Dijon mustard, so I omitted that (leaving out some sodium anyway) and I had different tuna. I just added more lemon juice.

These keep in the fridge for several days quite nicely (if they last that long). Hubby and I enjoy them either heated back up the next day in the microwave, or even cold out of the fridge! It’s great for any meal of the day. Experiment with your ingredients a little and find your favourite combination. The thing that I love about these is that they’re easy to make and I usually have all the ingredients on hand at any given time. Last night, I served them up with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I’ve served them up with salad, soup and even pasta in the past. And heck, they’re pretty healthy for you.

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