Kimchi Salmon Patties

When your environment doesn't match how you feel inside, you can experience anxiety. When you feel the normal rhythm of life isn't going to support you—as if you are dancing and somebody keeps changing the beat or everyone is telling you to sit down and stop it and sit on your hands—it can be hard to remember that it is okay to be who you are.

To give your body what it needs to stabilize and to nourish neurotransmission, remove mood disorder triggers, negotiate cognitive imbalances, and replenish beneficial gut bacteria, we are going to employ strategic foods that boost mood, improve brain function, and nourish the metabolic pathways the brain utilizes. And we're going to do it with food.

Food Rx: Mood | Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


Quick Pickle

1/4 cup carrot, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
3 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon stevia
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Salmon Cakes

2 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
1 egg, large
12 ounces salmon fillets
1/2 cup purchased kimchi (no additional sugar)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Serve

4 butter lettuce leaves (if making 4 patties 8 leaves)
1 teaspoon Korean red pepper paste or Tabasco (or to taste)
2 lemon wedges


Make the pickled veggies:

  1. Place the carrot, cucumber, cabbage, and radish in a small bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and use your fingers to rub the salt into the vegetables. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, stevia, and pepper to make a quick vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Make the salmon patties:

  1. Lightly beat the egg and soak the oatmeal in it for 15 minutes. Peel or carefully slice the skin off the salmon fillets, then place the salmon and kimchi in a food processor and process until smooth. Brush down the sides of the processor with a spoon, then add the beaten egg and the oats. Process just until well incorporated and the salmon mixture holds together.

  2. Make 2 large or 4 small patties by rolling a portion of salmon mixture into a ball and then flattening the ball into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or freeze for future use).

  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  4. Remove the pickled veggies from the refrigerator and squeeze to remove as much excess water as possible. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

  5. Place the salmon cakes in a baking dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

  6. To serve, place salmon patties (depending on whether you made 2 or 4) atop 2 pieces of lettuce, top with some of the pickled veggies, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the lemon wedges.