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Tot-Friendly Fish

You know the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are super healthy, but will your kids eat it? And how do you make it? Answers: Yes, and it's easy! Just follow this finger-licking recipe from our new cookbook, Parenting's Love in Spoonfuls ($19.95, Chronicle Books), a guide to feeding your baby and toddler meals that are healthy, yummy, and -- best of all -- simple for you to prepare.

Salmon Patties

MAKES: 6

1 can (7 1/2 oz) boneless, skinless pink or red salmon

2 Tbsp finely diced shallot or onion

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or regular bread crumbs

2 Tbsp canola oil

Unsweetened applesauce or plain yogurt for dipping

1. In a large mixing bowl, flake the salmon, breaking it up with a fork and double-checking it for any bones. If you see any, just remove them.

2. Add the shallot, egg, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and mix well. (Note: Panko, or Japanese bread crumbs, can be found in well-stocked supermarkets, Asian groceries, or online. They'll give your patties such a light crunchiness, it's worth seeking them out.) Using your hands, roll the mixture into 6 little balls and flatten slightly to make the patties. Dust lightly with additional bread crumbs.

3. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When it's hot, add the salmon patties and cook until golden on the underside, about 2 minutes. Turn the patties and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, cut into halves or quarters, check the temperature, then serve with applesauce or yogurt for dipping.

4. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days (or freeze for up to 3 months). To reheat, microwave 20 to 30 seconds; check temperature before serving.

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