Grew up on salmon n patties even if Though we were a family of 8 and I’ve changed the basic recipe we used then that now includes paprika, dill, onions, celery, seasonings to taste, mustard, bread or cornflake crumbs. I read someone tried using cornmeal, might try that. For the bones, we would keep them for the added calcium by crushing them up and mixing in, where you never “taste” them. Love salmon patties and crab cakes too.
Delicious; will definitely make again.
Made 2 minor changes based on other comments:
Did not use any salmon liquid. They were a little dry and a couple of them came apart in the skillet. Will use a little of the liquid next time.
Used only half the salt. It was just right for us.
We made a little mayo-lemon-dill sauce for the patties. Excellent.
bread lay them in flour coat before frying for a crispy outside
I live by myself so probably wouldn’t want to eat these 4 nights in a row (as delicious as they are…….I took a batch to a potluck), so I’m wondering if they can be frozen before frying? and if so, should I cook them straight from frozen?
Hi Orthohawk, great question! I haven’t tried freezing them so don’t know what to tell you. Perhaps someone else reading can offer a suggestion?
yeah. I was smart enough to add the salmon to the other ingredients without draining it. Became a liquid mess. Had to add like a cup of breadcrumps to make it right. lol.
I grew up with salmon patties and have always loved them. My mother made them with just the salmon, egg, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. She also always made a white sauce to pour over them when they were served. Delicious! Just love them, especially with the sauce!
This brought back memories, Elise. We had lots of tuna noodle casserole, tuna fish salad, and grilled cheese with tomato soup on Friday nights! My mother never made salmon patties and, when I had it at a friend’s house, I found out what I had been missing. Thanks for this recipe. Her mother also had a béchamel sauce and probably peas.
My mom always made these! She would make a bechamel sauce to go with them, and serve it all over rice with a side of frozen peas.
Serve them with biscuits and gravy…..and you’ll never eat them another way EVER!!
My Mom always served them with biscuits and gravy. And fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden in season, Fresh sliced cantaloupe was even better but not routinely available.
They can be broiled instead of fried if that’s what you prefer.
My big sister made some patties and they were off the chain man we can eat them all day everyday.
My mother would sometimes mix a teaspoon of mustard in the mix which gave it more of a twang.
I agree this a favorite childhood comfort food that is just delicious and easy to make.
Thx for the recipe I never thought of paprika but it made a huge difference! I serve mine with a tarragon mayo, so delicious!
OMG It was too salty with that 1 tsp. salt. I used a can of Demings Red Salmon. I would never use salt on this recipe. AARRGH! I had to toss it!
Made these tonight for dinner, took some liberties w/recipe. Really delicious. I omitted onions, peppers because I don’t like them, added Dijon, panko crumbs a tad mayo . Also made the tartar sauce recipe from this site and that was really good also-so much better than store bought. Thank you Simply Recipes.
Delicious, I will be replacing my old (unimpressive) salmon patty recipe with this one–minus half the salt. I did find it too salty, but I’m sure that’s just me….I don’t cook with a lot of salt.
Also, I nearly botched the recipe, not paying attention and adding the veggie oil to the mixture like an idiot. I comped for it by adding another slice of shredded bread and using cooking spray in the pan….and luckily I had not put all the fish juice from the can in. They turned out fine.
We had them with your roasted cauliflower recipe…which was outstanding.
This is a FANTASTIC recipe, especially for people who aren’t ‘natural’ cooks. I have just moved out of my parent’s house and decided to invite them to mine for dinner, which is pretty daunting as my mother is an insanely good cook, and they LOVED this dinner. My dad says to me in a thick Irish accent, ‘Did you really make them patties?’ ‘Um, yes dad I really did!’ ‘By yourself?’ he asked obviously impressed. So thanks to your site for your easy to understand recipes for non-cooks, like myself!
I was convinced to make these after the delicious looking picture! My husband who did not like my mom’s salmon patties was hesitant to try mine. But, when he did, he really liked them. I was surprised! I now like to make them once a week and I like to add garlic and onion powder with red onion (didn’t have green). I like to use whole wheat, protein bread too.
A very delicious and healthy meal! I especially like them cripsy and dip them in ketchup!
My mom made salmon patties all the time when we were kids.Usually she made if for Fridays because we Catholics weren’t supposed to eat meat on Fridays,so we always had some sort of fish.She even made tuna patties too.
Our recipe calls for cracker crumbs and removing the bones.She would saute the chopped up onion and celery in margarine,and also use a little lemon juice too.No garlic or dill in her recipe.
I’ll have to try to make mackrel patties.
Also, fresh crabmeat is expensive, but i bet you could use this recipe using Louis Kemp Crab or Lobster Delights.
As a single lady, the left overs I eat the next day for dinner or lunch, so I get two meals from one recipe.
I grew up on my grandmother’s salmon cakes and still make them for dinner. All of the recipes sound good, but did you know you can have them for breakfast?? A good southern breakfast and one of my grandmother’s standards was leftover salmon cakes, grits, scrambled eggs and toast. With her percolated coffee and orange juice, it was the best ever! Great lazy Sunday breakfast!!
I grew up on salmon patties and still make them like my mom did. I take off the skin and remove the bones…don’t like the crunch of the bones, drain off the juice, add chopped onions, crushed crackers, a beaten egg and salt and pepper. Dip each side of the patty in yellow corn meal and fry to a crisp golden brown. Often mom used canned mackeral and I do too and it tastes just as good to us. And it’s cheaper.
Wow! Who knew salmon patties would cause such an outpouring of responses. Never had salmon patties….but here’s a “fish odor” tip I’ve learned and use all the time. Put a bowl of white vinegar on the kitchen counter while cooking. It really takes away most of the odor. Then – during clean-up, boil lemon slices. Also walk around your living space while the pot is still steaming (but not have such a full pot that you’ll spill it). The vapor work beautifully…and then everything smells sweet. I love fish – and I don’t know what I’d do without this. Actually, I do: I wouldn’t make it. :) JT
Great tips, thanks Joan! ~Elise
I am single and hate cooking for only myself because of the time it takes and all of the leftovers that I end up eating for a week! This recipe was great ( I substituted bread crumbs for the bread and red onion for the green onion because that’s what I already had. I am going to freeze the leftovers to enjoy next week. Thanks for the recipe!
I use a mix of bread crumbs and LSA meal to bind the cakes and sometimes lightly cover in corn flake crumbs – my kids love them and they are great for cold lunches at school the next day! Mashed potato makes the mix go even further.
I tried this recipe today, the first time for me to make my own patties, it turned out great, I did not have any dried dill, and I used oregano instead. Next time (next week) I will use a dash of Cajun seasoning like one the readers mention. Thanks,
I attempted this recipie last night and came up on an unforseen problem: the intense, pervasive fishy smell. I love fish and generally these smells don’t bother me, but in making these salmon patties the smell was really excessive. I had a similar problem once when I tried to make a tuna melt. I cannot believe that this recipie is meant to smell like that when so many people clearly love it. Could you please tell me what I did wrong? Is there any trick or tip to reduce the extreme odor when frying these? They came out looking beautiful but my apartment just reeks!
Salmon does that. Very smelly to cook. ~Elise
MmmmMmmm… I fry my salmon patties in olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. It takes them to a whole other level. Also, I live alone so I use leftover salmon in lieu of canned. Besides, I dislike picking out the bones from the canned salmon. Serve with a lemon wedge and tapatio, if you like hot sauce.
Very disappointing. I had been so looking forward to trying this recipe. To saltly and I didn’t add all the salt and didn’t care for the flour in it. My husband who is adventerous and will try most everything, said go back to your old recipe. I usually love your recipes.
I haven’t made salmon cakes in quite a while, so I thought I’d pull different recipes up on the internet. Well, this one was the greatest. I followed the recipe to a”t”, but instead of bread, I used Panko Bread Crumbs. They are much courser than regular bread crumbs. My husband and I both loved them.!
Wonderful! I love these!
I had never made salmon cakes before, and this recipe with a few changes was absolutely perfect. I used saltines instead of bread, a bit of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and a sliver of habanero, roasted garlic from a can, as well as olive oil (didn’t have veg oil) along with the rest of the ingredients except paprika and dill. Additionally I used a pinch of ginger and old bay. My wife’s mother makes them occasionally, but I had no idea how easy this was! Thanks so much!
If you want to try a truly deep south dish try salmon patties with syrup. Yes, I said syrup. My mama made salmon patties for our family of six at least once a month when I was growing up in the panhandle of Florida. Usually she made them for supper and we had them with dinner-type sides such as sweet peas, another veggie and biscuits. But what we all loved the best was the next morning to have the leftover patties with syrup. The patties were great right out of the fridge and we just sopped up syrup out of our plate with the patties and had a big glass of milk on the side. My kids and husband love this as much as we did growing up. I use Mama’s simple recipe which used flour, a little baking powder, milk, egg and onion but I think I will try yours too just for fun.
My husbands father used to make “salmon patties” but the “secret” is use canned mackerel instead. My sisterinlaw taught me how to make them that according to surveys – are remarkably close to the original. However they all reminisce about the thin flapjacks they always had along with them and no one in the family knows how to make them. Any suggestions? (His father was from alabama if that somehow matters….)
Salmon cakes and fried potatoes were a favorite of ours while growing up! My mom used to have to make double batches of these, and she always served them with kale and kidney beans! I love the thought of those four foods on a plate!
This must be a Catholic Friday night dinner thing !! Our mother used to make Salmon cakes EVERY Friday night !! She had the creamed peas and homemade applesauce—talk about comfort food and memories.
This recipe is wonderful-mother used a sleeve of saltines and large onion. She said if she put anything else in it would be wrong.
Mother passed away at the glorious age of 92-and had made these just the week before–great memories.
My mom always served biscuits and gravy with salmon patties. YUM.
My grandmother used to make these for me and she would always use a boiled, mashed potato instead of crackers or bread. They fry up deliciously crispy.
I finally got around to making this recipe (with the salmon suggested) and it was a huge hit with everyone. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!
I made these salmon patties for supper tonight. My mother-in-law saw the recipe on my kitchen counter last Sunday and said it looked like it would be good. So tonight I invited her over and we really loved the taste. She thought we should drain the salmon, which I did, and it was delicious! My husband agreed – I could definitely make these again. I served them with a baked potato and cooked fresh asparagus. Very good! I’ll be trying more of your recipes.
Does anyone have any tips for making these ahead of time? Could I freeze the patties uncooked, or could I cook them-freeze them-reheat them? Or do they really need to be served right away? thx
You mentioned Tuna patties as well. Can I substitute tuna for the salmon in this recipe? My husband would just love the salmon but I really don’t like it. It would be great if I could do a half batch of each for dinner one night.
Note from Elise: Yes, you can substitute tuna.
Thanks so much for the extra information!!! My husband and I made these tonight and they were delicious. Salmon and dill go so well together. We did find them a little too moist in the middle, but maybe that was just a lack of experience. I think next time I might use more bread or drain the salmon first. I’ve posted a pic of the patties on my blog!
Me again! Also I was wondering what the difference is between sweet paprika and regular paprika. I have a dried/ground spice labeled “paprika”, but can’t seem to find any info re: sweet paprika. Silly questions perhaps -like I said I’m a beginner :)
Note from Elise: The regular paprika should do find, just taste it first to make sure it is still good. Paprika loses its flavor if it gets too old. There are lots of different types of paprika, if you can find it, get a hold of some Hungarian sweet paprika, it comes in a rectangular tin can. It is distinctly different from Hungarian hot paprika, which is much spicier.
Hello, I just found this great site. I’m a cooking beginner so can someone please explain shredded bread to me? Do you just break up a slice of fresh bread into small bits? Do you include the crust? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks :)
Note from Elise: Yes, just break up a slice of bread with your fingers into little pieces, including the crust.
Good recipe, took me back to when we had six children, my husband was a school teacher too, so I know the problems your mum had, making the dollar go further. We love salmon so to make a tin go further for sammies I used to do what my mother did when we were growing up in Wales. To a tin of salmon, undrained, but boned, add a cup of fresh white beadcrumbs and about 1tbs lemon juice, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Makes a great sammie filler and goes a long way.
This recipe has been very popular on line, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have the name to credit the original poster. It uses RAW salmon that goes into the pan in that state. Try it!
Fresh Salmon Cakes
(This makes a loose, somewhat hard to handle mixture before it’s cooked but after it’s in the skillet it will hold together, only flip once.)
2 cloves garlic; minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 dashes Tabasco (or a pinch of cayenne)
2/3 cup coarse white bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons real mayonnaise
1 egg yolk (or egg white)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fresh salmon
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine garlic, onion Tabasco, bread crumbs, parsley, mayonnaise, egg yolk and salt and pepper. Remove skin and bones from salmon and cut into small cubes (about 1/2-inch); gently stir into crumb mixture. Carefully shape salmon mixture into 4 patties and coat the outsides with Panko crumbs. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and add salmon cakes. Fry the cakes until brown, about 4 minutes on each side turning only once. Serve with lemon wedges or your favorite tarter sauce.
*May substitute cracker crumbs or bread crumbs for the Panko.
Thank you so much for posting this recipe. As many have stated, my mom used to make these all the time and I have not had them in years. I tried your recipe last night and WOW…the memories came flooding back. I served them over a green salad with red wine vinagarette and they were sooooo tastey!!! My boyfriend thanks you for the wonderful dinner and has requested them more often. I love this site!
Now that we live in Alaska, frequently get fresh salmon from people who are trying to lighten their freezer’s load. I’ve been working with leftover fresh salmon to make salmon patties, but i’m not satisfied yet. Any suggestions on how to adapt leftover baked salmon to salmon patties?
thanks, lois in alaska
My dad made Salmon patties for dinner occasionally. I loved them. He also made some kind of fresh tasting sauce that went with them. I think there might have been cucumber in it, but I really don’t know.
I’m craving these now. I may have to call dad, then stop at the grocery store on the way home.
Salmon cakes are fantastic. I’m glad that they were a part of other people’s lifestyles as well. I would talk about them to people, but none of them had eaten them. I personally like them because they are completely extensible. Everyone has their own variation. Contrary to people here, salmon cakes are brunch in my house. Serve them with a side of cheddar grits, and it’s very good times.
Dena, I use a recipe which calls for half canned salmon, flaked fine, and half fresh salmon – UNCOOKED – cut into small, maybe half-inch, cubes. You mix the two salmons together with all the other standard ingrdients, and when you fry them, the fresh salmon cooks fine. So I wouldn’t poach the salmon first myself – this is one of my favorite recipes because of the combination of textures of the salmon.
My grandmother used to make salmon croquettes on Friday nights (even after Vatican II). Her recipe is almost identical to yours, except that she also rolled them in bread crumbs before she fried them. I haven’t thought about them in years. Thanks for the memory!
We never had tuna patties, but my mom used to make mackerel patties that were very similar to this, just without the pepper and paprika, and they were the best. I’ve made them with both mackerel and salmon and I agree with ~M, you want to mash those bones in with the fish. Don’t take them out, they’re delicious! One of my favorite comfort dinners are these patties with some mashed potatoes and corn. Now I’m craving it – I might have to go buy some salmon and make this tonight.
My fiance is mystified by salmon patties, but when I was a kid we had them about once a week. A less fancy version, though – 1 can salmon, 1-1.5 sleeves saltines, 1 egg, salt, pepper, a little milk. Pan fry thoroughly.
And we ALWAYS ate them with Henri’s Tas-Tee dressing, which Amazon calls a “midwest favorite”… I can’t imagine eating it with anything else but processed/fried fish products, let alone fruit (!) or greens, as they suggest.
Anyone else familiar with this stuff (or happen to eat it with salmon patties)?
I’ve made Salmon-Cakes for years.. I make these
in my Cafe’,One hint or two,use the cheapest
can Salmon you can find,remove the skin, bones,and liquid. If one wants to use fresh, then cook first and cool.
I use 2 cans of Salmon and 2 cups cooked and cooled rice..2 eggs and 1 med onion-chopped.
1/2 cup green onion(with greens) mix, add 30
salteen crackers,1 tab.fresh garlic(minced),
1 tsp.black pepper,2 tab.minced celery,1 tsp.
cyanne pepper and the juice of 1 lemon..and
most important,a 1/2 can of corn (about 1/2 cup)
mix together and form into 1/2″thick X 3″diam.
should get about 16 patties.place on plates and
refridgerate for at least 2 hours..the flavors need to meld. Fry in a very small amount of
olive oil, for 3-4 min. on each side. and
WALLA’ the best ever!!!
I am forsed to bring these to every family
function!! even cold they are great!!
Enjoy my version.
I never make these without a little rosemary. Thanks for the recipe, it gave me an idea for dinner!
We love salmon patties over here too. We add diced onion and red pepper so it looks like confetti. To keep them gluten-free, we use cooked brown rice or wild/brown rice blends and sometimes an extra egg white; I’ve also heard of gf variations with rice cakes or almond meal/flour. We use whole foods brand Red Salmon (not Pink Salmon) which tastes better and mush up all the bones for added calcium. Super yummy and healthy!
I learned to make Salmon Patties from my mom. Our recipe uses 1 can of Salmon, drained and the large backbones taken out, 1 egg, a little salt and pepper and enough cornmeal to hold the mixture together. If you accidently use too much cornmeal, add a touch of milk. (I added a few shakes of dried, minced onion, and if I need to stretch the recipe, I add a large can of tuna.)
My mother used a tablespoon on the inside of the bowl to form the patties and was fast enough to get them all in the pan so that it was time to turn the first as soon as the last was placed in the grease.
I also use a tablespoon;however, I have to use my hand to form the little mounds, and I place them on a plate so that I can get them all in the pan at once.
This is the one thing my sons ask for when they come to the house for dinner.
We always have stewed tomatoes over rice and green beans with Salmon Patties. YUM. I think that’s what we’ll have for supper tonight!
I love salmon patties. I have a lower-carb recipe that uses pulverized Ritz, mayo, red onion and Old Bay. They are great on top of mixed greens with swiss cheese melted on top.
Can you recommend a good brand of tinned salmon? We moved to Sacto from British Columbia eight years ago and I have yet to find tinned salmon that actually tastes like salmon (to me).
I had my greatest cooking disaster ever once when making salmon patties. I was looking for a way to speed things up, so I just threw everything into the food processor. This led to a lot of liquid being released from the onions I used, and between the water and the bread crumbs, what I made was more of a salmon batter than salmon cake. When I poured it out into the pan and saw that I was in fact making salmon pancakes, I knew it was time to give up for the night.
Oooh, good. I have some salmon frozen in my freezer that I dont’ know what to do with. Elise et all, can I make these by unthawing the salmon in my freezer? Do I need to do anything special since the salmon isn’t already cooked?
Note from Elise: Yes, cook the salmon first. The easiest way is to poach the salmon in a little white wine or even water.
I used to make these in college all the time on the George Forman grill. We used garlic and red pepper flakes sometimes to give it an edge. Such a great budget meal.
I think I’ll have to make these again tonight. =)
Undrained salmon? That seems strange to me, but the picture looks great. I always serve my version with a lime-mayonaise.
To make them even better, try adding finely chopped shallots and green onions as well as the onion. For GF guests, use ground polenta instead of bread. And the mystery ingredient which really makes salmon patties taste fantastically different is galangal. About half a teaspoon for the above quantities.
Note from Elise: Thanks for the tips, Trig!
We have salmon patties at least once a week! I’m not a fan of broiled or baked salmon, but I love these and we have also adapted the recipe for my ‘hot’ loving hubby; add 1-2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning and one small chopped jalapeno. WOW! Instant “BAM”
I sneak about 1/2 can of mashed chick peas into mine too, and sometimes add some shredded cheese as well. Everyone in the house loves them, year round.
I love salmon cakes/patties/croquettes. I use a recipe for Deviled Salmon Cakes that adds a bit more filler but very tasty. I usually serve them over mixed greens with honey mustard. I also coat mine in Panko and bake in the oven, as the smell of frying them in a skillet tends to permeate my house.
Do you think this recipe would work with fresh Lake salmon? My husband caught a ton and the fish is tasteless (blah). I am looking for a way to dress it up. Any other ideas would be appreciated. I thought it would taste like the salmon from the store but it doesn’t.
Note from Elise: Sure, why not? Just poach it or fry it first. You want to use cooked salmon for this recipe.
I have been making salmon patties for years, having learned how to make them in my family at a young age. Our “family recipe” calls for a full medium-sized onion chopped medium-small and cracker crumbs rather than bread. I really appreciate your ideas about the seasoning varieties and will assuredly be tweaking my old favorite soon.
One thought — I recently stopped frying the patties in an oiled skillet and have been grilling with a George Foreman grill. It’s a lot lower fat and brings more to the flavors of the patties and less from the oils.
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