Raising six kids on a teacher's salary, my parents were always cooking on a budget. Being Catholic, with the requirement back then of meatless Fridays, Lent or not, this meant that we ate a lot of tuna macaroni salad and fried fish.
My mother often made tuna patties for us, and less frequently, because they were more expensive, salmon patties.
For several years, my father and I tried to talk my mother into making these salmon cakes again for us. For some unfathomable reason, she refused, even going as far as to claim that she never made salmon cakes in the first place.
After a while, we gave up and made our own version of the recipe.
How to Make Salmon Patties
Salmon patties, or salmon cakes, are wonderfully easy to make. You make salmon patties with just a base of canned salmon, shredded bread (or breadcrumbs or even saltines), chopped onion, and egg to bind it all into patties. Then, these salmon cakes are quickly fried.
In this easy salmon patties recipe, we dress up the salmon cakes with garlic, dill, bell pepper, paprika, lemon zest, and lemon juice. You could also add parsley, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, or cilantro. Feel free to improvise and make these salmon cakes your own!
What to Serve With Salmon Patties
Storing and Freezing Salmon Patties
Once cooked, leftover patties can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Eat them cold, or warm them up briefly in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave.
Salmon patties also freeze well. Wrap them in plastic and foil, and defrost them in the fridge before reheating.
Love Fish Cakes? Try These Recipes!
- Tuna Patties
- Fresh Salmon Cakes with Spicy Mayo
- Classic Crab Cakes
- Fish Cakes with Tarragon Mayo
- Shrimp Cakes
Can You Use Fresh Salmon to Make Salmon Cakes?
The short answer is yes! But the fresh salmon has to be cooked first. Making salmon patties from fresh salmon is a good option if you happen to have leftover cooked salmon anyway. Here's another one of our recipes for salmon patties made from fresh salmon.
Gluten-Free Salmon Patty? Here’s How.
If you're following a gluten-free diet, you can easily make salmon cakes gluten free by substituting 1 cup of corn meal in place of the bread and flour.
Tips for Buying Canned Salmon
There are a variety of canned salmon options out in the marketplace, but we prefer those with sustainable fishing practices (they will be listed as such on the label). It's easier to use the ones without bones or skin for salmon patties, unless you like the texture of the bones and skin. We like St. Jean's Canned Wild Salmon sustainably farmed in the Pacific Northwest.
Salmon Patty Sides You’ll Love!
- Mango and Avocado Salsa
- Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Spring Vegetable Salad
- Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots
- Homemade Tartar Sauce
If the mixture is too wet to form patties, add a little more shredded bread (not the crusts) to the mixture. If too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained of all but 2 tablespoons of liquid, flaked
1 large slice bread , crust removed, shredded (1 cup, 50 g)
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix patty ingredients:
In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon (including 2 tablespoons of the can liquid), bread, green onion, garlic, dill, bell pepper, flour, egg, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Form 8 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
Chill at least 30 min:
Cover the patties and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to several hours) to help them firm up.
Brown in skillet:
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the patties until nicely browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.