Saturday, March 17, 2018

Salmon Cakes

Folks our age were the kids of the kids who grew up during the Great Depression and as such most of our parents knew how to stretch their food budgets including making salmon cakes (patties for us) from canned salmon – I don’t know how old I must have been before knowing that tuna and salmon was actually a fresh fish – I did know that ham was available other than Spam though.  Seems like everyone’s mom had their own recipe for salmon patties using different fillers – I believe mine used oats and quite a bit more than Pam's recipe - we likely had salmon flavored fillers.

As Bev and I were reminiscing the other day, we decided we wanted to make some patties from canned salmon (even though we have the real deal in the freezer) but using a more modern recipe and we chose Pam’s version from her For The Love Of Cooking blog.  Check Pam’s blog for the original recipe and some great pics.

We followed her recipe as written but substituted canned salmon, made one addition for half of them, and scaled the recipe by 1½ for the amount of salmon in two cans – made the aioli as written.  I was surprised to discover that canned salmon still contains skin and bones and a plenty of liquid – I’ll try the pouched kind next time.

Lemon Dill Aioli:
½ cup mayonniaise
1-2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
½ tsp dried dill
1 clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Crispy Salmon Cakes: Makes eight 3 oz patties
2 cans salmon (bones and skin removed) chopped
4½ tbsp panko crumbs + extra for coating
1½ small shallot, minced
1½ green onion, sliced thin
3 tbsp fresh parsley (I used 1 T dried)
3 tbsp mayonnaise (Duke’s of course)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 T capers, chopped for half the patties - note
3 tbsp canola oil, more if needed

Note: We wondered how they would be with capers so after frying half the mix, I added the chopped capers to the second half.

1. Make the aioli by combining the mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and garlic together; whisk well.
2. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Set aside to allow flavors to mingle.
3.Make the salmon cakes by combining the chopped salmon with the panko crumbs, shallot, green onion, parsley, mayonnaise, Dijon, garlic, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and a pinch of cayenne.
4. Mix gently until well combined.
5. Pour more panko crumbs on a plate.
6. Form into patties then coat in the panko crumbs (I actually weighed mine).

7. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
8. Once hot, add the salmon cakes to the pan and cook without moving for 2-3 minutes; flip and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
9. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.

We served them with a side salad.

And the verdict is – these salmon patties were outstanding and we all loved them – Bev said she could have them pretty often.  The ones with capers were slightly preferred, but of course we love capers and the aioli went very well with both of them.  I tried one like I had them as a kid with ketchup and it was not in the same league as with the aioli (not much of a surprise). 

I cooked the final two bare and they cooked up fine without the Panko coating.

Soon (while we can still remember these) we’ll try raw salmon, as Pam did, for comparison and Bev wants to try some with just a little ketchup in them - maybe an egg as well (hard to forget her moms version).

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


3/11/18 Meal Date


  1. Never had salmon cakes, mind our grand parents lived with us and my grandfather was a butcher, so we always had lots of fresh meat at a good price, will have to give them a try, thanks for the tips.

  2. Larry, These salmon patties are much like the ones Laurie recently made for us. We didn't have any skin or bones in our cans of salmon though. Must depend on the brand. I love Lemon Dill Aioli...and of course I sprinkle Tabasco on the patties as well. We did ours with capers too... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. I love salmon cakes! Yours look great. Ina Garten has a wonderful that I use but will check out Pam's to see how they compare.

  4. Yay! Glad you tried them. I had never had a salmon cake before so it was fun to try them. Love the idea of adding capers - will do that next time.

  5. Your parents would have been proud of what you could do with canned salmon-My dad grew up in the depression and has a way with fried potatoes that till this day I find hard to replicate. My mom was all about spam and beans and I grew up eating plenty of it.
    Love that you took a childhood memory and recreated it with a few modern twists. Definitely go with the pouch salmon next time-just plain easier.


  6. Canned salmon and spam, yes it was one our table as well. The first time that my mother asked if I would help her make the salmon cakes I was shocked to see the skin and bones in the can. My mother used saltines as the filler in ours. Thanks for a walk back in time.


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