Real Good Salmon Cakes

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I’m trying to increase my protein intake at lunchtime, so tried making salmon cakes and not getting them as “heavy” as last time. I made 12 cakes from this recipe, about the size of my palm (so maybe 3oz?) and we fried them up. DELICIOUS. See what you think.

Some of the amounts here are “feels” – follow your heart, and taste the mixture before forming patties. Canned salmon is cooked, so no danger in tasting as you go.

Makes 6 servings of small cakes; or 3-4 servings of large cakes (2 per person)

Ingredients for Crab Cakes

  • 1 ~15oz can wild-caught salmon (I used Bumble Bee from Publix for about $4.50)
  • 3 T from one of the “chopped trinity vegetables” packs from your store’s produce/deli area – or dice your own:
    • 1 T diced white onion
    • 1 T diced green peppers
    • 1 T diced celery
  • 1-2 Tb of mayo
  • 1 Tb sriracha
  • 1 Tb chili crisp – we are addicted! here’s a good one you can get from Amazon
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • about a half cup Progresso seasoned breadcrumbs (amount may vary – see below)
  • 3-4 Ritz crackers (or use more breadcrumbs or panic) – crush them in your hands really fine when adding
  • seasonings: you could use skip this list and use pepper + salt + Old Bay + dill
  • To fry the cakes, some butter (1-2T) and some olive oil

How I Made the Real Good Salmon Cakes

This is a basic “throw it all together and mix it up” kind of recipe, but a few tips here if you’re new to salmon cakes. If not, mix em up, fry em! Eat.

First, canned salmon often contains bones, so you need to do the (gross) step of draining the can of all its water & oil, dumping the salmon into a mixing bowl, and running through all of it carefully with your fingers to break it it up into fine shreds while feeling for small bones that need to be pulled out. I found at least a dozen little round bones that would not be good eats. Gotta pull all that out!

Next, add the vegetables, spices, and seasonings (go easy on the salt) but don’t put in the breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs yet. Stir together, then add the egg.

Now add the crumbled Ritz + bread crumbs. I’d start with the crackers and then add enough breadcrumbs (or panko or just more crackers) until you’re seeing the mixture come together with more solidity. It’s never going to hold together like something akin to cookie dough, but you should be able to take some into your hands and form it into a patty in your palm, and it stays together well enough for you to lay it on a plate.

Make 12 patties – aim for a disk smaller than the palm of your hand and I dunno maybe half inch thick.

You can make these any size you’d like — salmon patties are a wonderful alternative to hamburgers. Style them on a toasted bun with some tartar sauce or mayo & sriracha, maybe throw some lettuce or spinach on there. I just want for small ones because they can be heavy.

Frying and Preparation

Get a good frying pan hot. Not “take your hand off” hot but like “put the stove knob past medium” hot. A drop of water should dance when you throw it on the pan.

Once the pan is hot: Add a TB of butter (not margarine – ick) and a splash of olive oil. Or just use one. Whatever. You need hot fat in the pan.

When the butter/oil is hot, carefully lay the salmon patties into the pan and fry on each side for 3-5 min until golden and crunchy on that side, then flip (carefully – use a flat spatula) to fry on the other side. It’ll smell great cuz all that onion is getting cooked too. You don’t need to worry about these being raw on the inside, but a cold salmon cake isn’t my favorite, so make sure they’re golden brown on both sides.

That’s it!

I entered the ingredients into MyFitnessPal, and it suggests that 1/12 of the recipe would be ~75 cal.

I consider 2 salmon cakes to be the serving size if you’re pairing with something else; three if you’re just doing the salmon cakes (at this smaller size).

Quick Serving Suggestions

  • Fast: hummus & veggies
  • Fast: tomatoes & mozzarella drizzled with some good olive oil & balsamic
  • Not Slow: a small salad of baby spinach + a bit of cheese + some little tomatoes + dressing
  • Slow But Good: roast some vegetables in the oven, maybe small-cut potatoes and carrots
  • Make It A Burger: form larger patties that will fit your bun; toast the bun then a light wash of mayo on each toasted surface + salmon cake + spinach or lettuce and maybe tartar sauce. If you like it spicy, add shrimp cocktail sauce as a condiment or sriracha (I’m on a real sriracha kick)

One other thing we’ve enjoyed: Put some of this on top of the salmon cake, or try one of their other flavors like the Garlic Everything Sauce or the Curry one: Sir Kensington’s Everything Sauce – Chili Lime Cream (Amazon)


My header image comes from Macheesmo, so you should go check out their recipe for salmon cakes too!

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