Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes can be very tasty bite-size hors d'oeuvres and everyone seems to like them.  They can also be a great main course for lunch or dinner if you make them a bit larger.  In the never-ending, daily challenge to put something nutritious & delicious on the table for our families, I'd like to show you how I make them at my house.  The great thing about this recipe is that I use wild-caught, canned red salmon that's already cooked; this creates a minimum of fuss in the kitchen.  Let's get started because you may just want to make these tonight!

The Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery--2 stalks
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup medium diced, roasted bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced celery leaves
  • 4 tablespoons minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained & coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard--plain or grain
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche--sour cream or Greek yogurt can be substituted
  • 2/3 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 dashes tabasco sauce--optional
  • One 15oz. can or Two 7.5 oz. cans, red salmon (wild caught), bones removed & well-drained

Note: I don't use salt in this recipe because canned salmon already contains it, as do the capers & dijon mustard.

Saute your celery & red onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Cook until softened & translucent, about 5 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Note: the first picture of the mise en place shows the cooked & cooled mixture.

Place all of your ingredients in a large bowl & gently fold everything.  Try to leave large pieces of salmon.

Shape your mixture into 2" cakes of an even thickness.  You should end up with about one dozen.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of canola or safflower oil over medium heat until very hot.  Fit as many salmon cakes as possible, without crowding, and fry for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned.  Repeat this process until you've cooked all of them.  Have a rack lined with paper towels (this absorbs excess oil) nearby to place them when you're done.

Salmon cakes can be kept in a warm oven for about one hour, well covered with foil.  These can be made a day in advance and reheated; a Good Thing when entertaining.

A closeup of a delectable & irresistible salmon cake.  If you form your cakes gently, you will end up with nice flakes of salmon in each one. 

Stack the cakes on a nice platter and rush them to the table.  Tasty, flaky, and mouthwatering.

Yield: about one dozen 2" cakes; 4-6 servings.

Here's a good dinner.  Two salmon cakes with some freshly snipped dill, orzo with baby heirloom tomatoes and blanched haricot verts. 

With all of us trying to eat fish in order to improve our overall health, it's very important to choose wisely & responsibly.  I love visiting the Seafood WATCH list from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to get recommendations on what fish to buy & what to avoid.  You can download their app for your IPhone or Android; a big convenience when you're out grocery shopping.  Don't overlook wild-caught canned red salmon the next time you're at the grocery store.  I find it a very convenient item to keep in stock at all times. There you have it, salmon cakes my way.  Make them tonight & let me know what you think!   


  1. These look amazing! Question: if I'm going to substitute the creme fraiche with sour cream or Greek yogurt, can they be lowfat or nonfat? Thanks.

  2. Michael, more often than not, I use lowfat sour cream for these (I've never used nonfat sour cream, so I can't vouch for it--personally I don't like the flavor or texture). Creme fraiche is only for "special occasions" when I want to make them rich (good for small appetizers). Non fat Greek yogurt, HOWEVER, is such a good substitute, because not only does it have the tang, it also has a good thick consistency. You decide!

  3. Had some salmon cales yesterday that contained fresh corn. Did they also have cornmeal? They were delicious. Would you share that recipe, too? I would like to try them at home. D

  4. Ooo, fresh corn in salmon cakes sounds delicious! If they had cornmeal, the cook probably coated them in it before frying to give the cakes a nice crumb. How lucky!

    I'll consider coming up with a recipe for that kind of cake!



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