Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes. Photo © Molly Watson
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 12 Salmon Cakes (serves 6-12)
Ratings (50)

Salmon cakes are usually a way to use leftover cooked salmon. These are so good that you may find yourself cooking up some salmon just to make them. If nothing else, you may as well cook up an extra filet or two to make them the next day.

Serve these delicate yet flavorful patties with a big arugula salad, as pictured, dressed with this lemon garlic vinaigrette, which adds a nice acidic kick when eaten with the salmon, too.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) cooked and flaked salmon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced green onion, red onion, or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup panko or freshly toasted bread crumbs, plus more for coating, if you like
  • Flour for coating if you don’t want to use panko or bread crumbs

How to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the salmon, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne, if you're using it. Mix to combine everything thoroughly. Move the mixture to the side of the bowl and crack the eggs into the now sort of empty section of the bowl. Use a whisk or fork to beat the eggs. Now gently combine the salmon mixture and the beaten eggs. Mix gently just to combine. Don't overwork the mixture after you've added the egg or the patties can lose their supremely tender texture.
  1. Stir in the panko or bread crumbs. Breads crumbs vary *so* much that the amount is a bit tricky. You want the mixture to hold together, but you don’t want it to get too bread-y. Add 1/3 cup and combine with the salmon mixture. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and try to pat it together. If it holds, great, if the mixture doesn't come together, add another tablespoon at a time until it does.
  2. Spray your hands with cooking spray or oil them with olive or vegetable oil and form the cakes. Make them about 3 inches across and an inch thick. Place them on a baking sheet, cover, and chill for a few hours for the best final results. This resting and chilling period will allow the mixture to comes together and bind better when they're cooked while remaining tender.
  3. Optional: Dredge the cakes in flour or bread crumbs. This step isn't necessary, but it does create more of a "crust" when the patties are cooked. Know, however, that the patties will hold together and brown just fine without this coating and it's quite messy to do.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add some vegetable or olive oil for cooking (for crispier cakes, consider creating a real slick of oil for the cakes to fry in; or keep things less oily and just coat the pan), and cook salmon cakes, as many as fit in a single uncrowded, not-touching layer in the pan, until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side and cooked through, another 4 minutes. Repeat with any remaining cakes. Serve hot.