Salmon Cakes – How To Make Salmon Patties

Salmon Cakes are salmon patties made with fresh salmon, which makes them really juicy and delicious. With a crisp breading exterior, the salmon cakes are far from bland, since they have onions, parsley, mustard, lemon and hot sauce to make them bursting with flavor in each bite.

Juicy Salmon Cakes made with fresh salmon and a crisp panko breading

In our family, patties, kotleti, fritters, meatballs and anything else similar are very popular and well loved. I had a burst of inspiration to create Salmon Cakes after having crab cakes for my 25th birthday dinner at a fancy restaurant. Crab cakes are one of my husband’s and I favorite appetizers, so I knew that Salmon Cakes would be a great idea too. It turned out even better than I expected.

Tender flakes of salmon are seasoned with lemon juice, capers, parsley and onions. All these flavors are mild enough not to overwhelm the salmon but also give it such depth and character.

I didn’t want to use too much mayonnaise and breadcrumbs for a binding, as most recipes that I ran across did, so I used just a little bit. The result was spectacular and fairly simple to prepare. It’s also another dish that can be made ahead of time. Those are my favorite, of course.

Fresh Salmon Vs. Cooked or Canned Salmon?

Most recipes for salmon cakes call for canned or cooked salmon. I tried making them with both cooked and fresh salmon and fresh salmon by far has a much better texture and flavor. Fresh salmon produced much juicier salmon cakes and they taste significantly better too. Of course, if you want to use cooked or canned salmon, it will work too, but fresh salmon will have superior results.

What Other Fish Can Be Used Instead Of Salmon?

Other fish very similar to salmon, such as steelhead trout, work great in this recipe, but you can honestly use most other fish too, like cod, haddock, tilapia, snapper, trout, grouper, etc.

I have another really delicious Fish Patties recipe, a more Russian Fish Kotleti twist on it, that I highly recommend you try out too. It’s a big hit in our family too.

How to Prep and Cook the Salmon Cakes/Patties

Salmon Cake or Salmon Patties Tutorial
  1. Cut the salmon into 2-3 inch chunks. If you buy salmon with the skin on, like I did, here’s a link that shows how to take the skin off easily. Using a food processor, pulse the salmon in batches. You may want to partially freeze it for about 15 minutes, for better results. The fish should not be mushy and pureed, rather have a coarse texture, and be flaky. I pulsed my fish for about 3 pulses only.
  2. Cook the onion in a skillet until tender and translucent. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, cooked onion, capers, 4 Tablespoons breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, capers, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and ground black pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. An ice cream scoop is the perfect tool to portion out the salmon cakes. You can also use your hands. I like to make the salmon patties into 2-3 inch circles.
  5. Dredge the portioned salmon cakes in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Heat about 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in the same nonstick skillet that you used earlier to cook the onions. Cook the salmon cakes for about 3 minutes per side, on medium high heat, just until golden brown. The fish cooks very quickly, so don’t overcook it by using low heat or covering the skillet, etc. It will be dry, if you’re not careful.
  7. Take the salmon cakes off the heat and drain on a paper towel. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the rest of the salmon cakes.
How To Cook Salmon Cakes in a Skillet

Making the Salmon Cakes in Advance

You can make the salmon mixture up to a day in advance and store them in the refrigerator. This will actually help the salmon cakes not to fall apart and stay together really well after they have chilled. You can either shape them into patties a day in advance or shape them right before cooking them.

What To Serve With the Salmon Patties

If you want to serve the Salmon Cakes With a sauce, they pair really well with a Homemade Tartar Sauce or With a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

My favorite side dishes to serve with salmon cakes are mashed potatoes, couscous or rice. Our favorite salads to round out the meal are either the Cauliflower Tomato Salad or Crunchy Cabbage Cucumber Salad.

A stack of Salmon Patties on a plate
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Salmon Cakes

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 27 mins
  • Yield: 16 salmon cakes 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

Salmon Cakes are salmon patties made with fresh salmon, which makes them really juicy and delicious. With a crisp breading exterior, the salmon cakes are far from bland, since they have onions, parsley, mustard, lemon and hot sauce to make them bursting with flavor in each bite.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs salmon, skinless, boneless
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs for the cakes, plus 1 1/2 cups for breading
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (you can also add fresh chives or scallions)
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/22 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • oil, for pan frying

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to pulse the salmon into small pieces. The salmon should still have small chunks, not be pulsed into a puree. 
  2. Using a nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter and cook the onion until tender and lightly golden. Cool slightly. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, cooked onion, capers, 4 Tablespoons breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, capers, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and ground black pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop (or your hands, of course), portion out the salmon into 2-3 inch circles. 
  5. Dredge the salmon cakes in the breadcrumbs. 
  6. Heat about 1 1/ 2 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and cook the salmon for about 3 minutes per side, just until golden brown. The fish cooks very quickly, so don’t overcook it by using low heat or covering the skillet, etc. It will be dry, if you’re not careful.
  7. Take off the heat and drain on a paper towel. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the rest of the salmon cakes.
  8. Serve hot or warm. 

Notes

You can make the salmon mixture up to a day in advance. Store in the refrigerator. You can make them into patties and dredge them in the breadcrumbs also a day in advance, or right before cooking. 

Juicy Salmon Cakes made with fresh salmon and a crisp panko breading

This is an updated version of the Salmon Cakes recipe that was published originally on April 27, 2012. The recipe is the same; I updated the photos and clarified the instructions.

7 Comments

  • Elena

    Looks very good I will try them tomorrow. Thank you for all your recipes they are awesome I discovered your blog a month ago and I have tried and loved a half of your recipes here.

  • INESSA- GrabangoRecipes

    Looks very delicious. I’ve made very similar to these-family loved it. Keep up your hard work Olga, you’re doing a great job, love your blog 🙂 God bless!!!

  • Nika

    These look amazing, as does everything else! I’ll be cooking your potatoe stuffed bell peppers today, and cant wait to try these in a few days!! Mnyam!

  • Irina

    These were easy to make and just delicious! I love salmon so this is a great find! Thank you! I’ll be making them again!

  • Lana

    This was very easy to make and soooooo yummy!Suprised my hubby with them for dinner and he loved them tooo much lol:) LOVE THIS POST OLGA:)
    Keep up the good work!

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