Salmon Cakes are salmon patties made with fresh salmon, which makes them really juicy. With a crisp breaded exterior, they are crunchy on the outside and really delicous on the inside, since they have onions, parsley, mustard, lemon and hot sauce to make them bursting with flavor in each bite.
Salmon Cakes are a wonderful option to enjoy more seafood and serve it in a way that the whole family will love. These are usually a big hit with both children and adults.
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 our 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, so that makes it really convenient.
Ingredients For Salmon Cakes:
- salmon – the best option is fresh salmon for this recipe, but I have other substitution ideas listen below
- oil – for sautéing the onion and cooking the salmon patties. Use an oil that doesn’t smoke too much, such as avocado oil.
- onion – I like using a regular yellow onion, but any onion will work. The addition of cooked onion in the salmon cakes is wonderful. It has a really mild flavor, but adds some sweetness and a really nice savory flavor.
- egg – the egg helps to bind the salmon patties together.
- mayonnaise – this also helps to bind the salmon patties, but also adds some creaminess.
- capers – capers have a lovely briny flavor that add some tartness.
- lemon – the lemon juice also adds tartness and acidity that pairs nicely with the fish.
- dijon mustard – mustard pairs really well with seafood too. It will add creaminess and tartness.
- hot sauce – add a little bit of heat and flavor with a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
- parsley – fresh herbs adds fresh flavor to the salmon patties. Parsley is a classic option, but dill and chives are great too.
- panko breadcrumbs – this will give the salmon cakes a wonderful crunchy exterior and help to bind the salmon cakes too, since we use them in both the batter and the breading. Instead of panko, you can use any other breadcrumbs that you like.
- salt, pepper, to taste.
Salmon Cakes with Canned Salmon
You can certainly use canned salmon or leftover cooked salmon for this recipe. I tried making them with canned salmon, cooked salmon 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, they will work too and will be delicious, 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 Make Salmon Cakes aka Salmon Patties
- Prep the salmon. If you buy salmon with the skin on, use a really sharp knife and place it right under the skin at the very end of the fillet. Make an incision and cut to make a flap so you can hold it with your left hand. With your right hand, hold the knife parallel to the cutting board and cut as closely between the salmon skin and the salmon meat, until you cut all the way across. You can choose to cut off all the gray/brown parts that are close to the salmon skin.
- Pulse the salmon in a food processor. Cut the salmon into 2-3 inch chunks. Place the salmon into a food processor and pulse it in batches. The fish should not be mushy and pureed, rather have a coarse texture, and be flaky. I pulsed my fish about 3 pulses only.
- Cook the onion in a skillet until tender and translucent. Cool slightly.
- Combine all the ingredients for the salmon cakes in a large bowl. Place the salmon, cooked onion, egg, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, parsley, 4 Tablespoons of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Shape the salmon mixture into salmon patties. 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.
- Dredge the portioned salmon cakes in the breadcrumbs. Use your hands to tightly pat the breadcrumbs into the salmon.
- Cook the salmon cakes. 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.
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, so the salmon mixture is even BETTER if made in advance, although you can prepare them right away too. 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
My favorite side dishes to serve with salmon cakes are creamy mashed potatoes, fluffy and flavorful couscous or even long grain white rice. Our favorite salads to round out the meal are either Cauliflower Tomato Salad or a cabbage salad always pairs well with seafood, such as Crunchy Cabbage Cucumber Salad.Print
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.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 14– 16 salmon cakes 1x
- Category: Entree
- 2 lbs salmon, skinless, boneless
- oil, for sautéing the onion and cooking the salmon (about 5-6 Tablespoons, divided)
- 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 – 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (you can also add fresh chives or dill)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- oil, for pan frying
- Use a food processor to pulse the salmon into small pieces. The salmon should still have small chunks, not be pulsed into a puree.
- Using a nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of oil, add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and lightly golden. Cool slightly. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the salmon, cooked onion, egg, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, parsley, 4 Tablespoons of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Using an ice cream scoop (or your hands, of course), portion out the salmon into 2-3 inch circles. You will have 14-16 salmon cakes, depending on how big you make them.
- Dredge the salmon cakes in the breadcrumbs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve hot or warm. Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
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.
Keywords: salmon cakes, salmon patties, easy salmon dinner
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.