Salmon Patties, made from wild caught canned salmon, are an easy to make dinner time favorite in our house and are the best salmon cake recipe ever!
Although this recipe has become a regular favorite in our house, we also like to mix it up a bit and make Crispy Southern Salmon Patties and Lemon Basil Salmon Patties, along with lots of other variations to keep things interesting!
Salmon Patties are hands down my family's favorite dinner. When I ask the kids what they want for dinner on their birthday, they say salmon patties.
I cook with salmon all the time. From fresh Pacific Northwest wild caught fillets cooked on a cedar plank to smoked salmon whipped up into an smoked salmon dip or creamy salmon pasta, our appetite craves the omega 3 filled goodness that salmon brings to the table.
Do you need to remove the bones and skin from canned salmon?
If you've never used canned salmon, I feel it is my duty to educate you first. And based on the sheer number of reader comments this recipe has gotten, people are very passionate about this subject.
Canned salmon comes in two variations: with and without the skin and bones.
If you buy canned salmon without the skin and bones, it is very similar to canned tuna. You only need to drain it and follow the recipe.
If you buy canned salmon with the skin and bones, it's basically a chunk of the whole animal (minus the organs) that has been shoved into an aluminum can. You can choose to eat everything in the can (skin, bones, spine, fat, etc.) or you can carefully pick them out and discard to separate the meat.
The bones are really soft because they've been soaking in liquid under pressure. The lightest squeeze in between your fingers crushes them. The bones, the skin, and the darker grey meat are full of nutrients.
Me? I pick through that canned salmon like I'm a surgeon and it is my patient.
Bottom line: you can eat the skin/bones/fat or you can leave them out. They are completely edible and it is 100% a matter of preference.
How to make salmon patties:
- My salmon patty recipe mixes the canned salmon with egg (it binds all of the ingredients together), along with bread crumbs, green onions, parmesan, and lime juice. The best thing about salmon patties (or salmon cakes or salmon croquettes, depending on what you want to call them) is that you can add in whatever you like and they may just turn out perfect every time.
- Form the salmon patties by hand and place them in screaming hot oil in a frying pan. The screaming hot part is necessary to get that nice crispy outside.
Salmon patty recipe variations:
- Instead of using panko bread crumbs, try making salmon patties with cornmeal. I've done this before (but used a mixture of cornmeal and breadcrumbs) and it gave my salmon cakes a great texture. You can also make them with crushed crackers.
- Ever try salmon patties with mayonnaise? It makes them so moist with tons of added flavor.
- I get asked all the time if these can be made with fresh salmon. My answer is yes - you can make these with fresh salmon if you want to cook the fresh salmon first, but because this recipe is based on what my mom made growing up, I will always recommend using canned salmon.
- How about a salmon patty sauce? I think a basil garlic aioli would be amazing with these salmon cakes!
What to serve with salmon cakes:
The outside of my salmon patties is oh-so-perfectly crispy. The inside is moist and delicious.
We usually serve these up with a starch like rice or potatoes as well as a green vegetable such as a salad or wilted spinach. I also love eating them cold and leftover when they're mixed into a green salad with some delicious avocado. Sooooo good! That's why I always double or even triple the recipe.
Kitchen tools used to make this recipe:
Citrus Squeezer: These are the best ways to quickly get all of the juice out of a lemon, lime or orange without the seeds!
Spatula: One can never have too many good quality silcone spatulas, and this one is my favorite. It's a great size, has the perfect firmness, and doesn't leave a nasty silcone taste on your food.
Fry pan: I've been using Staub cookware for years. It gives your food a great crispy outside and distributes the heat evenly.
Nesting bowls: Every good recipe requires a good set of nesting bowls. I just ordered this set and love them! Light weight, great price, sturdy - perfect!
Recipe video below!
Salmon Patties Recipe
RECIPE VIDEO WILL AUTOPLAY
- 2 14.75 ounce cans wild red salmon (or you can use pink salmon like I did in the video)
- 2 eggs
- 6 green onions (minced)
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil (or sub with olive oil)
- Drain salmon and pick out all of the good meat you want to use. I'm sure all of it can be used, but I like to discard any bone and skin because I think its gross. Personal preference.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine salmon meat, eggs, green onions, panko bread crumbs, parmesan, and lime juice. Use hands to combine and then form into 8 patties that are no more than one inch thick.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot enough to bubble when a bread crumb gets tossed in, add your salmon patties. Be sure to leave enough room to have a good inch in between each patty, so you may need to cook them in two batches. Cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes, then flip and cook until golden brown on other side.
- Serve warm. They also taste excellent cold on top of salad.
- Recipe easily doubles or triples if you want leftovers, however you may need to cook in batches to ensure they crisp properly.
- Popular reader variations/add-ins include lemon juice, crushed crackers, sauteed yellow onion, corn meal, fresh dill
This recipe was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated for your reading pleasure.