How To Make Salmon Patties Perfectly

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Find out how to make salmon patties that taste good, hold together, and are moist inside and crisp on the outside. Just like the perfect salmon patties my granny used to make all the time. They’re surprisingly easy to whip up and extremely budget-friendly.

How To Make Salmon Patties From Scratch

Southern salmon patties, also called salmon cakes, are typically made with canned pink salmon. It’s the quickest and cheapest way to make perfect salmon patties. But this article will teach you how to make salmon patties from fresh salmon as well as canned salmon.

The full list of salmon patties ingredients is very simple, you probably have everything except the canned salmon in your pantry:

  • Canned pink salmon (wild-caught Alaskan salmon is best)
  • Breadcrumbs, panko, crushed saltine crackers, cornmeal, or all-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Onion or green onions
  • Fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: chopped fresh parsley

How Do I Make Salmon Patties With Canned Salmon

For the traditional salmon patties recipe with canned salmon, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Drain the juice from the canned salmon and reserve it for later.

  • You may need to add some juice to the batter if it’s a little dry. I used my hands to press the lid of the can against the salmon and drained the juice into a small bowl. 

Step 2: Place the canned salmon into a large bowl, remove pieces of skin if desired, and check for bones using your hands.

  • You may need to add some juice to the batter if it’s a little dry. I used my hands to press the lid of the can against the salmon and drained the juice into a small bowl. 
  • You can also leave them in if you wish because they’re soft (and full of calcium). I squished the salmon between my fingers to check for any hard pieces to remove.

Step 3: Add the onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix everything.

  • If the mixture is a bit dry, add a little leftover salmon juice.

Step 4: Shape the dough into patties.

  • Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet and fry them in batches for about 5 minutes per side or until they’re browned. The more oil you use, the crispier the salmon patties will be. 

Step 5: Enjoy your Salmon Patties!

How To Make Salmon Patties More Moist

If the mixture is too dry, simply add some of the reserved salmon juice to moisten it. Remember to save the salmon juice. 

But if you poured the salmon juice down the drain by accident, you can add a bit of sour cream, mayonnaise, or Greek yogurt to the mixture instead. 

Also, make sure the oil is hot before you fry the patties. The hotter the oil, the less moisture the patties will release while cooking, and the better they’ll stick together. I like to use enough oil to cover the patties halfway.

How To Make Salmon Patties Without Frying

If you want to make healthier salmon patties, you can make salmon patties in an air fryer. Use parchment paper to keep the salmon patties from sticking to the air fryer and cook them at 390°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the patties are fully cooked and golden brown. 

If you’re wondering how to make salmon patties in the oven, simply line a baking tray with parchment paper and bake them at 350°F for about 25 minutes. I find that baking them renders slightly drier patties, but they’re still delicious with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce with horseradish

How To Make Salmon Patties Without Egg

You can still enjoy these yummy salmon patties without eggs. Make an egg substitute by combining 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds with 6 tablespoons of water (for 2 eggs). Or you can use any of these vegan egg options. Alternatively, 2 tablespoons of gelatin powder stirred with water will work as well. 

How To Make Gluten-Free And Low-Carb Salmon Patties

To make gluten-free salmon patties, you can replace the breadcrumbs or crackers with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed crackers. You can also use cornmeal (about 1/2 cup instead of ¾ cup works well). 

To make this a low-carb salmon patties recipe simply substitute 1/3 cup of good quality grated parmesan cheese for the ¾ cup of breadcrumbs. You should omit the salt in this case. 

How To Make Salmon Patties Hold Together

To make perfect salmon patties that stay together, you need to have a good combination of salmon, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Don’t skip any of the ingredients and follow the measurements closely. 

The breadcrumbs or panko, saltine cracker crumbs, etc, and the eggs (or vegan egg alternatives), act as binding agents. Follow our perfect salmon patties recipe below to get an immaculate result every time. 

How To Make Salmon Patties From Salmon Fillets

You can also make salmon patties from fresh salmon. It’s more work because you have to remove all the bones, cook the salmon, and wait for it to cool down before making the patties batter. Then follow the instructions for making the salmon patties and add some mayo, sour cream, or Greek yogurt if the mixture is too dry. 

Salmon patties are also a great way to use leftover salmon from last night’s dinner such as this simple salmon piccata. This Jamaican jerk salmon would result in some flavorful salmon patties as well. But any leftover grilled, baked, or steamed salmon would be perfect for making salmon patties. 

How To Make Salmon Patties Taste Good

Some people don’t like the fishy taste or smell that salmon patties can have. But the smell can be easily gotten rid of by turning on the ventilation, lighting some aromatic candles, and opening the windows. The lemon juice also helps reduce the fishy flavor and odor. 

There’s a way to get rid of the fishy taste in salmon! Now, this only works for a salmon patties recipe with fresh salmon, but the result is a sweet and fresh-smelling salmon fillet. So, how do you remove the fishy smell from salmon?

Soak the raw salmon fillets in milk for 20 minutes before cooking. The protein (casein) in milk binds to the fish odor and removes it from the fish, leaving behind sweeter, brighter, and clean-flavored fish. Just remember to drain the milk well and pat the fish dry before cooking. 

What Tastes Good On A Salmon Patty?

These perfect salmon patties are great with just a squeeze of lemon and some tartar sauce for dipping. I also like serving them with a simple side dish such as easy Mediterranean vegetables and roasted garlic bread

For a more filling meal, serve them with garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy or these easy Calabrian potatoes. Pasta tossed with this simple garlic butter sauce and parsley is another good idea, or a pasta salad with plenty of colorful veggies, yum!

You can even make a salmon patty hamburger! Try a French-style remoulade sauce with mayo, capers, and fresh herbs, and top it off with tomato, red onion, and lettuce in between soft toasted sesame buns or vegan hamburger buns

Can You Make Salmon Cakes And Freeze Them?

Yes, you can store salmon patties in the freezer before or after cooking them. To store them uncooked, make the mass, form the patties, and place them on a baking tray in the freezer for a couple of hours to solidify. Then transfer them to zip-lock freezer bags or an airtight container and stow them in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

If you’re cooking the patties before freezing them (I prefer this method), wait until the patties have cooled completely and then pack them into freezer bags or airtight containers. Slow-thaw the frozen salmon patties in the fridge before heating them on a pan or in the oven.

How To Make Salmon Patties Perfectly

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 patties
Calories: 138kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 14.75 oz can wild-caught Alaskan pink salmon
  • ½ golden onion diced
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ¾ breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper or more to taste
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. freshly minced parsley

Instructions

  • Drain the juice from the canned salmon and reserve it for later.
  • Place the canned salmon into a large bowl and check for bones (or leave them in because they’re soft).
  • Add the onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix everything. If the mixture is a bit dry, add a little leftover salmon juice.
  • Shape the dough into patties. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet and fry them in batches for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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