We had a bit of leftover salmon – and after the boys were done pawing at it to get all the crispy skin, it was none too pretty looking either. When I mentioned the possibility of salmon cakes my son jumped up and down, clapping his hands. Regular readers know that I take an almost sick pleasure in frugality. I’m not cheap, but I can really work the clever haus frau angle and something about wasted food makes me a bit nuts. Salads, cakes, and fritters are all ways to stretch leftover fish and seafood. To make what’s old new again, to make what’s not quite enough plenty.
Feel free to experiment away with these. I have no idea what you like in your salmon cake. You might want a bunch of minced peppers or chiles or some bizarre combination of spices. Go to town. These proportions of fish to egg to crumb, however, should serve you quite well. If you like mayonnaise in your salmon cakes, go ahead and add 1/4 cup in place of one of the eggs. Me, I can’t figure out why you would do that.
2 cups (about 12 oz.) cooked and flaked salmon
2 – 3 tablespoons minced green or red onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley (or combination of herbs of your choosing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (clearly optional)
1/3 – 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, if you like
Oil for cooking
In a medium bowl, combine the salmon, onion, herbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix to combine. 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 and think about what you’ll do with that minute of washing and drying an extra bowl that you just saved.
Stir in 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. If you want to form and cook the salmon cakes right away, you’re going to need to add even more panko. If you’re willing to form them and chill them, you can get away with less.
Spray your hands with cooking spray or oil them with olive or vegetable oil and form the cakes. I make mine about 3 inches across and an inch thick. Place them on a baking sheet, cover, and chill for a few hours for best results.
Dredge the cakes in flour or bread crumbs, if you like, but I find it’s not necessary and quite messy.
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, add some vegetable or olive oil for cooking, and cook salmon cakes, a few at a time, 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 remaining cakes. Serve hot or at least warm.