Simple Salmon Cakes are both easy and delicious to make! Fresh salmon fillet combined with onions, mustard, mayo, crumbs and more! Salmon lovers must put this recipe on their bucket list. Really. I am not kidding.
We are always asked for this recipe, every time we serve it and I am not exaggerating at all. These Simple Salmon Cakes have the perfect amount of everything in them.
I am just so excited to share this recipe with you! I have tried salmon cakes using salmon from a can and have not found a recipe I enjoyed as much as I LOVE this one.
We usually make them as an appetizer or snack but if you make them a little bigger they can become a meal. I have made them the size of flat golf balls before and they were absolutely AMAZING served on and with crackers and a dollop of tartar sauce.
As a meal we have served these Simple Salmon Cakes on or with a salad. Totally terrific. My husband and son eat these salmon cakes on a bun with some tartar sauce! Any kind of bun will do. I would myself but I find I am eating less bread as I get older.
We always serve them with tartar sauce and lemon but you can serve them any way you want. I have seen them eaten with mayo, mustard and ketchup. Not all on the same salmon cake of course, at the same time, but I have witnessed all of them!
I just can’t wait to hear what your favorite topping on your salmon cakes are in the comments below!
The Best Fresh Salmon Cakes
I have to admit that I prefer to use fresh salmon fillets to make these salmon burgers or patties, hands down to canned salmon, if given the choice. Sometimes I have a choice and sometimes I don’t!
Well, I suppose I always have a choice but sometimes I just find it easier to grab a few cans out of my pantry instead of going out to purchase fresh salmon. Terrible I know but true!
Why Use Fresh Salmon Instead of Canned?
This method provides you with a perfect final result when using fresh salmon. Don’t get me wrong these cakes, patties or burgers turn out beautifully with either fresh or canned salmon. I just prefer the end result using fresh salmon and I suspect you will too!
Fresh salmon creates a texture that is slightly more moist overall, even though the flavors are still the same. Maybe it’s because the canned salmon ends up being cooked twice, but I am not totally sure. Either way, fresh salmon is definitely the choice to make whenever possible, in my opinion.
The Best Tartar Sauce
If you are interested in serving tartar sauce with these Simple Salmon Cakes I have included the recipe I use below. It is a definite favorite and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This recipe will make about 1 cup of tartar sauce.
Tartar Sauce Recipe
¾ cup mayo
3-4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1-2 teaspoons dijon or yellow mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced onion or shallot
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients together in a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors all blend nicely together .
This Tartar Sauce recipe is a taste as you go recipe. Literally, taste it as you make it. For example, when adding the relish start with 3 tablespoons and have a taste and see if you prefer 4. Same with the dijon or yellow mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Can you make these Salmon Burgers ahead?
The salmon cakes, burgers or patties can be cooked and kept in your fridge for 3 to 4 hours ahead of when you need them. When it is time to reheat them preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a rimmed baking sheet covered in tinfoil.
Place your salmon cakes in your oven and cook until the outside is crisp and they are hot enough to serve, between 10 and 15 minutes.
Can you freeze Simple Salmon Cakes?
These cooked burgers, patties or cakes may also be frozen for up to 3 months. I usually defrost them in the fridge the night before I need them. Then, the next day I put them in the oven on 350 degrees and bake them until crisp and heated through, 10-15 minutes.
Ingredients for Simple Salmon Cakes
- salmon fillet
- green onion
- dijon or yellow mustard
- lemon juice
How to make Simple Salmon Cakes
Remove any skin from the salmon and dice into ¼ inch chunks. The smaller the better. If you are using cans of salmon open three of them and drain. Place in a medium sides bowl and flake salmon with a fork and remove bones and sin if desired.
In a medium sized bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onion, onion, mustard, parsley, crumbs, salt, pepper, and salmon.
Gently combine. Set aside.
Place crumbs on to a shallow bowl or plate. Set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat your oil until shimmering or a drop of water flicked in it dances.
Make 6 patties, discs or hockey pucks, approximately 1 inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide. Carefully coat each cake in crumbs, on top, bottom and sides, and place on parchment paper.
Place salmon cakes, one a time, into your skillet. I usually cook 3 at a time.
Cook the salmon cakes without moving, until a nice golden brown, usually about 3 minutes per side. I usually nudge them a little to make sure they aren’t sticking. I just can’t help myself. Also, I lift the edge to check them just after at least 2 minutes, just to make sure I don’t burn them.
Place cooked cakes on to a paper towel lined plate or platter.
Serve immediately with mayo, tartar sauce, lemon or anything else you desire.
What sides go with Salmon Cakes?
It is going to depend on how you are serving and preparing your salmon cakes and for what purpose. If you are serving these amazing little salmon cakes as an appetizer the size of flat golf balls, you will be looking to serve something different with these tasty little treats!
I am a huge fan of lemon and tartar sauce. When I make these incredible cakes as appetizers I serve them with a dollop or spoonful of tartar sauce with a little lemon juice in it, sometimes on a cracker. Wow are they tasty!
If you’re serving these salmon cakes as burgers on a bun, any bun will do, just make your burgers large or small enough to fit them!
You can include everything from lettuce and tomato to avocado to mayonaise to tartar sauce, with a little lemon juice as well. I just can’t help myself, this tartar sauce tastes amazing in my opinion, with or without the lemon!
If you are serving these salmon patties as a main course or meal well that is a different story. I mean that really anything goes! You can serve these cakes, broken up, on top of a salad or bed of greens.
Absolutely wonderful with a light vinaigrette like My Grandma’s Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing, especially if you are a fan of mustard! Oh my goodness is it delicious!
I have also served these Simple Salmon Cakes just as a regular protein at dinner with some sort of starch, potato or rice and some vegetables. I can and will likely list off a bunch of side dishes but the truth is anything will do.
Everything from fresh broccoli, to frozen mixed vegetables to a can of corn or corn on the cob. Really, it all works. Everyone is usually all caught up in how tasty the salmon cakes are to care about the side dishes! You will see after you try them!
Salmon Cakes with Panko
These burgers, patties or cakes are made with panko crumbs but you can easily substitute regular bread crumbs, even though I highly recommend using the panko crumbs at least once. I just find the result a little better.
Canned Salmon Cakes or Burgers
Again, I recommend using fresh salmon whenever you get the opportunity but canned salmon can definitely be used in a pinch. The problem is you need about 2 ½ cans (7.5 oz) of salmon to make this recipe. I always have a little leftover, perfect for a sandwich!
Why are my salmon patties falling apart?
A little trick if your mixture is too moist to form and hold its burger shape, add some more crumbs, a little at a time, until they hold their shape.
If the mixture is too dry add a little extra mayo, one tablespoon at a time until they hold their shape.
Do you need to remove bones and skin from canned salmon?
Some prefer to pick out the skin and bones like I do, but it’s all about personal preference, not a health issue. The bones etc. won’t hurt you if you do eat the entire can.
Either way, this recipe will work with canned salmon and you need to decide whether you want to remove the bones and skin.
How much salmon do I need to buy?
If you are buying a salmon fillet with the skin on, purchase 1 ⅓ pounds of it to give you the 1 ¼ pounds of salmon that you require for this recipe after you remove the skin.
Your other option is to ask your butcher to remove the skin and make sure you have 1 ¼ pounds of fillet left.
If you intend on making these Salmon Cakes with canned salmon but 3 cans of canned salmon and you will have enough.
Simple Salmon Cakes Video
Simple Salmon Cakes
- large skillet
- 1 ¼ pounds salmon fillet, skinless or 3 cans salmon drained and cleaned if desired
- 3 tblsp crumbs, panko or bread, and about 1 cup
- 1 green onion, diced
- 2 - 3 tblsp onion, minced
- 2 tblsp mayonaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tblsp lemon juice
- 2 tblsp parsley, dried
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ - 1 cup vegetable oil
Fresh Salmon Fillet
- Remove any skin from the salmon and dice into ¼ inch chunks. The smaller the better.
- In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onion, onion, mustard, parsley, salt, pepper, crumbs and salmon.
- Gently combine and set aside.
- Open your 3 cans, drain them and dump into a good sized mixing bowl. Flake your salmon with a fork. Remove any skin and bones if you want. Some people do and some people don't.
- Add ¼ cup of mayo, 5 tablespoons of crumbs, green onions, onions, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Gently combine and set aside.
Making the Salmon Cake
- Place 1 cup of the crumbs on to a shallow bowl or plate. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat your oil until shimmering or a drop of water flicked in it dances.
- Make 6 patties, discs or hockey pucks, approximately 1 inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide. Carefully coat each cake in crumbs, on top, bottom and sides, and place on parchment paper.
- If patties will not hold their shape you have two options. If they are dry and won't hold together add one tablespoon of mayo until they will. If the burgers are too moist add crumbs, one tablespoon at a time until the hold their shape.
- Place salmon cakes, one a time, into your skillet. I usually cook 3 at a time.
- Cook the salmon cakes without moving, until a nice golden brown, usually about 3 minutes per side. I usually nudge them a little to make sure they aren't sticking. I just can't help myself. Also, I lift the edge to check them just after at least 2 minutes, just to make sure I don't burn them. You only want to flip these once.
- Place cooked cakes on to a paper towel lined plate or platter.
- Serve immediately with mayo, tartar sauce, lemon or anything else you desire. Enjoy!