Salmon Patty: The crab cake's less pretentious cousin

Shortly after I graduated from college I fell in with a group of friends who are still among my nearest and dearest. Two of those friends are a brother/sister set of farm kids from the nearby small burg of McLouth, KS. I immediately bonded with them because not only do I speak Small Town, I also speak a little Farm.

I was curious about their home trainin’ and hungry for a home cooked meal, so I begged them one Sunday to take me home with them to their parents’ farmhouse. Their mother, most graciously, not only agreed to make me Sunday dinner, but asked what I would like to have. Quickly, I responded that if she wouldn’t mind making salmon patties and fried potatoes, I would be forever in her debt. FOREVER. She balked a little – offered to make something a little fancier or more ambitious, seeing as I was company and all, but I stuck by my original plan. I knew what I wanted, and was more than a little excited to get that particular meal made at the hand of a farm-mom who I was sure could do it right.

I wasn’t disappointed.

To this day, salmon patties and fried potatoes remains one of my favorite comfort food meals, although I rarely think to make it. Somehow, it’s something that should be made by someone’s mother, not by me. Oh wait. I am, now, someone’s mother.

So a few months ago I bought a couple of cans of salmon and intended to indoctrinate Mr. Meat and Potatoes to the beauty that is salmon patties and fried potatoes. I never got around to making them, though. I think I was nervous that he wouldn’t like it. He had informed me that he had never heard of such a thing, and I wasn’t up for having my hopes dashed by a “No” vote on one of my favorite meals.

Finally, last week, in an effort to not have to go to the store and buy groceries, I decided it was time.

Mr. Meat and Potatoes seemed to enjoy them, although he did comment that he thought he needed “some sort of sauce”, which I think I can oblige him with next time. I’m thinking of some lemon garlic aioli to drizzle artfully on the plate. Or maybe I'll buy him a jug of store-brand tartar sauce. Because salmon patties don't really need no stinking sauce. Anyway...

Your Basic Salmon Patty

2 cans salmon, de-boned
1 lemon, juiced
1 C panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 T chopped onion (I used red but green is probably better)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream
2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 C Crisco or vegetable oil

Step 1)
Heat the oil in a large skillet to almost the smoking point. I used cast iron to great results.

Step 2)
Mix ingredients. Adjust wet ingredients and/or panko to get the mixture to a consistency that will form a ball or patty. I got 6 good-sized patties out of this batch. If you made them a little smaller, you could easily get 8.

Step 3)
Fry the patties until brown on one side, and then flip. You are going for really brown and crispy here, or they won’t hang together for the flip and you’ll have a salmon mess on your hands. Be patient.

This is super-fast and easy to make. I can breathe easy now, knowing that it is a meal my husband will eat. I was worried about our future together.


Meryl Carver 12 years, 4 months ago

I do this with tuna sometimes too--just depends on what's hanging out in the cupboard.

Rae Hudspeth 12 years, 4 months ago

I'm with ya on the sauce. And guess what? With almond flour, they can be made gluten-free, oh the joy~!

rivercitymom 12 years, 4 months ago

Ohmigosh, now I don't feel like such a dork for making salmon patties -- I thought I might be the only one! I'll have to try the panko crumbs, though . . . and I have even used the salmon that comes all ready to go in the foil packets, but since its not as moist it seems to need another egg.

I think they go great with a salad and some brown rice . . . but fried potatoes sound like they'd do just fine, too!

Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh, great, RCMom, make me feel even MORE guilty about the unhealthiness of that meal. Brown rice, indeed. :) Maybe I can get Mr. Meat and Potatoes to go for that, next time.

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