Pat's Gourmet Salmon Cakes

"If you wanted something as elegant and tasty as fresh crab cakes but you don’t have the money just now, this dish is a great alternative! These are not your run-of-the-mill salmon patties, nope. These are moist, thick, flavorful (yet mild) salmon cakes with a lot of eye appeal. They are certainly worth spending a few extra minutes on the details of this recipe. I love these for brunch with an old friend over a glass of Pinot Grigio or, as a light main entrée with green beans and some creamy pasta for side dishes. I usually try to submit versatile recipes in which changes make little difference but since this recipe involves only a small amount of canned salmon (you get about 1 ½ cans of salmon from the two cans once it’s been totally cleaned), any substitutions may significantly alter the flavor. I have listed a couple of viable substitutions that have worked out well for me in a pinch. Make this dish for someone special and, Bon Appétit, my good friends!"
photo by Bone Man photo by Bone Man
photo by Bone Man
photo by Bone Man photo by Bone Man
Ready In:
7 patties




  • Drain canned salmon and carefully remove all bones, skin and dark brown material. Take your time in doing this -- all remaining salmon should be light pink when you're finished.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine salmon, mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip), beaten eggs, pimientos, parsley, lemon juice, basil, vinegar, salt, mustard, and Mrs. Dash seasoning, (but NOT the Old Bay). Mix carefully with a spatula -- the mix will be runny at this point.
  • Crush the oyster crackers by hand and add them to the mix which should make the blend stiff enough to make up the salmon cakes -- you do not want a "dry" mix.
  • In a large skillet, heat the Crisco over high heat until a few drops of water in the oil crackles and pops. If you cut down on the amount of shortening, the sides of the salmon cakes will not brown up properly and you'll experience a temperature drop in the oil which can result in a greasy end product!
  • Make up the salmon cakes so that they look like "fat" burgers, (gently make them up, taking care to not "squeeze" them together -- they will flatten out on the tops and bottoms by themselves as they fry), laying them on a large plate, (I get 7 thick ones, about 3" across), and then sprinkle on the Old Bay seasoning.
  • When the cooking oil is hot enough, (they should start frying immediately -- if not, the oil is too cold!), lay in the salmon cakes. Don't crowd them or you'll drive down the oil temperature -- I always make two batches with 3-4 patties in each.
  • When one side has reached a deep golden brown, (about 4 minutes), carefully turn the cakes and allow the second side to brown. As soon as they are browned equally on both sides, remove them to a plate with a couple of paper towels on it to soak up excess oil. Do not overcook them -- when they're brown, they come out! Serve while still hot.
  • NOTE: Do not mash these salmon cakes with a spatula as they fry because they will be very dry-tasting if you do.

Questions & Replies

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  1. While these were really easy to make and quick to pull together, I found them a bit on the bland side. Maybe it's because I didn't use the butter flavored Crisco...
  2. These were awesome! I thought they were really quick and easy to put together and the egg, mayo, cracker crumb ratio was absolutely perfect. They were moist and soft inside but not mushy. Thanks Bone Man! I left out the basil and the Mrs Dash and instead of frying them, I baked them for 15 minutes at 475 and brushed the tops with melted butter so that they would brown up nice. Your recipe will be the one I use from now on!
  3. Never again will I prepare plain old salmon patties. This is the recipe I will use from now on. It did take a good bit of prep time, but the cakes were bursting with flavor and well worth the time to make. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn't suggest omitting any ingredients.


<p>I am a retired State Park Resort Manager/Ranger. <br /><br />Anyway, as to my years in the State Park System (retired now), I was responsible for 4 restaurants/dining rooms on my park and my boss at Central Headquarters said I should spend less time in my kitchens and more time tending to my park budget. I spent 25 years in those kitchens and worked with some really great chefs over those years, (and some really awful ones too!) <br /><br />I spent THOUSANDS of hours on every inch of that park and adjacent state forest (60,000 acres) and sometimes I miss it. But mostly I miss being in that big beautiful resort lodge kitchen. I miss my little marina restaurant down on the Ohio River too. I served the best Reuben Sandwich (my own recipe -- posted on 'Zaar as The Shawnee Marina Reuben Sandwich) in both the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky down there and sold it for $2.95. Best deal on the river! <br /><br />They (friends and neighbors) call my kitchen The Ospidillo Cafe. Don't ask me why because it takes about a case of beer, time-wise, to explain the name. Anyway, it's a small galley kitchen with a Mexican motif (until my wife catches me gone for a week or so), and it's a very BUSY kitchen as well. We cook at all hours of the day and night. You are as likely to see one of my neighbors munching down over here as you are my wife or daughter. I do a lot of recipe experimentation and development. It has become a really fun post-retirement hobby -- and, yes, I wash my own dishes. <br /><br />Also, I'm the Cincinnati Chili Emperor around here, or so they say. (Check out my Ospidillo Cafe Cincinnati Chili recipe). SKYLINE CHILI is one of my four favorite chilis, and the others include: Gold Star Chili, Empress Chili and, my VERY favorite, Dixie. All in and around Cincinnati. Great stuff for cheap and I make it at home too. <br /><br />I also collect menus and keep them in my kitchen -- I have about a hundred or so. People go through them and when they see something that they want, I make it the next day. That presents some real challenges! <br /><br /></p>
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