salmon cakes on a plate with dipping sauce and lemon wedges

SALMON CAKES WITH FRESH SALMON

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Salmon Cakes with Fresh Salmon, anyone?! They’re packed full of flavour, oven baked to crispy perfection, and are the perfect way to use fresh salmon.

Last Summer, the boyfriend was lucky enough to go on the fishing trip of a lifetime thanks to his work. He came home with, and I kid you not, over 40 pounds of fresh fish that we’re still *gratefully* working our way through!

Yeah, that’s right. A cooler overflowing with wild caught lingcod, halibut, and salmon already cleaned, filleted, and packed. So, really, who was the lucky one… me or him?! I’ve honestly had a field day thinking of delicious ways to cook it all up – and if you know me, I, OF COURSE, had to challenge myself to cook every single one of those pounds differently.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t… Am I right?!

salmon cakes on a lined plate with a half a lemon, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and green onions

Well, as it turns out, like this pan seared salmon with lemon caper butter sauce or this easy to make salmon chowder, salmon cakes are right up there with one of my favourite ways to cook salmon. PERIOD.

You can use these babies on buns piled high with all of your favourite burger toppings. You can eat ‘em up on their own or dipped into all of your favourite sauces. They make the best snack or appetizer. They’re perfect with a fresh squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of hot sauce, or with fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, or chives. They’re a seafood lover’s dream and all I have to say is baby, I’m here for it.

So, whether you’re a salmon lover or you have a freezer full of salmon like I do, this recipe for salmon cakes with fresh salmon is a must try! These savoury patties are not only a delicious way to enjoy the rich flavours of fresh salmon but also a convenient way to use up any leftover fish you may have on hand.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of these mouthwatering cakes in no time, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a leisurely weekend brunch. Thank me later!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE SALMON CAKES WITH FRESH SALMON

ingredients for recipe for salmon cakes with fresh salmon - salmon, breadcrumbs, mayo, egg, green onions, bell pepper, old bay seasoning, dijon mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

These simple ingredients come together to create salmon patties with a perfect balance of flavours and textures. Let’s discuss each one in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Fresh Salmon Fillets: Start with high-quality fresh salmon fillet, preferably wild-caught. Remove the skin and bones after cooking, if any, and then finely chop or flake the salmon into small pieces. This will be the base of your salmon cakes, providing a delicious seafood flavour and protein-rich texture.

  • Mayonnaise: Serves as a binder in the salmon cakes, helping to hold the ingredients together while adding moisture and richness. It also contributes to the creamy texture of the mixture. You can use store-bought mayonnaise or make your own if you prefer.

  • Breadcrumbs: Act as a filler and help bind the ingredients together. They provide structure to the salmon cakes and prevent them from falling apart during cooking. You can use regular breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs for added crunch.

  • Egg: Acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and giving the salmon cakes structure. It also adds moisture and richness to the mixture. Beaten lightly before adding to the mixture. Beaten lightly before adding to the mixture.

  • Green Onions: Add a subtle onion flavour and freshness to the salmon cakes. They also provide a pop of colour and texture. You can use both the white and green parts of the onions.

  • Old Bay Seasoning: A classic blend of herbs and spices that adds depth of flavour and a hint of heat to the salmon cakes. It typically includes ingredients like celery salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, among others. Adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.

  • Dijon Mustard: Adds tanginess and depth of flavour to the salmon cakes. It helps to balance the richness of the mayonnaise and complements the seafood flavour of the salmon.

  • Hot Sauce: Adds a nice little kick to the salmon patties and helps to balance out the flavours. Use more or less depending on your preference.

  • Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and acidity to the salmon cakes, enhancing the overall flavour profile. It also helps to cut through the richness of the mayonnaise and adds a refreshing citrusy twist. Freshly squeezed lemon juice works best in this recipe. However, you can use lime juice instead if you prefer.

  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for enhancing the flavours of the other ingredients and ensuring the salmon cakes are well seasoned. Adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.
raw salmon cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet

HOW TO MAKE SALMON CAKES WITH FRESH SALMON (KEY TIPS)

hand holding a cooked salmon patty dipped in sauce

You can find full instructions for how to make these oven baked salmon patties in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose fresh salmon. Opt for high-quality fresh salmon fillets for the best flavour and texture. Look for fillets that are firm, moist, and free from any strong fishy odour. Wild-caught salmon is often preferred for its superior flavour and sustainability.

  • Remove skin and bones. After cooking the salmon, make sure to remove the skin and any bones. This will ensure a smooth texture in your salmon cakes and prevent any unwanted chewiness or crunchiness.

  • Chop or flake the salmon into small, uniform pieces. This will help the salmon cakes hold together better and ensure even cooking. However, avoid over-processing the salmon, as you want to maintain some texture in the cakes.

  • Don’t Over-mix. When combining the ingredients for the salmon cakes, mix them gently until just combined. Over-mixing can result in dense and tough salmon cakes. EXTRA TIP: Use a light hand to preserve the delicate texture of the salmon.

  • Try your best to make each salmon patty the same size to ensure even cooking in the same amount of time. Use your hands to get them as round and even as you can.

  • Chill the mixture. After forming the salmon cakes, chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Chilling helps the mixture firm up, making it easier to handle and preventing the cakes from falling apart during cooking.

  • Flip halfway through baking and flip carefully. When it’s time to flip the salmon cakes, do so gently to avoid breaking them apart. Use a spatula to carefully lift and turn each cake, ensuring they cook evenly on both sides. EXTRA TIP: Use parchment paper on the baking sheet to prevent the salmon patties from sticking.

  • Serve immediately. Serve the salmon cakes hot out of the oven for the best flavour and texture. They’re delicious on their own, in between bread or served up with your favourite dipping sauce or accompaniments. Try them with my homemade remoulade sauce (a match made in Heaven…if I do say so myself!)
salmon cakes on a plate with lemon wedges and a dipping sauce, garnished with fresh chopped parsley
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY DO SALMON PATTIES FALL APART WHEN COOKING?

Salmon patties can fall apart when cooking due to several reasons. One common issue is insufficient binding ingredients in the mixture. If there aren’t enough binders such as eggs or breadcrumbs, the patties may lack cohesion and have difficulty holding their shape during cooking.

Additionally, if the salmon mixture is not properly chilled before forming the patties, it may be too loose and prone to falling apart. Another factor could be excessive handling or pressing of the patties, which can compact the mixture and cause it to lose its structural integrity. Overcooking the patties can also lead to them becoming dry and crumbly, making them more likely to fall apart.

Finally, using low-quality or previously frozen salmon that has a higher water content can result in patties that are too moist and prone to breaking apart during cooking.

WHAT CAN YOU USE INSTEAD OF BREADCRUMBS IN SALMON PATTIES?

Instead of breadcrumbs, several alternative ingredients can be used in salmon patties to achieve a similar binding effect and add texture. One popular substitute is crushed crackers, such as saltine crackers or Ritz crackers, which provide a crispy texture and help hold the patties together.

Another option is crushed cornflakes or crushed tortilla chips, which add a crunchy texture and can complement the flavours of the salmon. For a gluten-free option, almond flour or finely ground oats can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs. These alternatives not only serve as binders but also add their own unique flavours and textures to the salmon patties.

HOW DO YOU KEEP SALMON CAKES FROM STICKING?

To prevent salmon cakes from sticking to the cooking surface, it’s essential to use proper techniques and tools. If frying, make sure to use a nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron pan, as these surfaces naturally reduce the risk of sticking.

Additionally, heat the skillet over medium heat and add a thin layer of oil, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, to the pan before cooking the salmon cakes. Allow the oil to heat up before adding the patties to ensure even cooking and minimize sticking. If baking, be sure to line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In either method, avoid overcrowding, as this can cause the salmon cakes to steam rather than bake or sear, increasing the likelihood of sticking. 

WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH SALMON PATTIES?

One classic option is to serve them with a side of vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, or asparagus, for a nutritious and balanced meal. Alternatively, you can pair salmon patties with a fresh salad tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing to add brightness and freshness to the meal.

For a heartier option, serve the salmon patties on a bun or sandwich roll with lettuce, tomato, and your favourite condiments to create a delicious salmon burger. Another popular choice is to serve salmon patties with a side of rice or quinoa and a flavourful sauce, such as tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, or aioli, for added flavour and moisture.

HOW LONG ARE COOKED SALMON PATTIES GOOD FOR IN FRIDGE?

Cooked salmon patties can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. It’s important to cool them down quickly after cooking and store them in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.

To reheat, gently warm them in a skillet over low to medium heat or in the oven until heated through. Alternatively, you can pop them on a tray and stick them in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

4 salmon cakes on a plate with dipping sauce and lemon, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and green onions

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salmon cakes on a lined plate with a half a lemon, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and green onions

SALMON CAKES WITH FRESH SALMON

Yield: 6 Patties
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Salmon Cakes with Fresh Salmon, anyone?! They’re packed full of flavour, oven baked to crispy perfection and are the perfect way to use fresh salmon.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillet, preferably wild-caught
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise*
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Green Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the salmon fillet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper, then bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Flake the cooked salmon using a fork.
    piece of fresh salmon seasoned with salt and pepper on a parchment lined baking sheet
    whole piece of cooked salmon seasoned with salt and pepper on a parchment lined baking sheet
    flaked cooked salmon on a parchment lined baking sheet
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, egg, green onions, Old Bay seasoning, hot sauce, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Mix until well combined. If the mixture seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs; if it's too dry, add a little more mayonnaise.
    chopped green onions, green bell pepper, bread crumbs, hot sauce, mayo and spices unmixed in a bowl
  3. Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape them into patties. Place the salmon cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.
    hand forming salmon cake mixture into a round patty
    6 raw salmon cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the salmon cakes are cooked through and golden brown. Serve hot with your favorite sauce or accompaniments.
    4 salmon patties on a parchment lined baking sheet with lemon wedges, chopped green onions and chopped parsley

Notes

Try making your own mayonnaise from scratch yourself at home by following THIS easy recipe.

These Fresh Salmon Cakes are so good with my Homemade Remoulade Sauce - find the quick and easy recipe HERE.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 575mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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