My salmon cakes have always been a hit with our family, but when a good friend’s daughter had them with us and raved about them to her mom, I knew it was a “must share”. (And now you have the recipe, sweet Reese, so your mommy can make them.)
Even those who don’t care for fish might be happily surprised to find that these don’t taste all that fishy. They are well-seasoned, and frying anything in good fats can only make them taste even better. As a perk, they’re a particularly inexpensive way to put nourishing seafoods on the table.
The Way We Get More Salmon in Our Diet
This was originally inspired by the Fish Cakes recipe in Nourishing Traditions. That recipe required fresh fish and fish roe, neither of which I have on hand or can afford to buy very often. I wanted to convert this recipe so that I could make it up anytime, as a way to get more fish in our diets.
Using canned foods isn’t a preference for me, and we avoid most canned goods due to BPA exposure from the linings of the cans. I’ve eliminated almost all other canned foods or found BPA-free versions, but fresh and even frozen salmon is expensive, but so incredibly nutritious and beneficial for our health.
Seafoods were one of THE most valued foods among the traditional tribes that Weston Price studied, and wherever he found cultures subsisting heavily on seafoods, he found exceptionally strong bones and robust health. Calcium and other nutrients in the bones, omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA and EPA for children’s growing brains and pregnant/nursing moms), and all the other goodness that resides in wild salmon is just nourishing beyond belief, and so that’s why our family still eats a lot of canned salmon.
Makes 8-10 cakes, depending on size– just enough for the 5 eaters in our home when served with other side dishes.
- 2 cans salmon (with bones, but drained) — Always choose wild salmon, never farmed. You can use pink salmon, which is cheaper, although my strong preference is for red sockeye salmon.
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 cup bread crumbs (any bread works- homemade wheat, spelt or kamut, gluten free, sourdough, etc.)
- 1/2 small onion, minced OR 1 tsp dried onion powder
- 2 cloves minced garlic OR 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp mustard (dijon or regular)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp organic soy or tamari sauce (wheat free)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I just add a little- these have quite a bit of flavor already)
Drain canned salmon, then dump into a medium sized bowl. Using the back of a fork, break salmon apart and crush bones. Mix in eggs, then bread crumbs, and lastly, all of the seasonings.
Preheat a cast-iron pan to medium heat, and add a few pats of butter and some extra virgin olive oil (you can do just one or the other, or even use coconut oil instead, but the mix gives such a great flavor).
You’ll have to use your hands to shape these patties as you go to make them. I just put a big dollop in my hands, shape it best as I can, and flatten slightly once in the pan if needed. I don’t bother to pre-shape them, but just do it as I go.
Once cooked halfway through and nicely browned (2-3 minutes), flip over and allow to cook all the way (another couple minutes).
I frequently serve these with sweet potato fries (made similarly to these baked french fries- one of these days I’ll have to post a true tutorial, since they are among my children’s favorite foods), for a very easy dinner. They’re also good alongside any sort of salad– green, broccoli salad, coleslaw, what have you, or even with a plate of raw veggies and dip.
Although they taste wonderful just as they are, they’re also quite tasty with homemade tartar sauce. I don’t have a specific recipe but this is basically how I make mine:
- Start with about 1 cup of mayonnaise in a mason jar (homemade mayo is best)
- Take 1 good-sized dill pickle and mince it as finely as you can
- Add a bit of pickle juice or lemon juice (or a bit of both) into the mayo, along with the minced pickle, and stir it well.