Salmon Cakes – Crispy Salmon Patties

A close up of a plate of salmon patties, with dip in a bowl

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Salmon Cakes are one of my favourite dishes to make with leftover salmon. In fact, when I make Spiced Baked Salmon or  Grilled Asian Salmon Kebabs I usually buy a larger fillet, just so that I’ll have leftovers to make these. You could make these with a quality canned salmon, but I think fresh salmon makes a big difference in the flavour and texture of these patties.

Three salmon patties with side sauce on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

Reinventing the Classic Salmon Cake

Do you remember fish cakes? You know, the ones shaped like pucks that came in the freezer section? I liked getting them for dinner as a kid, but I really don’t recall them tasting much like fish.

This easy salmon cake recipe re-invents those nostalgic frozen oldies with healthy, fresh-cooked wild sockeye salmon, along with some crunchy veggies and creamy mashed potatoes. The crunchy Panko crust makes the fish cakes crisp and golden. Honestly, I don’t know what I ever did without Panko. Those little Japanese breadcrumbs make everything crispier and are a staple in my kitchen.

Fork and fish with lemon wedge on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

Old Bay Seasoning

Served with a simple lemon horseradish aioli, salmon cakes are a perfect meal with a salad on the side. You can always use dill for seasoning, which is an obvious match for salmon — and a good one. But I’m using Old Bay seasoning, which I love to use on both seafood and mashed potatoes — and it’s perfect in this recipe! Old Bay is a complex blend of spices containing among many other ingredients, celery salt, paprika, dry mustard, black pepper, and cloves. This seasoning is worthwhile to have it on hand for the distinctive and delicious flavour it adds to your seafood dishes.

Because of the Old Bay seasoning, I haven’t added any salt to this salmon cake recipe. If you like a little more salt, by all means, add some!

Three salmon patties with side sauce on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

Here’s What You Need to Make this Salmon Cake Recipe

Potato 

For this recipe, use a  starchy potato variety, like russet, vs a waxy one like fingerlings or new potatoes. They work best for salmon patties because the starch helps to hold the cakes together. 

Vegetables

Sweet bell peppers, any colour, celery and green onions (or scallions) add crunch and flavour. Just be sure to dice the vegetables fairly small.

Mayonnaise

I use real mayonnaise for these patties. You can substitute a mayo-like spread such as Miracle Whip. Just be aware that those spreads often contain sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Be sure that the product contains real eggs and oil, which is are the ingredients in real mayonnaise that help bind the ingredients in the recipe.

Dijon mustard

I like the slight spice and tang of dijon mustard, but if you don’t have it, use yellow mustard. Or for that matter, any mustard!

Old Bay seasoning

If you don’t have Old Bay, try using a tsp of celery salt, a tsp of paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and a generous crack of pepper.

Egg

The egg is an integral part of this recipe, and a large egg is a necessity.

Cooked salmon

If you have leftover cooked salmon, these salmon cakes are a delicious way to use it. If you don’t, can substitute canned salmon. Just make sure that the canned salmon is VERY well-drained. Too much moisture can cause your patties to fall apart.

Panko bread crumbs

Panko bread crumbs give these salmon cakes a perfectly crispy crust. You can substitute any fine, dry bread crumbs. 

Peanut or vegetable oil

Peanut or vegetable oils have a high smoke point, which makes them the best choices for frying. Other good high smoke point oils are canola, sunflower, or safflower. 

 

A plate of food with side sauce on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

How to Make This Salmon Patty Recipe, Step By Step

  1. Peel and cut one large potato into 2-inch cubes, and boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. While potato is cooking, dice bell pepper, celery, and green onion.
  3. Drain and mash potato.
  4. In a large bowl combine the vegetables with beaten egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, and potatoes.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. Gently fold flaked salmon into potato mixture.
  7. Shape mixture into about 12 balls, flattening them into patties on a plate with the Panko crumbs, then turning to coat the other side with crumbs.
  8. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  9. Fry the patties, in batches, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes each side.
  10. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and garnish with parsley.
  11. For the aioli, mix together mayonnaise, horseradish, and lemon zest.
  12. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Three fish patties with side sauce on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

Pro Tips & Tricks to Make the Best Salmon Patties

Refrigerate Before Frying

Refrigerating the patty mixture for at least an hour before frying. This will help the patties hold together better when dipped into the oil.

Make it Gluten-Free

Simply substitute gluten-free Panko or bread crumbs to make the recipe gluten-free.

Serve with Horseradish Aioli

While you can use any dipping sauce for these salmon patties, horseradish in the aioli complements the recipe perfectly.

Make it a Salmon Cake Burger

You can turn the patties into salmon burgers, too! Just make them bigger and serve on a bun, then spread with the aioli. It’s a deliciously healthier version of the fast-food favourite.

Fork cutting into fish patty with side sauce on blue floral plate, atop white granite countertop

Looking for more yummy salmon recipes? Check out Salmon, Spinach Mandarin SaladSalmon Chowder, or Sriracha Salmon Quesadillas.

A  plate of food, with dip in a bowl

Salmon Cakes โ€“ Crispy Salmon Patties

These easy and delicious Salmon Cakes are a healthy take on your favourite childhood meal. Coated in crunchy Panko crumbs, these crisp, golden salmon patties combine the flavours of leftover salmon, mashed potatoes, and veggies.
4.12 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Colleen

Ingredients

  • 1 russet potato peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 cups cooked salmon separated into large flakes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions

  • Peel and cut one large potato into 2-inch cubes, and boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • While potato is cooking, dice bell pepper, celery, and green onion.
  • Drain and mash potato.
  • In a large bowl combine the vegetables with beaten egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, and potatoes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Gently fold flaked salmon into potato mixture.
  • Shape mixture into about 12 balls, flattening them into patties on a plate with the Panko crumbs, then turning to coat the other side with crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Fry the patties, in batches, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes each side.
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and garnish with parsley.
  • For the aioli, mix together mayonnaise, horseradish, and lemon zest.
  • Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Notes

  • Refrigerating the patty mixture for at least an hour will help the patties hold together better for frying.
  • Substitute gluten-free panko or bread crumbs to make the recipe gluten-free.

Nutrition

Serving: 2g | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 33.8mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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16 thoughts on “Salmon Cakes – Crispy Salmon Patties

  1. So glad to have found this!! Wondering can this same recipe be made using the new or not so new air fryer method of cooking?

    1. Hi Dell, I’m afraid that I have never tried this recipe with an air fryer. I would really love to hear your feedback, though, if you do!

  2. These salmon cakes are delicious! Soft inside from the mashed potatoes, and crispy on the outside. We as well make salmon cakes with leftover salmon fillet, the best way! And that aioli is just the perfect complement!

  3. I love these because you can freeze them for a quick meal on busy nights! Mini ones are great for applies (or for kids) too. Thanks for the reminder! I haven’t made these for a long time.

  4. These salmon cakes look like a great way to use up day old salmon! I’m in love with the crispy outside!

    1. I’m only giving these 3 stars because they kept falling apart on me. So frustrating!
      I’m not a novice cook either.
      But when forming them AND frying them, they kept breaking up. Even when plating them, falling apart.
      The flavor was good though.
      But it was alot of work and made a big mess.

      1. Hi, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. We make these Salmon Cakes all the time and they always turn out perfectly, as you can see from the photos. The falling apart part sounds like there was too much moisture in the potatoes and or the salmon. They both need to be fully cooked before making the patties. I hope this helps, and I thank you for your feedback!

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