Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

These Salmon Cakes pair very well with a handful of baby arugula drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, finished with a pinch of kosher salt. It is a beautiful, tasty salad requiring little effort. I always think of it as “Marcella’s Salad” because she introduced it to us in Florence, Italy.

I grew up with a version of these, and it always brings back fond memories. If you do not have cilantro, parsley is a good substitute. We like dried better than fresh because it adds flavor without really shouting its presence.

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 0hr 20mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) finely diced white or yellow onion
Add to a 3-quart bowl.

Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry/tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/8 inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice. 

Finely diced onion adds nice texture as well as great flavor, whereas roughly diced onion interferes with the cake’s ability to stay together during shaping.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon parsley or cilantro flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
Add all to onion; whisk until uniform in color.

Tip: Cut a lemon in half at the equator, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch seeds.

Lemon juice brightens the flavor. Cayenne adds a zippy undertone and a hint of color.
  • 2 cups (4 ounces) white bread crumbs
Roughly tear up bread; pulse in a food processor until fine. Distribute crumbs over the egg mixture. Bread crumbs help create light, moist cakes.
  • 14-15 ounces canned wild Atlantic salmon (do not strain)
Add salmon to egg mixture. Cut in with two forks until salmon is completely broken up and there is no dry bread. Cutting in keeps the cakes light.
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or Ghee
Circulate butter/ghee in a 10-inch tri-ply skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam (2-3 minutes). Form 4 salmon balls with a 2 ½-inch ice cream scoop, pressing each against the bowl to pack and level the measures. Release directly into pan 1 inch apart. Promptly flatten each to ¾ inch with a spatula; cook until browned and firmed, 4-5 minutes each side. Repeat for 4 final cakes. Preheating discourages sticking and promotes food searing (rapid browning). Ghee has low PUFAs, sports a high smoke point (485°F), and leaves less residue than oil.

Additional Testing Notes: Worcestershire sauce muddied the flavor instead of brightening it. We tried dill and basil as options and did not care for either.



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