Salmon Cakes are somewhat of a comfort food to me. Growing up, at least one lunch a week was either a salmon cake or a fish cake. Where we lived, this was commonplace and also something that my grandmother loved to eat for lunch and to feed to us.
While the childhood salmon cakes I remember were indeed made with canned salmon, that is probably where the similarities to my version end. They were nothing more than canned salmon, bread crumbs, a small white potato, an egg or two and some salt and pepper. And, when made by my grandmother, they were heavily pan-fried and served on an old-school potato hot dog roll with ketchup. Yep.
My Paleo Salmon Cakes do indeed use canned, wild salmon but have fresh herbs, spices, some sweet potato, eggs and a bit of almond flour to hold them together. They are cooked on the stove top so that they have a nice crispy crust and in only enough fat to keep the insides nice and moist.
These were inspired by one of my readers (Hi Janet!) who emailed me a couple of months ago and asked me to post a good, healthy, clean salmon cake recipe. I keep a list of reader requests so I had salmon cakes on the brain. That combined with this #Whole30 adventure finally made it happen. There is a salmon cake recipe in the book (It All Starts With Food) that I used as a base to develop this version.
I like to call these weeknight salmon cakes because they don’t take much time and you can make them in advance. Additionally, you can make a double (or even triple!) batch and freeze a bunch of servings (uncooked) for later. Which is always a bonus when you are’re busy!
- I like to buy the canned wild salmon in water with the skin and the bones. The only reason is cost. It is about $2.99 a 14.75-ounce can vs. $3 something for a MUCH smaller can without the skin and the bones. I like to remove the skin and bones but a lot of poeple don’t even bother and just crush it up along with the salmon. Alternatley, if it’s too gross to deal with or you don’t care about the additional cost, just buy the skinless, boneless.
- I have tested this recipe with both almond meal (ground up raw almonds with their skins) as well as tried it with almond flour (ground blanched skinless almonds that is finer and more powder like). I prefer the texture of the almond meal. If you don’t have it (Trader Joe’s sells it for about $4 per pound), just process some almonds in the food processor until they are almost powdery and like a meal but before the fat releases and it becomes almond butter. Or just use the Almond Flour or any other Flour (except Coconut) that you have.
- I have also made these with smoked paprika and they are awesome.
Adapted From: No-Fuss Salmon Cakes from “It All Starts With Food”
- 1 large sweet potato (about 10-ounces), cooked and mashed
- ⅔ cup almond meal
- ⅓ cup packed finely chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ to 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- ½ Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1¼ teaspoon paprika (see NOTES)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 14.75-ounce cans Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon (See NOTES about bones and skin)
- 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil or ghee for cooking (divided)
- Wash sweet potato and use a fork to poke several fork-holes in it. Wrap in a paper towel, place on a microwave safe plate and microwave until soft. My microwave has a “potato” setting. I think it’s about 8 to 9 minutes long but check every couple minutes so you don’t overcook it. If you prefer not to use the microwave, you can cook the potato in advance when the oven is on and keep it in the fridge (mashed and ready) for a couple of days.
- Let cool for a few minutes, remove potato flesh from skin and mash with a fork until the lumps are mostly gone. Toss into a large mixing bowl.
- Add almond meal, chopped parsley, onion, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper and eggs (Be sure not to put eggs directly on hot potato flesh or they can begin to cook!).
- Warning – gross looking salmon skin and bones pictures coming. This is how I quickly and easily remove the majority of skin and bones from the canned salmon. See NOTES above for more about this. Open the cans and drain most of the liquid out.
- Take the canned salmon into your hand and look for the “split” where 2 or more pieces of salmon are pushed together into the can. This is the natural place to separate the salmon and where you will most likely find the majority of skin and bones. Use your hands to gently scrape the skin and bones off.
- Separate the salmon again if there are more “splits” and do the same thing.Finally, using your hands, crush the canned salmon through your fingers into the mixing bowl.
- Stir until well combined. Line a baking sheet or large plate (that will fit in your fridge) with parchment paper.
- Use a 1 / 3 measuring cup, scoop out evenly sized salmon cakes (flatten bottoms) until you have 12 patties.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or all day (this is also the point you would freeze any that are not going to be cooked in the next 12 to 24 hours).
- Heat a large frying pan (big enough to hold six patties) over medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil or Ghee per six patties. Let fat completely melt and get very hot. Slowly add patties and cook for 4 minutes.
- Gently flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes on the other side.Serve hot and Enjoy!