Salmon Cakes you guys. They are so good! I’m a huge crab cake fan, and these are equally good, just a little lighter in texture. I know that the flavor of salmon can be a little fishy for some people, but I really like it. I just think it has to be paired with a strong contrasting flavor like citrus or pesto or, in this case, spicy aioli. The sauce has just enough heat to really pair nicely with salmon flavor without totally overpowering it. I used Cholula, mainly because it’s what we had. Taylor puts it on everything! I would like to try it with sriracha, but I wasn’t about to go out to the grocery store for one ingredient. That was the inspiration for this recipe…”What’s in my fridge?” I had salmon, and mayonnaise, and celery and panko, which my auto-correct keeps trying to change to panic. I nearly published the recipe listing panic bread crumbs as an ingredient!
There are far too many bottles and tubs and bags and tubes in my cupboard for me to keep buying new stuff for all these recipes.
I’m guilty of buying dozens of specialty ingredients, using them maaaaaybe 4 times, and then going through my cupboard asking, “What am I going to do with culinary lavender, saffron, star anise, liquid smoke, dried peppermint, creme de menthe, 6 types of salt, and 800 other little packages of inspiration?”
Side note: Whilst going through your cupboards, don’t drop and shatter a bottle of liquid smoke on your kitchen floor. Your kitchen will smell like a BBQ joint for days, no matter how well you clean up.
Anyway, that’s why I’m trying to cook more with what’s already in my cupboard and my freezer (the mess in my freezer is a whole other story)
Not only were these Salmon Cakes convenient as far as ingredients went, they were so easy to make. After you flake the salmon, it’s literally just throwing the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, mixing, and pan frying them! I’ve read that you can replace the fresh salmon with canned and it barely makes a difference! Let me know if you try it.
Don’t even get me started on the aioli. Aioli just sounds waaaaay more fancy than it is. Mix flavoring in mayonnaise? Please, I think that’s called dip, not aioli…but seriously…you put these Salmon cakes on the table with a “homemade” sauce and people with think you’re a gourmet chef! They’re not going to believe that aioli is just hot sauce, spices, and mayo. Everyone has that in their kitchen!
Just mix and fry! Delicious. Try to form the patties quickly so they all finish cooking around the same time.
Fresh thyme goes really well with salmon. I almost never prepare the fish without it.
If you wanted to make these feel fancier (you know, to go with our super complicated sauce that we slaved over…) you could make mini cakes and have them easily convert to finger food for an appetizer!
The only bad thing is that now I want to fry more stuff. I always forget how good fried food tastes when it’s fresh (Ok, so “fresh” fried food is kind of an oxymoron) but you know, it hasn’t been fried and then sat under a light for two hours. It just tastes better!
- SALMON CAKES:
- 1 lb salmon fillet
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup minced celery
- 1 tbl fresh thyme leaves
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbl mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Fresh lemon wedges for serving
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 tbl hot sauce of your choice (I used Cholula)
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- SALMON CAKES:
- Line a cooling rack with with a couple of paper towels.
- Rinse and pat dry salmon fillet. Remove and discard skin. Cut into several large pieces and add to food processor. Pulse just a few times until salmon is roughly the constancy of canned fish.
- Add to a medium size bowl with all other ingredients. Mix well.
- Add vegetable oil to saute pan and heat on medium heat until a little piece of salmon cake batter sizzles as soon as you drop it into the pan.
- From batter into palm sized patties and add to pan. Cook first side about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook second side about the same amount of time. Salmon cakes are done when they are golden brown on the outside and firm and light pink on the inside. I cooked mine about 12 or 13 minutes all together.
- As the cakes finish cooking, add them to the cooling rack. Cool 2 or 3 minutes before serving.
- Mix all ingredients and serve generously with Salmon Cakes.
- Serve hot with fresh lemon wedges.