oh, fishcakes


Last week I got an inexplicable craving for salmon cakes. This has been one of our standard pantry dinners for years – cheap, easy and healthy – but we hadn’t had it for a while. I made an executive decision and picked up a can of Alaskan salmon at the co-op.

salmon mash

Oddly enough, this may have been the first time I ever made fish cakes myself. My husband and I have divisions of labor in the kitchen, not always logical, and he’s generally in charge of curries, Thai beef stirfry, burgers, kebabs, and salmon cakes. He must have been busy with something else on this occasion, since I ended up making them myself. Fortunately for me, these are really, really simple. We use a recipe from the Joy of Cooking as our base, then add flavorings as we please. This batch was very basic, as I was also cooking Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and wasn’t really focusing.

pan frying

The version I made was just canned salmon (with a little skin and bone mashed in – I rather like the texture, and it’s full of calcium), matzo meal, egg, salt, pepper and parsley. Other times we’ve added red pepper flakes, herbs, or breadcrumbs instead of matzo, but I wouldn’t say we’d gotten really inventive with them. We usually make garlic mayonnaise to liven things up. What do you think would be good in fish cakes?

Salmon Cakes

Adapted from Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer. Easily scaled up or down depending on the size of your can of salmon.

  • 2 cups canned salmon meat, with or without skin and bones
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs or matzo meal
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped parsley

Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl. Shape into patties and fry in butter or oil until browned. Serve hot with garlic mayonnaise.