HUMBLE SALMON PATTIES~ Casual food that's high in protein and calcium.

HUMBLE SALMON PATTIES- {egg-free, grain-free}

Megan Hors d'oeuvres, Condiments & Sides, Main Dishes 22 Comments

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Salmon patties are a bit different than salmon cakes, in my mind. Salmon cakes are made from fresh salmon, fried till crispy and served with aioli. They are served in French restaurants or made at home, often dipped in bread crumbs, flour or cornstarch before frying.

Salmon patties are something my Granny made. They are humble, good cold and feature grated carrot. Salmon patties use canned salmon. They’re a great way to increase one’s calcium intake, by using canned salmon with the bones included.

So both are healthy. But one is (gluten and grain-free) humble home food, just a good basic for eating fresh or as leftovers, nourishing and yummy, but not something I’d serve on a bed of field greens to a luncheon of ladies.

Both are usually made with eggs, to hold the patties together.

You can add eggs to this recipe to increase their protein, make the recipe larger, make the patties stronger for flipping or if you want more eggs in your diet. But we get plenty of eggs in our diet and one of my sons has an egg allergy. So I make this egg-free version and they hold together well, even while hot from the oven or frying pan.

I give both variations below– baked or fried. Baked salmon patties will give you an easy preparation and make the patties a bit stronger, sturdier. Fried patties are more like salmon cakes, soft inside, crispy outside, more indulgent tasting, predictably. I bake ours if we’re bringing them along to a picnic and plan to eat them cold. Or to stock the fridge with easy snacks or lunch food. I fry them if we’re eating them fresh and hot, for dinner.

Salmon patties are a bit different than salmon cakes, in my mind. Salmon cakes are made from fresh salmon, fried till crispy and served with aioli. They are served in French restaurants or made at home, often dipped in bread crumbs or the equivalent. Salmon patties are something my Granny made. They are humble, good cold and feature grated carrot. Salmon patties use canned salmon. They’re a great way to increase one’s calcium intake, by using canned salmon with the bones included. So both are healthy. But one is humble home food, just a good basic for eating hot or cold, nourishing and yummy; but not something I’d serve on a bed of field greens to a luncheon of ladies. Lastly, both are usually made with eggs, to hold the patties together. You can add eggs to this recipe to increase their protein, or if you want more eggs in your diet. But we get plenty of eggs in our diet and one of my sons has an egg allergy. So I make this egg-free version and they hold together beautifully, even while hot from the oven. (Mine are baked in the oven, just to make them easier. You can fry them for a crispier, fattier variation.) Throw them on a bun and have salmon burgers. Serve them with homemade aioli. Pick them up with your fingers—whatever suits you. They’re casual, easy protein, good fat and calcium.

Serving suggestions? Eat them like a burger~ on a bun or with your favorite grain-free fixins: avocado, ripe tomato, sauteed onions. Serve them with homemade aioli, cheese, mustard, raw onions. Make them bite-size to serve as appetizer finger food with dipping sauce. Pick them up with your fingers!—whatever suits you. They’re casual, easy protein, good fat and calcium.

For those of you who are squeamish about canned fish– hmmm, well, I guess you have to work up to the skin and bones part of it! The patties do get smashed up and make these components less noticeable and more palatable. Yet I know this is not a food for everyone. (Americans are lightweights, in my opinion. When I know something’s good for me I learn to like it. Yet, I have always liked salmon patties.)

Serving suggestions? Eat them like a burger~ on a bun or with your favorite grain-free fixins: avocado, ripe tomato, sauteed onions. Serve them with homemade aioli, cheese, mustard, raw onions. Make them bite-size to serve as appetizer finger food with dipping sauce. Pick them up with your fingers!—whatever suits you. They’re casual, easy protein, good fat and calcium.

I give three variations to the actual recipe below: one Middle Eastern, one Thai-ish (mostly just yummy!) and the third version is made with aioli, very good hot, and nut, seed and legume-free but with egg yolks. (The first two versions are egg-free.)

Enjoy! And may this recipe help you get canned salmon, with all those good bones, into your diet!

Humble Salmon Patties
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Tahini is sesame seed butter. Look for and buy HULLED sesame seed butter. It is easier to digest and MUCH lower in phytates.
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Megan
Ingredients
  • 1 tall (large 14-ounce) can wild salmon, bones included
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup tahini or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or leftover cooked winter squash BPA-free can liner
  • 2 tsp. sustainably-sourced gelatin, Great Lakes or Vital Proteins- see links below
  • 1 tsp. dried dill or basil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup rendered animal fat, ghee or avocado oil for frying
Instructions
  1. If you plan to bake your patties, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain water from canned salmon. Place fish in medium size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except the frying oil.
  3. Using the tines of a fork, smash and mix together thoroughly the ingredients.
  4. Decide: to bake or to fry? To bake, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using an auto-scoop (tool pictured below), measure out 1 or 2-ounce mounds. With three wettened fingers*, press each mound into a flat patty. Bake until browned slightly all over, and especially around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  5. For frying, cook patties in two batches, in a 6" skillet, dividing the fat in half, 2 T. for each batch. Or use a large skillet and all the fat for one big batch. (The patties are best cooked in a generous amount of fat.)
  6. Heat fat in pan over medium-high heat until fully melted, about 30 seconds. Add mounds of salmon, about 1-2 ounces each, using auto-scoop (tool pictured below) and pressing down slightly to flatten each one, using the back of your spatula. Cook for 5-8 minutes on the first side, until crispy and golden brown. Reduce heat during this time, as needed, to medium or low, to prevent burning or smoking. Flip patties using some care; (they are more fragile when fried but using an offset metal spatula and the small patty size makes it quite doable. "Dig deep" with the spatula if they stick a bit). Cook 5-8 additional minutes on second side and serve.
  7. Refrigerate any leftovers for easy, quick nourishment.
Recipe Notes

*By dipping your index, middle and ring fingers into a bit of water you produce a non-stick surface. Having a little bowl of water in this case is handy for dipping your three fingers in repeatedly between patties.

Variation

  • To make a version without seeds or legumes, exclude the tahini, peanut butter and pumpkin. Substitute instead 1/3 cup homemade aioli (see recipe).

 

     

     

Comments 22

  1. I love your recipe. It’s totally different from what we normally do so we’ll have to try it.

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  2. Dare I say that there’s nothing humble about these salmon patties? Yumm yumm! Thank you for this egg-free recipe and the wonderful serving suggestions.

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  3. These sound so good! I love salmon patties. Your version is so lovely. So nice to have the gelatin as a sub for eggs too. And those fried one … oh my! Yes please!

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  4. This is a great recipe! Canned salmon is the only source of fish/salmon I have where I live – it is just too unsafe to eat fish from Lake Michigan and we don’t live by the ocean. I’ll grab some cans and try this! Thank you!

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      Oh that’s interesting, Renee. I didn’t know about Lake Michigan. I’m so glad this provides a helpful option for canned salmon!

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  5. Yum! I love using canned salmon – I can get wild caught Alaskan salmon for such a good price that way! These look delicious – I’ve never seen a nut or seed butter added to salmon patties before. What a great idea!

  6. Glad you mentioned BPA-free canned squash. I wonder if there are BPA-Free canned salmon. This recipe is a great last minute dinner idea when you don’t have fresh salmon. Love the name ‘humble’ too!

  7. Gonna ask a newbie question…I’ve never been brave enough to try the canned salmon WITH the bones. What’s the texture like in pattie form? Are they really noticeable? We’re dairy free and I love the idea of extra calcium, but not sure my kids will go for it.

    1. It’s a great question! In my experience it DOES depend on the kid. I find that my boys like these while my daughter LOVES them. I LOVE them; and my husband likes them. He likes them very much but he’s learned over the years. 😉 Re the bones, they are VERY soft so you can smash them as you mix the recipe. There may be the occasional bone left. You could add something crunchy in the mix just to confuse your eaters into happiness!! LOL ~ like sprouted sunflower seeds. I do think the peanut butter version is very family-friendly. If you get the crunchy peanut butter (or make your own crunchy) then any crunch of the very occasional soft bone might be mistaken for a peanut! Also, don’t let your eaters see the process and the bones in the can or as you’re mixing. That should help a lot. I’d love to hear how it goes. Good luck!! 🙂

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