Salmon is one of the best nutritious fish and its good fat content makes it even better for making fish cakes! This is the BEST Salmon Cakes Recipe and it’s perfect on a bed of greens or as a sandwich.
Salmon is our favorite fish to cook when we are in the mood for seafood. My husband is from the Northwest and when I married him, he brought with him his mother’s Steamed Ginger Salmon recipe, like a dowry. I gave him Kimchi in return.
I’ve had the freshest salmon from one of his neighbors who’d returned from a “Salmon Run,” the day before. It was fresh as if I caught it myself. Actually, it was better since I didn’t have to catch it. I don’t know if I could eat it if I’d caught it myself.
Having said, I tried various salmon recipes since my MIL’s recipe and this is the best Salmon Cake recipe I developed with the wild-caught salmon. You “could” technically use any fish for this for salmon is by far the tastiest and nutritious fish there is, as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve also had the good fortune of tasting the Northwest style smoked salmon straight out of a neighbor’s backyard smokehouse. Northwesterners along the Pacific coast have more smokehouses in their backyards than BBQ grills.
Salmon Health Benefits
Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish there is. A ½ -fillet serving size of wild coho salmon has almost 3000mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids – a key anti-inflammatory nutrient. Just look at these other amazing health benefits of salmon too:
- Low in sodium
- High in Niacin
- High in Protein
- Contains Selenium
- High in vitamins B6 and B12
- Excellent source of Phosphorus
As it turns out, Pacific salmon – especially from Alaska – is one of the best sustainable and ocean safe choices for fish, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
“Seafood Watch recommends wild-caught salmon from Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington as these are ocean-friendly choices. “Avoid” salmon farmed in open net pens. Salmon farmed on land in “closed” or “contained” farms is a viable alternative that points the way to a more environmentally-friendly future for salmon farming.”
Now you know why I think Frankenfish is dangerous for us and the environment and why I think wild salmon is so important in maintaining the ecological integrity of the salmon population and they should be protected from being destroyed by more aggressive genetically engineered (GE) salmon.
We always buy wild-caught salmon and my hubby loves to grill it!
But when my hubby grills or bakes too much salmon, then, it’s up to me to take care of the leftovers. And this salmon cake recipe is the easiest way to polish up whatever cooked salmon that’s left in the fridge. Of course, you can always cook this dish from scratch and not wait for leftovers.
Salmon Cakes Without Breadcrumbs
Some fish cake calls for bread crumbs and lots of herbs but I don’t like to overpower the fish and I don’t want to use fillers like breadcrumbs; I want to taste the fish, not the bread crumbs or overpowering herbs.
Besides, if you’re on a special diet that eliminates gluten or flour, then, this recipe is all you’ll need. This is the perfect keto, low-carb, and gluten-free salmon cake recipe.
I used my homemade mayo recipe. It uses healthier oils and doesn’t have any fillers or preservatives in it – just avocado oil, egg, mustard, and lemon juice, and spices. It only takes 2 minutes to make, and it’s worth it!
Pepper and Onion
I used both red and yellow bell pepper and fresh onion. You can use green bell pepper in place of either of them. They are all the same plant, the colors change depending on how long they were left on the vine.
Green bell peppers are picked early, so they have a more bitter flavor. Yellow and orange bell peppers are left on the vine longer, so they have a sweeter flavor. Red bell peppers have the sweetest flavor of all of them.
The type of onion you use isn’t as important. Red onions have a stronger but slightly sweeter taste than yellow or white onions, but you can use either one.
Use Fresh Herbs
For this recipe, I used only fresh herbs. While dried herbs work in a pinch, they just don’t have the same amount of flavor as fresh herbs. Plus, dried herbs have a different texture, too.
If at all possible, always try to use fresh herbs.
I prefer to fry things like my salmon cakes in avocado oil. Not only is it really healthy for you (with tons of healthy fats) but it has a higher smoking point. This means you can cook it at a higher heat than other oils.
It also doesn’t have very much flavor, so the fresh herbs in my fish cakes always stand out more when I use it.
Yes, there is a huge taste and nutritional difference between farmed and wild-caught salmon. Wild salmon has a darker color and a savory and complex flavor that farmed salmon does not.
Yes, you can make this recipe with other types of fish too. It would taste amazing with Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, Scrod (Haddock), and even crab. They are all sustainable and will hold up well if you shape them into cakes.
I always pre-cook my salmon and then let it chill in the refrigerator a bit before I make it. This process makes my salmon easier to mold into cakes. Fresh salmon will work too – but you still have to let it cool after you grill it.
If you can tolerate gluten, the best bun to have the salmon cake is on a brioche bun. Brioche is a soft buttery bun and it compliments the fatty salmon!
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The BEST Salmon (Fish) Cakes Recipe
- 1-1 ½ lbs wild caught salmon
- 2-3 tbsp homemade mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ¼ c diced red bell pepper
- ¼ c diced yellow pepper
- ¼ c diced red or yellow onion
- 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ c avocado oil
- ½ lemon juiced for topping
- Rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry. (If you have leftover salmon or using canned salmon, you can skip to step No.6.)
- Put salmon, skin side down, on a 9″x13″ glass pan.
- Brush with oil lightly and sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven at 350 °F or grill on the outdoor BBQ grill for about 20 minutes until it’s flaky but not overcooked. It’s better to be slightly undercooked since you’ll be finish cooking it later.
- When salmon is cooked, set it aside to cool and then, chill it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes or overnight. You can prepare the salmon up to this point days earlier.
- Meanwhile, sauté peppers and onions until soft and onions translucent. Set aside and let it cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix egg, mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon, dill, parsley, horseradish and sea salt.
- Take the chilled salmon out from the fridge, crumble the fish in small chunks, and add them to the mixing bowl.
- Add the sautéed peppers and onions to the mixing bowl and mix well.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- When the salmon mixture is chilled, shape them into patties, the size of hamburger patties.
- Heat the pan on medium heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp of avocado oil. When sizzling, cook the patties until each side is brown in batches – about 3 minutes each side.
- Drizzle lemon juice on each cooked pattie, cover and keep warm until serving.
- Serve on a bed of greens or on sandwich buns.
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