Salmon patties are a staple of many American home cooked dinners. The Boss mastered them years ago, but I had never made an attempt. I figured it was time. I knew the basics from The Boss, but I didn't want to assume anything, so when buying the salmon, I picked up a brand that had the recipe on the back.
On the Black Top Pink Salmon can is this recipe:
1 can of salmon (obviously Black Top Pink Salmon)
2 cups soft bread crumbs (I substituted oyster crackers I already had)
1/3 cup freshly minced onions
1/4 milk (I always use 2%)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and dill weed
1. Drain salmon, reserving two tablespoons liquid
2. Combine all ingredients, including liquid
3. Shape into eight 1-inch thick patties
4. Pan fry on both sides in two tablespoons oil (I used EVOO) or butter until golden brown
Excited, but a little anxious, I pulled out the frying pan, the mixing bowl, and dived right in. Since I was going to make two cans worth, I doubled the recipe, expecting to make 8 or more thin patties. When it came time to pat out the first patty and place it on the plate, the salmon wasn't holding together. The damn thing fell apart as I placed it down. I pieced it back together and tried to form a second patty but got the same result.
At this point I wondered if maybe this was normal and maybe I just hadn't noticed before. Determined to forge on, I tried to place them in the pan. Disaster there as well. Within a few moments, the grease popped. This wasn't a normal pop, it was more like a solar flare and EVOO splattered everywhere - stove top, counter, floor, me. As The Boss had warned me before I heated it up, I had way too much EVOO, but I was committed and wanted to "learn from my mistakes." Lesson learned.
When I tried to flip that first patty, it completely fell apart. As I tried to flip the second patty, same ugly result. I placed them on the papertowel lined plate, and they fell apart even more (see picture). Obviously I had done something wrong. So I went back and reread the directions.
1. Drain salmon, reserving two tablespoons.
Hm.... so now, with the mixture in the bowl, with the pan hot with oil, how do I salvage this wet disaster?
From that point on, I scooped out a good portion from the mixing bowl, squeezed the bejesus out of it over the sink, and then formed the patty. Ah, much better results. A little thicker than optimal, but hey, the damn thing held together so I wasn't going to complain. At that point, everything went as it should, except because I had formed them so thick, I only got seven and a half patties from two cans of salmon (If you recall the recipe said I should be able to make eight patties per can).
They tasted absolutely wonderful, and the onions were a perfect touch. Neither The Boss nor I had had salmon patties in a while, so I was immediately ordered to learn from my idiocy and make another batch soon (I was reminded to accept a little advise from time to time as well, it just might save me hours of cleaning up hot oil afterwards).
Until Next Time...
Here's a video of a big hairy guy with a bit of personality and a sense of humor making salmon cakes. He includes a great looking sauce with sides.