When quick and easy is the order of the day, then salmon fish cakes are perfect for your dinner menu. I’m not talking about complicated cook-from-scratch fish cakes made by first poaching fresh salmon. I’m talking about budget-friendly, tasty fish cakes made with canned or tinned salmon.
Have you ever looked at the clock and realized it’s nearly 6 o’clock and you haven’t even started making dinner? I mean you haven’t even contemplated what on God’s good earth you’re going to toss together to feed all the hungry mouths in your family.
You stare into the refrigerator, praying for inspiration. I know I should plan our weekly dinner menu in advance, but I’m afraid I’m not always so organized. I try, but many an evening I open the fridge door hoping dinner will just jump out and cook itself.
But never fear this recipe saves the day, when fridge supplies run low, and your budget needs an inexpensive dinner solution. These are easy peasy salmon fish cakes. They’re great in summer with a side salad or in winter served with fried potatoes and veg.
My quick dinner solution can be found sitting in my pantry because I always make sure there are a few cans of salmon waiting for me on the shelves.
Leftover mashed potatoes are also usually sitting in my fridge, and if not, it’s easy to boil a few for this recipe.
And so here it is, my budget friendly salmon fish cakes recipe ….
Here’s a short video summarizing all the steps. And just read on for step-by-step photo instructions to help you make this delicious Irish style dinner.
Ingredients for Salmon Fish Cakes:
Here’s a list of what you’ll need. If you check the printable recipe below the instructons, you’ll find exact quantities in US and Metric measurements.
- mashed potatoes
- canned pink salmon (preferably bone free)
- lemon (juice and zest)
- chopped fresh parsley
- paprika or cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to season
- all-purpose flour
- eggs (beaten)
- dried breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- butter (for frying)
This recipe works best with floury Irish style mashed potatoes, rather than creamy and wetter style American mash.
Directions for Salmon Fish Cakes:
Here I’ve provided step-by-step photo instructions to help assemble these delicious fish cakes.
Add the mashed potatoes, salmon, ketchup, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and paprika or cayenne pepper to a large bowl.
You can use as much paprika or cayenne pepper you think your palate can tolerate. I cook for an Irish family so, in many a reader’s book, I may skimp on the spices.
Mix everything together to combine.
Here’s how it looks ….
Divide the mixture in four and shape into patties using the palms of your hands.
I find digging in and using my hands is the only way to form neat, uniform patties, ready for coating.
Put the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into three separate dishes.
Coat each salmon cake in flour and dust off any excess.
Dip in the egg wash, then finally coat in breadcrumbs.
Flour always comes first to create a dry coating to help the egg wash adhere to the patty. The wet egg wash then allows the breadcrumbs to stick.
The picture above shows the fish cakes all ready for frying.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Fry the cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through.
Once the oil is warm, reduce the heat to medium to low so the cakes can heat through without burning on the outside. Low and slow is the name of the game, especially when the salmon cakes are thick.
I like to add butter to the oil for extra flavor.
I made four large deep salmon cakes, so I decided to turn them on their sides to brown the edges and ensure they were heated thoroughly.
If you prefer thinner salmon cakes, you can make the patties much smaller. Divide the fish mixture in eight rather than four before forming the cakes. That way it’s easier to cook them through without burning the outer surfaces.
These salmon cakes are delicious served warm with lemon wedges and a side salad.
But my Irish family prefers to eat these cakes with fried potatoes and a warm veggie like broccoli.
Now that’s what I call a good Irish dinner. A little brown sauce on the side, and you’re in salmon cake heaven.
Here’s the printable recipe for anyone who would like to add this to their printed recipe collection.
Budget Friendly Salmon Fish Cakes
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 12 oz pink salmon 1 large can or 2 small cans, preferably bone free
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons parsley fresh and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt to season
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper to season
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs dried
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon butter for frying
- Add the mashed potatoes, salmon, ketchup, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to a large bowl.
- Mix well to combine.
- Divide the mixture in four and shape into patties using the palms of your hands.
- Put the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into three separate dishes.
- Coat each salmon cake in flour and dust off any excess. Dip in egg, then finally coat in breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Fry the cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through.
- Serve warm with lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
I hope you enjoy this easy, budget friendly, pantry inspired recipe. It’s a quick and hassle free way to eat fish. I try to always stock a few tins of salmon in my pantry.
If you prefer fresh fish, here are some of my other fish recipes you might enjoy.
Happy cooking from my Irish home to yours.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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