Growing up, I always thought salmon patties were a staple only on Southern tables. After living here in Chicago for awhile, I’ve learned I was wrong. Dead wrong. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I now know salmon patties are pretty much a universal comfort food. And they don’t have to be as heavy as other comfort foods like meatloaf or chicken pot pie. Unless you eat, like 6 of them in a row. Which, of course, I am prone to do.
Speaking of universal patties – before we go any further, let’s take a moment to reflect on some other famous Patties:
*image courtesy of the Peanuts wiki
*image courtesy of the PulpInternational.com
*image courtesy of wackypackages.com
*image courtesy of Wikipedia.org
*image courtesy of Playbill.com
*image courtesy of The San Francisco Sentinel
*image courtesy of the interwebs, Google Image Search
(Ok, I made that last one up. Too much?) Sorry, back to the Salmon Patties . . .
Once I set out to make them, I was surprised at how easy they are to make. Here’s how I do mine, adapted from a recipe found here. Start by opening a regular-size can of salmon. Sockeye salmon will give you the most flavor and best coloring, but other kinds hold their own as well.
Also, chop up a small white onion. Chop it as small as you can get it. Chop, chop, chop – tiny, tiny, tiny. You get the idea.
You’ll want to turn the salmon out into a large bowl and make sure there are no bones. Don’t get grossed out – it’s already cooked and it’s not like you’re looking for guts or brains or anything. And you don’t have to dive in with your bare hands (yet). Just flake through the meat with a fork, looking for any spinal bones or large filet bones. Don’t worry if you miss some of the smaller filet bones – they’re totally edible, which I know sounds gross, but it’s totally true and it’s fine so just don’t think about it.
ANYWAY – once you fork out the bones, you’ll want to add the finely-chopped onion. Also, chop up some parsley. I used to scoff at adding parsley, but after using it several times just for the presentation, I realize that it does provide a nice (albeit small), sort of earthy flavor. Not as sharp as cilantro, but still noticeable. True parsley fan, here.
Beat an egg and add in as well, followed by some fresh squeezed lemon juice. I used half a lemon and this was sufficient. Combine all this well. Next, add breadcrumbs. You’ll want to use Panko and you’ll want to add as much as needed so it will form as patties and bind together. This should probably be somewhere between 3/4 to a whole cup. Start by adding a little and keep adding until you have the consistency you like. . . .
At this point, add some olive oil and butter to a skillet and start heating on a med-high heat. I like to use olive oil and butter together because they have different smoke points and provide a great flavor when used together.
Once you’ve added enough breadcrumbs and you’re able to form patties, shape up the patties with your hands. That’s right – dig in and get to know your patties! One can of salmon should end up yielding anywhere from 5-8 patties, depending on how big you make them. Also – once I have the patties formed, I like to dip them in more bread crumbs, for a nice, outer layer. This will give an extra little crunch after frying them. Yummm.
When the pan is hot enough, start fryin’ ’em up! I like to use my cast iron pan (thanks, Mom!) and I like to get it pretty hot. Once I get the pan hot, I like to let them cook for a good 3-4 minutes on each side – enough to give them a nice color and cook them through as well.
And then they’re ready to eat – it’s that easy. Enjoy!