Salmon Cakes

I was a little scared of this recipe, because ground up fish with crumbs, mayo, and lemon sounds a little bit gross. I tried it anyway, and I’m so glad I did! They were surprisingly amazing, something I would want to make in giant batches to impress guests for dinner, as an appetizer for a cocktail party, or even just a topping for a light salad for lunch. If you decide to make these for a little change of pace at your 4th of July party, they won’t disappoint. Just make sure to double the recipe!

I’ve never had a crab cake, but now I can see why they’re so popular.

Oh, and these are NOTHING like those frozen fish cakes my dad used to make when he was in charge of dinner. They were awesome. Needless to say, I made 7 and there were none leftover when we were just two people.

They were surprisingly easy to make, and with the crispy outside, but moist center, they were definitely gourmet. Thanks, Giada! I actually changed her recipe a lot. A little out of laziness (it was raining and I didn’t want to walk to the supermarket), but also because I thought the extra ingredients she gave wouldn’t really enhance the flavor (though I could be wrong, let me know).

Also, I used my teeny cast iron skillet to fry these. I’m trying hard to really make it non-stick, and I think it’s working. But it also meant that I fried one at a time. Not so cool. Next time, I think I’ll just use a regular pan.


  • 1 pound salmon*, cooked, cooled, and flaked with a fork (or you can use canned salmon)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 shallot, grated over the bowl (to catch all the juice)
  • 1 package Saltine crackers, crushed in a food processor (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for frying (or oil, if you prefer it)


1. Combine egg, shallot, mayo, mustard, 1/2 the saltine crumbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salmon. Combine with a fork.

2. If mixture is too dry, add more mayo. If too wet, add some more crumbs.

3. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.

4. Pour remaining crumbs onto a plate.

5. Form patties: I used a spoon to scoop out (kinda) even portions, ending up with 7 burgers. Use your hands to shape and flatten the mixture to form patties.

6. Coat with crumbs and set aside until all the patties are formed.

7. Heat up oil and butter in a pan until sizzling. Fry the patties for two minutes on each side, until golden brown.

8. Serve warm or at room temperature (you can make Giada’s dipping sauce if you want, but I loved them plain!)

*To cook salmon, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Happy 4th of July! Enjoy the fireworks