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Farmer’s Table: Salmon Patties


By Susan Maslowski

Salmon patties are a perfect pantry meal for those occasions when you don’t have a dinner plan or you are short on time. They are a fairly inexpensive, quick stovetop meal.

A recent dreary day found me searching for cooking inspiration. I found two small cans of boneless, skinless salmon that triggered my culinary imagination. With little effort and a few additional ingredients, I was able to make six generous salmon patties that provided three meals. Two patties were served as salmon burgers topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and tartar sauce.

I did not grow up eating salmon patties, which are also called salmon croquettes, salmon cakes or salmon burgers in other parts of the country. Naturally, salmon patties are very popular in Alaska, where wild salmon, caught in the pristine waters, abound.

I was surprised to learn that salmon croquettes are also a Southern tradition. During the Great Depression, salmon patties were a nutritious way to stretch the food budget and feed a large family. At the time, canned goods were becoming widely available to most Americans, although fresh seafood was not. Canned tuna and salmon were common pantry staples.

Salmon croquettes were the Southern literary giant William Faulkner’s favorite food, debunking the myth that most of his meals were consumed in liquid form.

Faulkner’s recipe was nothing special. In fact, it came from the back on the salmon can.

Most salmon patty recipes consist of canned salmon and some form of binder. Gourmet versions can be made with fresh wild salmon, the addition of assorted herbs, capers and crunchy panko breadcrumbs.

Salmon patties are a simple, tasty entree, that won’t break your budget.

Salmon Patties

2 (5-ounce cans) boneless salmon, drained and flaked

1/3-cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

1 egg, beaten

1 small onion, minced

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1½ tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Miracle Whip

1-tablespoon olive oil (more as needed)

Mix all of the ingredients (EXCEPT olive oil) in a large bowl. Divide and shape into patties of desired size.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Fry salmon patties in batches until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Add more olive oil, as needed.

For questions about recipes or other information, contact Susan Maslowski at or go to our websites at and Susan also has a Farmer’s Table Facebook page.


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