Thursday, April 21, 2022

Fresh Salmon Cakes @LucyBurdette

Lucy Burdette: I do not care much for salmon. There, I’ve said it! I know it’s good for me, and I know lots of people think it’s a treat. And I will eat it if it's presented at a dinner party. But I will not order it, no matter how delicious the sides that come with the fish sound. 

Now you understand how extreme it was for me to try making my own salmon cakes. And it happened because the recipe in Once Upon a Chef looked good enough to eat lol. I served it to three friends and my husband (who also does not care for salmon) and all of them found the cakes delicious. So you be the judge!


1 1/4 pounds fresh salmon

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup for the patties, and the remainder for frying

Three scallions,

Two stalks of celery

2 tablespoons fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Note that Jennifer Segal, the chef at Once Upon a Chef, uses Old Bay seasoning rather than the combination of paprika, ground mustard, celery seed, and cayenne pepper that I used. I am always looking for ways to reduce salt, so I used some of the ingredients that come in Old Bay without the salt. I also cut back the salt itself.

Stir together the lemon juice, mustard, mayonnaise, spices, and finely chopped dill.

Chop the scallions and the celery finely.

If there is skin on the salmon, remove it. Then chop the fish into small chunks. Mix the lemon juice combination plus the scallions and celery and 1/4 cup Panko into the chopped salmon. (The salmon needs to be in small bits so the cakes will stick together.)

Spread the remainder of the Panko on a large plate. Form the mixture into golf ball sized balls, and flatten them on the Panko, turning them gently to cover both sides with breadcrumbs.

The salmon cakes can be refrigerated for a couple of hours until you are ready to cook them. 

Fry them on medium heat until both sides are brown and the fish looks pink. Serve with cocktail sauce (my favorite) or tartar sauce, your choice.

I served the salmon cakes with a green salad, baked sweet potatoes, and strawberry shortcake to finish. 

It was a lovely spring-ish meal, and didn’t I prove that I can be flexible? However, I still will not order salmon when I’m out to dinner--I will always choose crab cakes instead!

Last but not least, A DISH TO DIE FOR, #12 in the Key West food critic mystery series, will be out on August 9, but is now available for preorder wherever books are sold

About A Dish to Die For:

Peace and quiet are hard to find in bustling Key West, so Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, is taking the afternoon off for a tranquil lunch with a friend outside of town. As they are enjoying the wild beach and the lunch, she realizes that her husband Nathan’s dog, Ziggy, has disappeared. She follows his barking, to find him furiously digging at a shallow grave with a man’s body in it. Davis Jager, a local birdwatcher, identifies him as GG Garcia, a rabble-rousing Key West local and developer. Garcia was famous for over-development on the fragile Keys, womanizing, and refusing to follow city rules—so it’s no wonder he had a few enemies.

 When Davis is attacked in the parking lot of a local restaurant after talking to Hayley and her dear friend, the octogenarian Miss Gloria, Hayley is slowly but surely drawn into the case. Hayley’s mother, Janet, has been hired to cater GG’s memorial service reception at the local Woman’s Club, using recipes from their vintage Key West cookbook—and Hayley and Miss Gloria sign on to work with her, hoping to cook up some clues by observing the mourners.

But the real clues appear when Hayley begins to study the old cookbook, as whispers of old secrets come to life, dragging the past into the present—with murderous results.


  1. I want salmon at least twice a week. I love it! But, I have never made my own salmon patties. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I love salmon. And love salmon cakes, but as my mother and her mother before her, I used crushed saltines instead of panko. Must try your recipe, tho.

  3. Although I really don't like salmon or shrimp, the recipes sound good.

  4. My mother always used canned salmon to make salmon patties, one of my favorite things. Using fresh salmon never occurred to me! Thank you for broadening my horizons. :)

  5. My daughter and granddaughter love salmon and order it often when out. I'm not a huge fan. But I found a recipe for salmon cakes that I really like. It uses cooked salmon, not raw. The panko coating gives a great crunch.
    When is you cookbook coming out?

    1. I'm rethinking the format. I was just thinking of you yesterday. More to come...

  6. Salmon and halibut. I ALWAYS order them if they are fresh and on the menu. Crabcakes are good. SEAFOOD is good. I'm so glad you tried this!!! AND thanks for the recipe!

  7. This looks good! I also use saltines instead of bread crumbs. My husband and I went to a restaurant and had a salmon appetizer and now he makes it at home. He puts the salmon on the smoker and then let's it cool and we get rye bread and toast it, cut it up bite size, and put the salmon on that layered with capers, red onions, and cut up hard boiled eggs. So good! But I love salmon patties and anything salmon really. Thanks for the recipe. Cannot wait for the book this August!!

    1. Thank you Tami, and your hub's appetizer sounds amazing! I do like smoked salmon...