I made this recipe from The Splendid Table but once I’d mixed it up, I knew it would not work. It would have been a delicious salmon hash. I could tell that it would not hold together. Which means it fails as a “cake.” The solution to this problem: mayonnaise. Great binder. I’ve cut the recipe in half, made a few minor changes.
(serves 4-6 as an entree)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ small red onion, finely chopped (or use a couple of shallots)
½ medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
14 oz. cooked salmon, either canned and drained or leftover from dinner
2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon capers, chopped
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¾ teaspoon Old Bay (or similar crab boil) seasoning
½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 whole egg
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup mayonnaise
olive oil for frying
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil. Saute´ onion, red pepper, and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, place the salmon in a large bowl and break it up into chunks. Don’t make the chunks too small. You want to know there is salmon in these cakes. Dump the cooked veggies in with the salmon. Add the minced herbs, capers, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, mustard, egg, and panko. Mix it to combine. Add mayonnaise and mix until evenly distributed. It should have enough mayo to hold together. Try to make a patty; add a bit more mayo if it won’t hold together. You’ll have no end of grief trying to flip them if they won’t hold together.
Wipe out the skillet you cooked the vegetables in. Reheat over medium-high heat. Add about 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Form salmon into 6 patties and shallow fry until nicely browned on both sides. You may have to add additional oil after you flip them. How much oil you use will depend on the type of pan you use. I use a cast iron griddle which is well-seasoned, but you still need a fair bit of oil if you want a crispy crust (which is essential for deliciousness).
Makes a good salmon cake sandwich, or served on top of a big green salad.