Sometimes it’s difficult to find fresh wild salmon at the store, or to actually get to the store. That’s why I like to have canned red salmon on hand. It’s versatile, delicious, and nutritious. It’s great in a green salad, in a salmon salad sandwich, or in my personal favorite, salmon patties.
Canned salmon has a long shelf life and tastes great. Here’s the catch—it has to be red salmon. Not pink. No pink salmon is allowed in this dish. I decided to look up the official difference. Canned red salmon is wild sockeye salmon. Canned pink salmon is wild humpback salmon. In my opinion, the red salmon has a much more pleasant flavor. Yes, red salmon costs more than pink. There’s a reason for that. If you try this recipe with pink salmon, don’t blame me.
It is true, canned salmon may come with skin and bones. Some people get weirded out by this; I don’t. In fact, the bones have calcium, so you can leave them in to boost your calcium intake. I remove them because I prefer my dish to just be the salmon. It’s good to note that the bones in canned salmon are edible. They’re not hard; they’re just kind of al dente. Whether you include them or not is up to you. When you take the salmon out of the can, drain it as you would tuna. Then separate the salmon pieces, discarding the skin and bones. It’s pretty easy to distinguish what’s what. If you don’t want to touch it, you can use rubber gloves. I won’t tell.
I started giving our dog the skin and bones from the salmon, and she loves them. I add them to her dog food. The only unfortunate result of this is that now, whenever I open a can of anything, the dog comes running in, hoping for her salmon special (sorry, Daphne, I’m not going to feed you canned tomatoes…)
I usually use four small cans of salmon for this recipe, but I’m feeding four to five big eaters and I like to have leftovers. The quantity you make is up to you—the amounts of the other ingredients will depend how much salmon you use. I’ve written the recipe as if it’s for one can of salmon. You can double, triple, or quadruple it to your heart’s content. If your store sells only the 14.75-oz cans of red salmon, calibrate the recipe as if you’re using two cans.
I like this dish because it tastes good, but it’s also good for you. The salmon is full of healthy Omega-3s, and I’ve snuck some vegetables into the patties as well. It’s also a fish dish that appeals to people (read kids) who might not be big fish lovers. Since there are other flavors—corn, red pepper, and scallions—the flavor of the salmon is enhanced, and not as strong as a straight fillet. It does take a little while to make, since you need to cook the salmon patties in a pan while not crowding them. You could get a few pans going to speed it along.
I’ve tried to make this recipe “healthier,” by baking the patties, either plain or coated in breadcrumbs. It works well, but they taste better fried (what doesn’t?). If you’re watching your calories or fat, you might want to bake them. Remember, they’re basically just salmon, vegetables, a little egg, and oil; so all in all, not too shabby in the nutrition department.
I hope you’ll consider making these salmon patties the next time you’re looking for a different way to cook salmon!
Red Salmon Patties
(May double, triple or quadruple this recipe)
1 7.5-oz. can salmon
1 Scallion, sliced
¼ C. celery, diced
¼ C. red pepper, diced
¼ C. corn (frozen works)
¼ C. flour
Pepper, to taste
¼ C. oil, for frying (approx.)
Ranch or other dressing, optional
(Preheat oven to 375˚ if baking)
Open can(s) of salmon. Remove and discard skin and bones. Mix with next 7 ingredients. Form salmon mixture into approx. ¼-cup patties.
Heat oil in heavy skillet.
Arrange patties in pan without crowing. Cook in oil, for approx. 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
Arrange salmon patties on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked.
Serve hot atop a green salad, or on a sandwich, or just eat plain. May top with ranch or other dressing.
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