Crispy Pan Fried Asian Salmon Cakes are a delicious easy to prepare meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Whether using fresh or canned salmon this amazing basic recipe is a perfect way to get food on the table fast and even help combat food waste in the process.
A perfect salmon patty recipe
Using leftover cooked fish and celery leaves this recipe for Crispy Pan Fried Salmon Cakes is a great way to turn often discarded ingredients into an amazing versatile meal. And with a crispy exterior and fluffy interior these salmon cakes are perfect, everytime! Probably why they’ve been a staple on my table for almost twenty years.
This recipe lends itself to being reinvented with all sorts of different flavors. But this one with asian flavors and served with a fresh asian inspired dipping sauce is my personal favorite.
- Salmon – either fresh flaked leftover salmon or canned salmon will work beautifully in this recipe. Either use roughly 1 pound of fresh cooked salmon by removing the skin and bones then flaking. Or purchase boneless skinless canned salmon, drain then continue as directed in the recipe.
- Panko bread crumbs – are the binder to hold the patties together and also what gives the salmon cakes their crispy exterior. Breadcrumbs or crackers can be substituted. And if looking for a gluten free option you can even use cornmeal or almond flour.
- Eggs – act as a binder to hold the patties together. This recipe assume you are using fresh baked salmon, or canned salmon which still has a little moisture in the fish and only calls for one egg. If your salmon is slightly dried out you will need an extra egg to bind it together. For a version of this recipe without eggs try substituting dehydrated potato flakes or mayonnaise.
- Seasonings – garlic, scallions (green onions), celery leaves (or other leafy herbs like cilantro, parsley or basil), ginger (fresh or dried), red pepper flakes, lemon (or lime) zest and juice, sesame oil, salt.
Step by step instructions
To make salmon patties from scratch simply mix fresh flaked (or canned!) salmon with seasonings, egg and panko then fry until golden brown and crispy.
- Prepare ingredients. Finely chop onion whites and most of greens reserving the tops to thinly slice for serving. Zest lemon before slicing into wedges for serving. Chop garlic, grate ginger, mince celery leaves and flake salmon. Place panko bread crumbs on a medium sized plate.
- In a large bowl stir flaked salmon, lemon zest, chopped scallions, celery, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes together.
- Add sesame oil and egg and stir. Then add ¼ cup panko bread crumbs, just enough to keep it together when pressed firmly with your palms. Mixture will be loose.
- Divide into 8 even portions and form into roughly 1″ thick patties using a firm hand to squeeze them together. Dip in panko on both sides.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes to prevent salmon cakes from falling apart.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add enough neutral frying oil (canola, peanut, avocado, etc) to reach at least halfway up your salmon cakes. When oil reaches 350-375 degrees fry salmon cakes in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Salt immediately and serve or keep warm in a 200 degree oven.
What to serve with salmon patties
Crispy Asian Salmon Cakes are very versatile. Once you make this recipe you’ll be serving it in all sorts of ways for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
- Try salmon patties for breakfast with eggs, fried potatoes, grits or biscuits.
- Or for lunch in wraps, po’boy sandwiches and burgers.
- Serve smaller patties as appetizer or salmon sliders.
- Or make them a part of a larger dinner with pasta and creamed peas, on a bed of fluffy rice and lightly seasoned greens. Or alongside french fries, onion rings, quinoa, or even sautéed cabbage.
However you them don’t forget the dipping sauce! Soy based potsticker sauce, or a clear nuoc cham style sauce are perfect. Or try salmon cakes them with tartar sauce, lemon aioli, toum garlic sauce, fresh green sauce,or creamy dill sauce.
This salmon cake recipe yields roughly eight 2 ounce salmon patties. Enough for 2 light meals or to serve 3 or 4 as an appetizer. Double or triple it to serve more or prepare as a make ahead freezer meal.
How to store
Once fried salmon cakes are best served fresh. If necessary refrigerate up to 3 days then reheat in the oven or air fryer to serve.
To make salmon cakes ahead of time simply freeze the uncooked salmon patties until firm, 2 hours or longer. Then place in a freezer bag or vacuum seal and store in the freezer up to two months. When ready to serve thawing in the refrigerator overnight and pan fry as directed.
- 1 pound cooked, flaked salmon or three 5 ounce cans of salmon, drained.
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs divided into ¼ and ½ cup portions
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 small lemon zested then wedged
- 1 large scallion greens sliced for serving and whites diced
- ¼ cup celery leaves or 1 rib of celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- In a large bowl stir flaked salmon, lemon zest, chopped scallions, celery leaves, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes together.
- Add sesame oil and egg and stir. Then add ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs. Mixture will be loose.
- Place remaining ½ cup panko in shallow dish or plate.
- Divide salmon mixture into 8 even portions and form into roughly 1″ thick patties using a firm hand to squeeze them together. Dip patties in panko on both sides to coat and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Freeze patties until firm, about 20 minutes, to help them maintain their shape while frying.
- When ready to serve heat oil to 375 degrees in a large and fry salmon cakes, in two batches, until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Salt immediately and serve with lemon wedges or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.