Easiest salmon cakes you’ll ever make

Julie Falsetti
For The York Dispatch

In a rare bit of reader feedback, a woman said she enjoyed reading my recipes but never attempted to make them, as they looked too complicated. Bearing this in mind, I’d like to present a recipe that is a hat trick plus one — inexpensive, environmentally friendly, healthy and — most importantly — easy.

If you want to impress people, you might call them salmon croquettes. In my family, though, they were known as salmon cakes.

Salmon cakes appeared on the menu on many a Friday. They were a staple, as there were always a few cans of salmon in the pantry. Like most Yorkers, my mother stocked up when they were on sale. When I checked recently, a 15-ounce can was about $3.50.

Unlike its popular cousin, canned tuna, salmon doesn’t get much play nowadays, which is a shame. If you are looking for a sustainable fish, canned salmon is the way to go. There are many types of salmon, but pink salmon are the most abundant, making them perfect for the canning industry.

Most canned salmon is wild caught and will say so on the label. Because salmon feed lower on the food chain, they contain almost no toxins. If you’re concerned about supporting American jobs, the Alaskan salmon industry provides employment for thousands of workers in every stage of its production.

As for its health benefits, canned wild Alaskan salmon contains twice the amount of omega-3 compared with albacore tuna. It also contains 998 international units of vitamin D. Farmed salmon contains 25 percent of this amount.

And now for the easy part: open a can, drain, add a few ingredients, mix and fry. The added herbs give the cakes a flavor zing, but if you don’t have any on hand, they are not absolutely necessary. Salmon cakes can be on the table in 15 minutes. The result is impressive enough that no one will know it came from a can.

Salmon Cakes

1 15-ounce can of salmon, drained

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or parsley

1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying

Mix the above ingredients except for the oil. Form five to six patties. Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron frying pan. Cook the salmon cakes about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks. Her column, From Scratch, runs twice monthly in The York Dispatch food section.