Old Bay Salmon Cakes bring a taste of Maryland to your table! Fresh chunks of salmon are the key to these delicious cakes that your whole family will love. Top with avocado salsa for a perfect lunch or light dinner.
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When I moved to Oklahoma in 2007, I refused to eat any seafood. Having grown up in Maryland, I couldn’t bring myself to eat seafood in a landlocked state. About a year later I began to buy frozen seafood from Sam’s Club. Then a few years ago I discovered White River Fish Market and then Bodean Seafood. Both are in Tulsa, and both fly in fresh seafood daily, so whenever I’m in Tulsa I make sure to stop at one or the other. But I don’t get to Tulsa that often, so I usually rely on Sam’s Club.
One thing I always have in the freezer is salmon, which is funny because I refused to eat salmon until I was about 30 years old. I can’t even begin to tell you what turned me off about it. Then one weekend I was at Denise’s beach house, she told me we were having salmon for dinner, and I had no choice but to eat some. I tried a bite, and was instantly hooked. When I first began to buy frozen salmon I always bought it blackened. It was delicious, but it limited my options, so I switched to plain salmon fillets.
I’m a big fan of my salmon recipes on the blog, but I’m always on the lookout for something new. Plus, I’m on a mission to make more recipes using the Old Bay Seasoning I bought to make my Old Bay Chicken Wings. Old Bay is a Maryland tradition, and if you’ve ever had shrimp or crabs in Maryland, then you’ve had Old Bay. It’s a glorious combination of spices that explode in your mouth. I was so excited to find Old Bay in my local grocery store, and it’s also available online.
I’ve seen recipes for salmon burgers, and they look delicious, but everything I found uses canned salmon. Canned salmon DOES NOT look good. I don’t even think I could touch it. So when I came across a recipe using salmon fillets, I knew I’d hit the jackpot, and I created Old Bay Salmon Cakes
Oh. My. Goodness. These Old Bay Salmon Cakes are outstanding. The Old Bay adds a wonderful warmth that you’ll never get with just salt and pepper.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT OLD BAY SALMON CAKES
- Dice the salmon fillets very small, about 1/4″. Use a very sharp knife, and it will definitely make your life easier.
- Old Bay Seasoning: the Old Bay adds such a wonderful punch of flavor to the cakes, and it always makes me feel like I’m back in Maryland!
- Mayonnaise: I use Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, because I love the flavor. When I’m feeling a little more indulgent, I use Duke’s Mayonnaise. Use your favorite…just don’t use Miracle Whip or any imitation mayo. It will completely change the flavor.
- Mustard: I use either Spicy Brown Mustard or Dijon Mustard. Both work well, and it’s really just personal preference
- Panko Bread Crumbs: the bread crumbs act as a binder to help keep the Old Bay Salmon Cakes together. You could substitute bread crumbs, but I prefer the airy texture of Panko
- Dill: fresh herbs are always better, so I highly recommend using them. Mince the dill well so it incorporates throughout all of the patties
EGG OR NO EGG? KEEPING OLD BAY SALMON CAKES TOGETHER
When I make my Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa and my Kale and Quinoa Patties I use an egg to help bind the patties together. The first time I made Old Bay Salmon Cakes I forgot the egg. By the time I noticed it I had already combined the mixture and didn’t want to over-mix, so I left it out. The major difference between egg and no egg is density and texture.
- NO EGG: lighter texture, very delicate, can fall apart easily. Form the mixture into balls; press together firmly; then flatten into patties
- EGG WHITE OR WHOLE EGG: more dense texture, holds together better. Form the mixture into patties immediately
I like it both ways, but prefer the texture of no egg. Of course, it’s personal preference
I tested the Old Bay Salmon Cakes on both the grill and pan fried. I liked them on the grill, but they don’t develop the same beautiful golden color that you get from a pan fry. When I pan fry, I use just enough Avocado Oil for about a 1/4″ depth of a large skillet. And then I drain the Old Bay Salmon Cakes well before serving.
Salmon and avocado go really well together, so I also made an avocado salsa to serve with the Old Bay Salmon Cakes. The cold, creamy avocado provides a wonderful contrast to the bite of the Old Bay Salmon Cakes.
These Old Bay Salmon Cakes will stay at the top of my meal plan rotation. I haven’t done them as a burger, but that is next on my list.
Adapted from Cooktoria
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 2 6-ounce salmon filets, skinless
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg or egg white (optional)
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- avocado oil or canola oil, for frying
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- fresh lime juice, to taste
In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Combine well and set aside
Chop salmon into small pieces, about 1/4". Transfer to large bowl, and add dill, celery and red onion. If using egg white, whisk and add to salmon mixture.
Add mayonnaise mixture and Panko bread crumbs to salmon mixture. Fold together well
Form the patties, using a 1/4 cup as a measure. NOTE: If you do not use the egg white, you will need to really press the patties together well, to help ensure they do not fall apart.
GRILL: Spray a grill pan with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high. Place patties on grill pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Don't move patties until it's time to turn, or they won't get the beautiful golden color!
PAN FRY: In a large skillet, add enough oil for a depth of about 1/4", and heat over medium-high. Carefully add patties laying them away from you to prevent splatter. Cook for about 3 minutes per side. Patties are ready to flip when you can see the bottom edges turn golden brown. When finished, drain on paper towels
AVOCADO SALSA: Combine all ingredients, and smash with a fork
SERVE: Top salmon cakes with avocado salsa
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