Old Bay Salmon Cakes feature diced chunks of fresh salmon and the bold bite of Old Bay Seasoning, pan-fried to golden perfection. This easy recipe is on the table in about 20 minutes! Top with creamy avocado and serve on their own or make delicious salmon sandwiches.
THIS POST AND STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS WERE UPDATED MARCH 14, 2019
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 or Costco, and I also discovered 2 seafood markets in Tulsa that fly in fresh product daily.
I also refused to eat salmon until I was about 30 years old. Of course, I have no clue what turned me off about it. When I finally tried it for the first time, I was immediately hooked and now I have salmon in the freezer all the time.
I’m a big fan of my salmon recipes on the blog, but I’m always on the lookout for something new. I saw a delicious-looking recipe for salmon cakes on Facebook, but using canned salmon. And there’s nothing about canned salmon that looks appetizing. So I tested it out with fresh salmon, and created Old Bay Salmon Cakes.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- It’s a great twist on the “same old salmon” that is on the table in 20 minutes
- You can enjoy them on their own, topped with avocado salsa, or as a sandwich
- Old Bay Seasoning adds a fabulous punch of flavor
I seriously hit the jackpot with these Old Bay Salmon Cakes. The subtle crunch of the pan-fried exterior is a perfect complement to the tender inside. And avocado works so well with salmon, adding another layer of flavor.
INGREDIENTS FOR OLD BAY SALMON CAKES
- Salmon fillets
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Panko Bread Crumbs
- Vegetables: celery, red onion
- Seasoning: Old Bay Seasoning, fresh dill, salt, fresh-cracked black pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
What is Old Bay Seasoning? You’ll find it somewhere on the menu of every seafood restaurant in Maryland. It’s a glorious mix of flavors that you will instantly love. Old Bay was originally named “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning”. No real surprise, the name didn’t stick. The Old Bay name was inspired by a steamship line that traveled the Chesapeake between Maryland and Virginia.
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR OLD BAY SALMON CAKES
- I use Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, because I love the flavor. When I’m feeling a little more indulgent, I use Duke’s Mayonnaise. Do not use imitation mayo, as it completely changes the flavor
- I use either Spicy Brown Mustard or Dijon Mustard.
- 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
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. I also tested a batch with an egg.
- 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
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR OLD BAY SALMON CAKES
Dice the salmon into 1/4″ chunks. I do not recommend a food processor, as it will turn the salmon into mush. Add all ingredients into a bowl
Fold ingredients together. Don’t over-mix, or Old Bay Salmon Cakes will get dense. Scoop mixture with a 1/4 measuring cup; release into hands, and form patties. If you do not use an egg, make sure to squeeze mixture well, to help cakes hold their shape
COOKING METHOD/TIME AND SERVING OPTIONS
Cooking Method: I prefer to pan-fry Old Bay Salmon Cakes because you get that beautiful golden color. I use just enough Avocado Oil for about a 1/4″ depth of a large skillet. They are delicious grilled as well
Cooking Time: Once you add Old Bay Salmon Cakes to the skillet, leave them alone! If you try to flip them too soon they will stick to the skillet. Do not overcook, or the salmon will become dry. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on the second side. Remove, and drain on paper towels. You want the crisp exterior with a tender inside.
Serving Options: I make an easy avocado salsa, which provides a wonderful creamy contrast to the bite of the cakes. I normally eat 4 Old Bay Salmon Cakes as a light lunch. You could also make these into sandwiches, or make the patties smaller and serve them as appetizers.
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Old Bay Salmon Cakes
- 12 ounces salmon fillets, skinless
- 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large egg or egg white (OPTIONAL)
- 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
- juice of 1/2 lime
- AVOCADO SALSA: Combine all ingredients, and smash with a fork. Set aside in fridge
- In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. (IF YOU ARE USING EGG, ADD IT TO THIS MIXTURE). Combine and set aside
- Dice salmon into small pieces, about 1/4", and transfer to large bowl. Add dill, celery, red onion, and Panko bread crumbs. Add mayonnaise mixture and fold together
Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop mixture and release into hands. Form into patties, pressing together firmly so they hold well.
- In a large skillet (I use a 10" 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 patties on first side for 3 minutes. Patties are ready to flip when you can see the bottom edges turn golden brown. Flip, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and drain well
- Serve topped with avocado salsa
- NO EGG: lighter texture, delicate, can fall apart easily.
- EGG WHITE OR WHOLE EGG: more dense texture, holds together better