These salmon cakes made with wild salmon and paired with classic tartar sauce are great for dinner and also make a perfect party appetizer.
Charlie’s yearly fishing trip to Alaska fills our freezer with salmon and halibut. As I’ve mentioned before, Charlie doesn’t eat fish other than the occasional fish taco. As such, I end up eating a lot of fish…a lot. I’m constantly trying new preparations that can be eaten freshly cooked or as leftovers. That is a tough bill to fill since fish, typically, does not reheat very well. However, I created this recipe using what I had in my fridge and they were great both the night I ate them and the next day for lunch.
This recipe does not use any filler (breadcrumbs or the like) so the fish does not get dried out from the bread. Also, the texture of the cakes stay preserved once reheated. It’s all fish, enhanced by fresh ingredients.
The tartar sauce is about as simple as you can get. The creamy sauce with tangy pickles compliment the fish. I was originally going to make a sauce with sour cream but, decided to go classic because unless fish is in taco form, dairy and fish is a weird combo for me.
I know that everyone cannot freshly catch their salmon. I recommend that when you purchase fish at a grocery store or market you choose wild caught salmon. There are many opinion pieces about the difference between farm raised and wild caught fish. Some people say that farm raised is okay to eat, others do not. I have not formed an option on the health benefits but, I do know that farm raised fish is not good for the environments. So if you can, buy wild caught fish.
Salmon Cakes with Classic Tartar Sauce
- 1/2 pound fresh salmon filet skin removed
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard powder
- 1 jalapeño optional - if you want a spicy twist
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 onion small
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup dill pickles drained and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch ground black pepper.
Place salmon filet, skin removed, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, celery, onion, sea salt, ground pepper, ground mustard powder in food processor. Optionally add 1 jalapeño.
Pulse the until coarsely chopped.
With wet hands, form the mixture into patties.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Grill salmon cakes for 3 minutes per side for medium, 4 minutes for cakes that will be cooked though.
Combine ingredients in a small bowl
Chill for 30 minutes before serving
This recipe makes a dozen mini cakes or 4-6 dinner size cakes.
4 smart points for 1/6 of the recipe of salmon cakes and 1 tablespoon of tartar sauce.
- Pick the freshest salmon you can find and make sure there are no bones in the filet. You can feel bones by running your fingers over the fish and feeling for prickly spikes. Use a tweeter to pull out any bones that might be in the fish.
- When I put the ingredients in the food processor ,I roughly cut them up into like sized pieces. This way when they are pulsed the mixture is evenly ground.
- Don’t over chop. You want the mixture to have texture.
- Use damp hands when forming patties and place on a parchment paper. If you hands are damp (not wet) the mixture will not stick to your hands (as much). If the mixture is a bit soft and gets sticky, refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- If you’re looking to save calories and fat, use a non stick pan and reduce the oil by half the amount. You can also use cooking spray.
- Like any other type of burger, don’t flip too early. You want a crust to form on the patties.