21st Century Salmon Patties

Inspired by my grandma’s original recipe

Makes 12 patties.


Last week I came across and old shoe box stuffed with recipes, lovingly clipped, filed and penned by my mom, my grandmother, friends and neighbors of my youth.  Carefully examining each one was a wonderful walk down memory lane.  I especially cherished seeing their handwriting, which I know as well my own.  Although I don’t know why, I found more than one copy of several of the recipes.  The good ones always get written down more than once don’t they?

I had never cooked some of these dishes for my own family and decided the time had come.  Two stalwarts – Salmon Patties and Pineapple Pie – are on our table tonight, with a few updates to bring them into a more health-conscious 21st century.  In other words, we won’t be frying anything in Crisco.


  • 1.5 pounds fresh, wild salmon
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay (Had to, I live in Maryland.)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 4 pieces of bread (Use gluten-free you like or breadcrumbs of any variety.)

Whenever I cook fresh fish for our family of four, I buy 1.5 pounds.  Sometimes there’s a bit leftover for lunch the next day and sometimes it’s gone in one sitting.  This recipe, with that much salmon, yields 12 good-sized patties, so feel free freeze a few patties for a day when your time is short or better yet, invite friends to share.

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Bake the salmon for about 20 minutes on a sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up. While the fish is cooking, dice the onion and celery and sauté on low in a frying pan with olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Cut the bread into pieces and pulse in a food processor until you have small crumbs.  Dump the bread onto a sheet pan and toast in the oven until they are crunchy.

[HOT TIP: I did this in a toaster oven and just used the toast setting, rather than even turn on the oven.]  Allow to cool.

Once the fish is cooked and cool to touch, with your fingers and gently break the fish into small pieces and remove any bones.  Crack the eggs in a small bowl and whisk.  Toss the mayo, Old Bay, salt in a large mixing bowl then add the cooled, cooked fish, onion and celery mixture, eggs and all but about 1 cup of the toasted bread crumbs.  Mix.  Form the mixture into balls using a large ice cream scoop, or 1/3 cup measure.  Gently pat the patties with the remaining bread crumbs to coat both sides.  Set onto a plate and refrigerate for an hour or longer.

When you are ready to cook them, heat enough olive oil to coat the same pan you used to saute the onion and celery.  Gently fry the patties until golden brown on one side, 2-3 minutes, then flip to the other side.  Serve with tarter sauce.

2 thoughts on “21st Century Salmon Patties

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